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Raw Has Arrived On Android!

Raw Has Arrived On Android!

You read that right. It was rumoured late last year that Google was playing around with the Android camera API to include raw capability, and then we reported that this feature was rolled out with the latest 5.0 Lollipop update on many Android devices, but now we finally have an app that lets us access this feature and use it to our hearts content.

That app is Camera FV-5, and for some time now this app has allowed photographers full manual control of their camera phone. Well they have been hard at work since Lollipop rolled out and have implemented Google's ability to access raw image data into their app. This means you can now use the Camera FV-5 app as a raw editor for the images you take using your Android camera phone! With time we fully anticipate other apps to implement this feature.

The benefits of shooting raw are many, but one has to wonder how important they are given the format and technical limits of our smartphones. Regardless, whether this is mostly a gimmick or whether it will prove to be a much used feature, it is clear that our smartphones are edging ever closer to become our full time cameras.

For those of you who have had a chance to play with the app, what do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and sample images in the comments below!

[via CNET]

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Spy Black's picture

This will be useful if you can save your RAW data as a DNG so you can bring it into an app like Lightroom, Capture One, or DxO to have the most versatility in processing the meager data you're getting from a phone's sensor and it's typically crappy lens.

Leif Sikorski's picture

That's what it is actually doing. The app doesn't do raw editing, as it's mentioned in the post, but it offers the option to take photos in the raw dng format.

Milan Cherian's picture

Its not an exclusive feature of Android 5.0 Lollipop.Many devices running on Android 4.4 Kitkat has the shoot-as RAW capabilities built in.I have a OnePlus One and I have had the RAW feature for a few months now.

Paulo Macedo's picture

My OnePlus One already has this since September. It saves a DNG file with 16MB, you can get some more of the file than the regular Jpeg. Interesting thing is, with the camera manual modes and a small tripod you can make some nice pictures. Don't know about other phones, but this sure is great to have around.
Well, by great i mean just to pose lol cause i would not replace my good old dSLR.

Gabriel Amaral's picture

This no work in my Moto X 2014. The app don't have all controls in this mobile. :(

Maybe if I install CyanogenMod with lollipop rom, I can use all features of this app

Leif Sikorski's picture

It requres more than just 5.0 ... the manufacturer also has to provide the driver support for the new camera api v2. So far the Nexus 5 and 6 support it.

Deleted Account's picture

I've been using the 'Mi2raw' app on 4.4 with my LG2 the last few months. It saves raws as DNG and is pretty good. However anything above 100-200iso and the colour noise is too much imo, although conversion to b&w would be okay, but outside or in good light the results are actually very sharp (I was surprised just how sharp) compared to jpegs produced by other apps. I still prefer using VSCOcam overall though for ease of use, and I find it's jpegs are very acceptable for everyday use (plus it's fun to use)

Jason Autry's picture

Sweet!! Now I can have my lame photos of my family and food in RAW now!! So amazing!

Joe Lopez's picture

While I use my Galaxy S5 as my daily snapshot/carry 'camera', I don't see a benefit to shooting RAW with it myself.

Rob Bates's picture

This was a good news when it happened, finally someone had the idea to put something useful in a smartphone. I discovered that my android has an option to shoot raw images so I decided to learn more about it and read here how useful shooting in raw can be and how big of a difference it is between raw and jpeg. Now I use this feature basically all the time, and it's awesome