When we take photos on our mobile, we usually save them in the most common formats such as JPG or PNG, but there is a format that not everyone knows: the RAW format. This format, which in Spanish means something similar to “raw”, helps us to get the most out of the camera of our mobile, since there are already many models that allow us to obtain images in this way .
To improve the photos we use this format, but for that it is necessary to know some notions and learn to retouch it. It’s not as easy as usual, but With some basic knowledge we can maximize the result which gives us the camera of our mobile.
What is the RAW format and what are its advantages?
The RAW format is a digital file format used by images in which we have all the information captured by our team. A simple explanation is as follows: when our mobile stores the photo that we took in JPG, it has already applied some adjustments to the image that it captured with the camera, in this way the user receives a result optimal end that does not require more work. However, when we shoot in RAW, we have a big file that contains all the data that the sensor got.
RAW images can be previewed by the mobile gallery but if we look closely, at first glance it may seem that the compressed file has more quality, especially in terms of sharpness, this happens because the compressed photo already has some adjustments applied. Well if we edit the RAW we can get even more
Saving photos in RAW format has a series of benefits:
We do not lose information: In RAW, photos have lossless compression applied (like in JPG or PNG).
Allows for later modifications and adjustments: having all the information, the user can apply modifications and adjustments to obtain a more personal result. We can highlight some elements that in other formats would have been lost.
Wider color gamut: The color gamut is extended because the RAW format stores more colors than compressed JPG images.
More freedom: We are free to make adjustments to our liking, if we want to do creative photography, this is our format. For example, we can create HDR photos using multiple shots.
Therefore, if you are new to this world of photography, you cannot help but use the raw format to improve your photos. This format is no longer compatible with phones for a long time, so first we need to check if our model is compatible.
Activate the RAW format in the camera of our mobile
Currently, many models from different manufacturers are compatible as standard with RAW images. Camera apps allow us to enable it from settings, as it is usually not enabled by default.
In the case of Google makes it easy for us and it is that it is enough to go to “More settings”, “Advanced options” and activate the “RAW + JPEG control” switch, as seen in the following image.
With the option enabled, each photo we take will generate two images, one in JPG format and another in RAW format. In this way, if we do not need editing or want to upload it to social networks, the first one will be enough. On the contrary, we can edit the RAW image to improve it.
Other manufacturers like Samsung also includes it among its settings. If we have a mobile with One UI, we must switch to the Pro mode of the camera, click on the settings icon that is at the top and go to the “Advanced image options” section. In this section we will show you the possibility of “RAW Copies”
How to edit images in RAW format
When editing, we have many options to choose from. Searching the app store, Google Play Store, we found some very worthy apps such as Lightroom, although many’s favorite is Snapseed.
This app is able to view RAW images and allows us to edit them in a simple way. The app’s interface is intuitive, so you won’t have much difficulty when it comes to editing images. To start, click on the “+” symbol to open a file, select the photo in RAW format (each manufacturer can use formats such as DNG or TIFF). When you see the image on the mobile screen, we will see a welcome to RAW development.
When we have completed the brief introduction to the developer tool, we will be ready to proceed with its modification. At the bottom we will see two icons, one for the options to modify and another for the adjustment of the white. If we touch the first, the elements that we can modify such as exposure, shadows, contrast, saturation or color temperature. If we play around with these values we will see the effect this has on the live image. In the second icon we can modify the white balance, if we do not know which balance is the most suitable for our shot, we have an “Auto” mode that makes the process easier for us.
Editing a RAW image in Snapseed is not difficult at all, the application will show us the result of the photo so that we can assess whether he is ready or not. Once we’re done, congratulations, we’ve done our first RAW reveal or edit. It’s about spending time and learning little by little so that your photos look more impressive.
The result varies depending on the editing of the image. However, the improvement is clear as soon as you start to refine the editing, as we can see in the following example. The colors are more realistic when developed, while providing better sharpness.
How to take RAW photos if your mobile camera is not compatible
As we mentioned, most new models incorporate this option. However, if you are the owner of a mobile of a certain age, it may not be compatible. First check if your smartphone’s native camera app has the option to take RAW photos. If you don’t see it anywhere, it might not be a game, but we still have hope.
Capture RAW photos on Android depends on a system API, the so-called “camera2api”. If your manufacturer hasn’t enabled the option, you probably won’t be able to take pictures in this format. To verify it we must download the following application which will give us the answer.
Manual camera compatibility
If you’re lucky your model is compatible and even if your native camera doesn’t support it, you can still use third-party apps They do their job the same way. In this sense, we recommend an application that allows us to modify the values before the capture, such as the aperture and the exposure time.
FV-5 Lite camera
Taking advantage of the camera’s potential using the RAW format is not difficult, on the contrary, it is fun to do
We would have everything ready to start enjoying the full potential of our mobile camera, editing photos taken in RAW format. At first, it may seem like a complex taskBut it is quite the opposite.
Learning to edit in RAW is very easy, and from now on just learn step by step see the result of our images. I’m sure our photos are better now.