iPhone and iPad apps will be able to shoot RAW photos with iOS 10

iPhone 6s Phone Rear 2

Good news, iPhone-toting photo lovers: RAW photo shooting support is coming to iOS 10.

(Wondering what the heck a “RAW” photo is? It’s any file type that stores an image in its rawest form, sans compression and pre-processing. The upside: you’ve got a lot more data to work with, allowing for a much greater degree of editing flexibility in post processing — hence why pro photographers tend to shoot in RAW. The downside: the files tend to be pretty damned big.)

Eagle-eyed watchers spotted a passing mention of RAW photo editing on a slide during yesterday’s keynote, but not a word was said about it on stage.

The functionality was confirmed in a WWDC workshop this afternoon, though, where a few details were laid out:

  • Third party developers will be able to shoot and store raw photos, but it’s something they’ll have to add to their apps — it won’t just suddenly start working across all your apps when you update to iOS 10.
  • It’ll work with the rear camera only
  • As with many DSLRs, iOS can handle shooting in RAW and JPEG simultaneously
  • It’ll be available to apps running on the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, SE, and the 9.7” iPad
  • RAW photos will be stored in Adobe’s Digital Negative (DNG) file format

Alas, no word yet on if/how Apple plans to support RAW photos within their own Camera app.