Now that more and more people are using their smartphones as their main camera, and some have even done entire photoshoots with one, it was only a matter of time until manufacturers started allowing raw capture. For the newly released HTC One M9, that day is today.
[UPDATED May 1, 2015] Added sample images and link to full-res download.
The mobile photography industry has seen exponential growth in the last few years with apps like Instagram and companies like Lensbaby releasing special lenses just for mobile photographers. Mobile phone images have even made the cover of Time Magazine. One thing mobile users always missed though was raw support. Today HTC has changed that. The latest update to the HTC Camera app now allows users on the latest flagship phone to record raw images.
There have been apps around for a good amount of time that allowed a back-end type of way to shoot raw images, and the Nexus devices have had this ability since the release of Android Lollipop. However, this is one of the first non-Nexus mobile device that allows raw capture straight from the manufacturer.
You can download these full-res images and more here at HTCSource.
Is raw support something you want or need from a smartphone? Or is this just another feature that will be a nice to have but not necessary?
Images used with permission from HTCSource.
Yes I very much want RAW in my phone. I just picked up the Samsung Galaxy S6 and still no RAW from Samsung.
Did you get the Edge? Both S6 and S6 Edge look like awesome phones! What do you see yourself using RAW for from your phone?
Interesting and thought personally find it premature, was expecting it anytime now.
The RAW format is DNG, which is good. But how big will the files be? How will they be stored then transferred? Via internet? This is a phone and if you're not on Wi-Fi, it can get expensive uploading to a cloud of some sort. The phone supports SD cards up to 128GB which is great.
It all sounds doable though. Can't wait to see what people do with it. :D
Can you actually get much extra from a RAW file from a Mobile Phone? I wouldn't have thought that such a small sensor would pick up much more information than what the JPG already has.
In saying that though I would like to get my hands on a RAW file from a Phone like the M9 or even LG's new G4.
That's also what I'm wondering. I'd image those small sensors don't have a very wide dynamic range. I can't seem to find decent comparison shots of raw shooting on the m9, or the nexus cameras... Well most tests aren't really looking at dynamic range and colour preservation after heavy colour tweaks just straight comparison shots. From what I'm seeing, the big benefit is that you're not getting the super baked jpeg from the camera - too much saturation, contrast, sharpening and denoising.
IMHO, what would be interesting is for an app to work a bit more like a dedicated camera where you can tweak the jpeg engine before shooting. When you would shoot, the app would take a DNG, pass it through its engine with your setting and you could chose to only save jpegs. I could see a VSCO update where you would shoot a DNG, do your editing and chose at the end if you want to keep the DNG or just jpegs.
updated with link to RAW files
I love the idea of having a better camera on my phone, let alone one that shoots RAW. Good info.