iOS 14.3 brings Apple ProRAW image format support to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max

People have discovered that the iOS 14.3 developer beta that dropped yesterday adds support for Apple’s new ProRAW image format to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.

The Cupertino technology giant introduced the new ProRAW format alongside the iPhone 12 lineup. It offers the best of both worlds: computational photography’s smarts and the ability to perform editing on untouched, raw sensor data.

According to Deshpande, Apple’s Senior Manager of Camera Software Engineering, ProRaw provides “many of the benefits of our multi-frame image processing and computational photography, like Deep Fusion and Smart HDR, and combines them with the depth and flexibility of a raw format.”

In order to achieve this, we constructed a new pipeline that takes components of the processing we do in our CPU, GPU, ISP and neural engine, and combines them into a new deep image file, computed at the time of capture, without any shutter delay. And we do this for all four cameras, dynamically adapting for various scenes while maintaining our intuitive camera experience.

Apple promised support for ProRAW would be coming at a later date, and we now know that it’s officially coming with upcoming public releases of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 before the end of this year. Apple’s stock Photos app supports viewing, editing and sharing images that are encoded in the new ProRAW format.

Image via MacRumors forums

If you have an iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can enable ProRAW support in Settings > Camera > Formats. According to the feature’s description, ProRAW is a 12-bit image file that uses the Linear DNG format to “retain more information and dynamic range in the file.” Apple explains that this gives photographers additional flexibility when editing exposure and white balance.

Enabling ProRAW format support comes at a cost because each ProRAW file is approximately 25 megabytes in size, or about ten times more than your typical processed HEIC image from the iPhone camera.