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Samsung introduced its Expert Raw app in beta on the finish of 2021; at present, it’s only out there for the S21 Extremely. The app means that you can management handbook publicity settings for all 4 of the rear cameras, which is good, however the extra attention-grabbing factor it means that you can do is shoot multi-frame RAW recordsdata. Right here’s what it’s essential to find out about Professional RAW – what it’s, why it’s helpful, and the way to use it.

What’s multi-frame RAW?

The brief reply is that it’s RAW however higher. Normally, RAW taking pictures saves extra information than a JPEG picture file, which is a large profit in case you want to fine-tune issues like white stability and publicity picture enhancing software program. JPEGs are smaller and extra simply shareable, however these sorts of settings are “baked in” to avoid wasting house, and so they’re a lot much less versatile for post-processing. Loads of smartphones provide a conventional RAW taking pictures mode – however with a significant drawback to taking pictures a typical JPEG picture.

If you take a photograph in your telephone’s native digicam app, the ensuing JPEG (or HEIC) file typically consists of information from a number of frames that had been captured in a short time once you pressed the shutter button. This enables the telephone to create a single picture file with wider dynamic vary, making a backlit topic brighter with out including an entire lot of ugly noise, for instance.

Conventional RAW mode on a smartphone (or any digicam) captures a single body that’s extra versatile for enhancing than a typical JPEG however loses out on the computational advantages that include the multi-frame processing you’d get with the JPEG. This makes taking pictures RAW on a smartphone form of pointless, to place it bluntly. Smartphones have very small sensors and lenses relative to conventional cameras, and so they use these computational methods to seize extra picture information and compensate for that measurement drawback. Consequently, it’s normally higher to simply let your telephone do its factor and take a JPEG.

Multi-frame RAW, which a number of telephone producers (including Apple) have launched, makes RAW far more helpful, particularly once you’re taking a photograph along with your telephone. You get one of the best of each worlds: information from a number of frames recorded right into a single file, plus loads of flexibility for enhancing.

All three Galaxy S22 gadgets can use Professional RAW.
Photograph by Allison Johnson / The Verge

Which Samsung telephones provide Professional RAW?

The Galaxy S22 collection, together with the usual S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Extremely, have all supported Professional RAW as of February twenty fifth. Samsung plans to broaden assist to some older fashions, however there are particular {hardware} necessities a telephone has to fulfill to have the ability to run Professional RAW, so solely a handful of different top-tier gadgets will provide it. That checklist consists of:

  • Galaxy S21 Extremely, full launch from beta anticipated someday in March
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3, assist anticipated in April
  • Galaxy S20 Extremely, Be aware 20 Extremely, and Z Fold 2, assist anticipated within the first half of 2022

How do you shoot photographs in Professional RAW?

The Professional RAW app supplies handbook publicity controls for all three of the S22’s rear cameras.

The characteristic isn’t included in the usual Samsung digicam app; it’s truly a wholly separate app that must be downloaded from the Galaxy Retailer. Open the shop app and seek for Professional RAW. When you’ve downloaded it and agreed to present it entry to your digicam and microphone, you’re prepared to start out taking pictures multi-frame RAW recordsdata.

The Professional RAW interface is just like the Professional mode in the usual digicam app, together with the letter icons on the backside of the display screen that point out the 0.6x, 1x, and 3x lens choices. If you press the shutter, you’ll see textual content urging you to carry the telephone nonetheless whereas the telephone grabs a number of frames. Associated: Professional RAW isn’t one thing you’ll wish to use for transferring topics.

The ensuing recordsdata are huge – round 30MB to 40MB every in my testing. There’s a high-efficiency RAW possibility you’ll be able to toggle on in case you faucet the settings icon on the taking pictures display screen, however it solely saved me a few MBs per picture. Until you got a telephone with huge storage, you’ll wish to persist with utilizing Professional RAW when it would actually make a distinction, not on a regular basis.

How do you edit Professional RAW pictures?

Professional RAW recordsdata tolerate an excessive edit like lifting deep shadows higher than a single-frame RAW.

Professional RAW recordsdata are saved as normal DNG recordsdata, so you’ll be able to take them into any RAW processing software program that you just like. Samsung features a Lightroom shortcut within the Professional RAW app, however if you wish to go that route, you’ll must obtain Lightroom from the Galaxy Retailer and log in with an Adobe account. Downloading from the Galaxy Retailer entitles you to a two-month free trial, however after that, you’ll must pony up for the $119 annual subscription.

In any case, you’ll be able to faucet the share icon when reviewing your picture to take your picture right into a free app like Snapseed or reserve it to cloud storage to edit on a desktop.

Together with your picture within the enhancing software program of your alternative, you’ll take pleasure in extra freedom to push shadows or pull again highlights than with a typical RAW file. I took a typical RAW and a multi-frame RAW of the identical backlit scene for comparability functions, and the distinction is critical. Pushing the shadow slider all the best way +100 on each photographs, there’s some clear banding in the usual RAW, whereas the Professional RAW seems a lot cleaner.

So once you’re taking pictures a scene with a large dynamic vary, that is positively the higher RAW mode to make use of – simply don’t get too trigger-happy if you wish to go simple in your telephone’s storage.

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