ProRaw: First comparisons to Apple’s photo format

The ProRAW is coming to the iPhone 12 Pro. The Apple photo format (12-bit RAW-DNG) is a variation of the standard RAW. This means uncompressed, not overly heavy snapshots, while some processing from Apple’s ISP is retained. Apple insider reporter Ben Lovejoy decided to try it out for himself … and the results are pretty good. The same image taken in HEIC and ProRAW shows significant differences. Already in terms of “weight”: A HEIC photo weighs 1 to 2 MB, compared to more than 20 MB for ProRAW.

The difference is clearly visible when rendering too. For example, in the photo below we can immediately see that the ProRAW recording (right) is darker than the HEIC recording, which is completely normal: the ProRAW is without compression and without artificial effects. the “lighting” of the scene, and to be honest, is meant for “post-production” retouching as we say over software like Lightroom or Photoshop. On the other hand, a simple zoom in on the image shows that the ProRAW remains much more detailed and doesn’t suffer from the ISP’s smoothing effects. It also means that once properly retouched, the ProRAW snapshot can be easily enlarged without the rendering degradation associated with mobile photos in general.

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