I love taking RAW format photos. They essentially are photos that aren’t compressed at all. You are able to manipulate them more precisely when editing because of this. When I first learned my iPhone 6S Plus had this capability, I was all in. It was the only way I took pictures. The stock camera app doesn’t have this built in, so I looked around and found an app called Obscura. It’s been the best app that I’ve found that can take these kinds of photos, and I use Lightroom on my phone to edit them. When that phone started performing way too slowly, I pretty much stopped using it. That really bummed me out because I really enjoy taking photos, but it was basically unusable. Now that I have a brand new iPhone XR that’s fast af, I’ve been taking photos non-stop; and it’s been so much fun again.
There are many apps out there that can take RAW photos. The above mentioned Lightroom can, and so can another popular camera app Halide. However, I have found that neither provides as good of a photo as Obscura. I don’t know how, but the photos Obscura takes are so much better. I highly recommend this app.
The iPhone camera is so fast. I know I can basically trust it’ll get the job done in any situation. Fortunately, Obscura is also fast; and it’s taking RAW photos. When I was using it on my old phone, it would take a couple of seconds to take the photo. When I take them on my XR, it happens almost instantly and is incredibly reliable. I figure since it’s basically just as fast and reliable, why not always take RAW photos? Obscura has many other features such as great auto focus, auto exposure, and filters. However, I really only use this app for the RAW format capabilities.
When I want to edit a photo, I import it into Lightroom. Usually I choose the Color tab at the bottom and choose whatever White Balance I think makes the photo look better or gives it the desired overall vibe I’m seeking. Then I click on the Auto tab. You are definitely free to edit with all of the tabs and sliders provided, but I find this is the quickest way to make my photos look quality. It’s very simple and only 2 adjustments, but the photo looks so much better than if I would’ve taken the same one in a regular format.
If you want to step up your photo game, I recommend taking RAW format photos. They allow you more granular editing and provide more data for you to work with. You can see more detail in your photos, especially when you zoom in or need to crop. I personally think they generally look better than regular photos. They give you more versatility, and I think that’s incredibly valuable in today’s photo environment. There’s so many different places we post photos nowadays that automatically alter photos in bad ways; I believe taking RAW photos will help you at least mitigate these alterations and keep your photos as close to what came out of your camera as possible.