Apple Will Enable Raw Shooting on ‘Recent’ iPhone and iPad Devices [Updated]

On Monday, Apple held its keynote presentation at the annual WWDC conference. Big updates were unveiled on stage, including interesting revisions to watchOS, tvOS, macOS, and iOS. One announcement that wasn’t talked about is the upcoming ability for iOS devices to shoot and edit raw images, which was instead hinted at through a presentation slide and a WWDC Session video description.

On the video page for the WWDC Session titled “Live Photo Editing and RAW Processing with Core Image,” the description reads:

iOS 10 and macOS 10.12 brings a powerful set of new APIs to work with many types of photos. Explore using Core Image to process RAW image files from many popular cameras and recent iOS devices. See how to edit and enhance Live Photos directly within your app.

The wording “…process RAW image files from many popular cameras and recent iOS devices” should be confirmation that we will see raw image capture ability making its way to recently released iPhones and iPads.

Furthermore, raw image editing will bring much more worth to the iOS device lineup for on-the-go creative professionals. Before, iOS devices were able to store raw files imported from cameras via adapter, but opening one of these raw files on the device would bring up the JPG copy instead.

Apple Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi presenting iOS 10 and the introduction of raw photo editing at WWDC 2016.

As iOS 10 gets into more developers' hands prior to its public beta in July and public release in the fall, we will hopefully gain more insight to how Apple plans to implement its new-gained powers.

Update: Apple has supplied the following chart to developers showing that the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, SE, and iPad Pro 9.7-inch will be the first to gain raw capture support with their back-facing cameras.

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Lee Morris's picture

Bought time

Spy Black's picture

I thought this was already "a thing"?

Brendan Baker's picture

Android has been doing this for how long now?

Ryan Mense's picture

Yeah but now the good phones can do it too.

Brendan Baker's picture

Oh look an apple fanboy that swears to anything they make. The camera on the iphone is sub par compared to other companies such as Samsung (Note 5, s7, etc). Just because it's made by apple doesn't make it a quality piece of photographic technology. Apple is truly far behind in the industry when it comes to their camera. End of story.

Ryan Mense's picture

Cool story :) I just figured I would be the one to take your bait instead of some other unlucky fellow.

Anonymous's picture

Oh man come on who cares if androids had it. Nobody truly cares what phone others have. If you do you need better things to think about.

michael andrew's picture

Android sucks man

Daris Fox's picture

If you want to play that game Windows Phone had it before the Androids, from the Lumia 920 right up to the latest Lumia 950 series. They also had full dual/quad mic recording, highest dynamic range and physical lens stabilisation.

Downside it was tied to the Windows Platform which never gained popularity.

Spy Black's picture

Windows phone dude, yeah! Rah-Rah, Ooh-Ooh-Ooh!

Oh wait...

Daris Fox's picture

'grats for being Mr Obvious. Despite being hobbled by the software the cameras was and still are the best around especially when you reviews doing blind testing:

Anonymous's picture

amazing! I wonder what "recent" iphones and ipads means. I hope my iphone 6 will get this.

Ryan Mense's picture

Just updated the article with new information. Unfortunately it looks like the iPhone 6 didn't make the initial cut. Maybe it will come once the kinks are worked out with the flagship devices in beta?

Anonymous's picture

Awesome thanks!

That's a bummer. I do have my x100s on me at all times anyway but still would have been nice. Guess I will start saving my pennies for a new phone :)

Fritz Asuro's picture

But even you can have the RAW files, it won't be that useful anyway (that much). Plus to consider softwares that would support the files from iPhone.

Jon Wolding's picture

I already us the PhotoRaw app (iOS), it reads everything I've thrown at it (though I've only used it for Canon and Nikon RAW files)... I can't imagine the devs wouldn't be excited about supporting iOS RAW files.

Anonymous's picture

works fine for me. sure you are doing it right?

Anonymous's picture

Dude you don't have to reply with a wall of text everytime someone challenges you on something.