If you talk to a professional photographer, they will tell you that a RAW photo has a higher quality than a JPG file. And while capturing images in RAW was once a feature reserved for high-end cameras like DSLRs, thanks to resourceful developers and the evolving capabilities of phone cameras it is now possible to shoot in RAW with mobile devices. However, if you want to take advantage of this format, you will need an application to work with those files later.
Therefore, here we have compiled the best RAW photography apps, both for Android and iOS. Each one is different, with its own approach to taking and editing RAW photos with your phone. Know them.
Darkroom ( iOS )
Darkroom is a full-featured photo editor for iOS, designed for iPhones and iPads. In addition to the ability to edit RAW, it also allows you to separately edit the background and foreground of a photo taken in portrait mode and adjust the blur.
This application offers various tools for professionals, including curves, selective color, and the possibility of batch editing. It also has some options for video editing and color grading capabilities. Thanks to a process that does not need to import files, it is incredibly easy to use, since all the photos on your phone appear automatically. Darkroom is free to download and use, but offers in-app purchases.
Adobe Lightroom CC ( Android, iOS )
Adobe Lightroom CC really needs no introduction. Like its desktop version, this app is both a digital asset manager and a post-production studio where you can edit almost any image you want, including RAW formats. Better yet: you can capture RAW photos directly from the app, with its built-in camera.
Whether it’s a photo taken with your phone or one imported from a DSLR, the tools and editing possibilities abound. From basic exposure settings to layered gradient settings, Lightroom has it all. Best of all, if you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription plan (including $ 10 a month photography plans) all your photos will sync across all your mobile and desktop devices, so you can start editing a photo on your phone and end up on your computer when you get home.
VSCO ( Android, iOS )
VSCO started out as a simple app that added default analog photography-style filters, but has grown in both features and users. There are over 50 filters to choose from (with more options you can buy) and a whole collection of tools to edit your images. VSCO not only works with RAW images; it also captures them through its integrated camera. So it’s a great all-in-one solution for shooting and editing RAW photos. The VSCO download is free and includes a small collection of sample filters. You can purchase more through in-app purchases; There is also a subscription that for $ 20 dollars a year will give you access to more than 200 filters, tools, and even beta features.
Snapseed ( Android, iOS )
Snapseed (now owned by Google) is a free photo-editing app that is capable of creating non-destructive edits of RAW files. In addition to all the normal tools for adjusting things like exposure and color, Snapseed includes a bokeh tool for blurring the background, one for retouching portraits, and tools for double exposures. Most updates to this app focus on fixing issues and compatibility issues, plus the last major update came out years ago, but still a good free option for working with photos.
Halide ( iOS )
If you want all the latest iOS photographic features in one simple, minimalist app, Halide is what you’re looking for. Described by its developers as “perfect photography at your fingertips,” Halide is designed so you can control it with one hand. Despite its simple interface, it includes some professional features, such as a portrait mode for people and pets, depth mapping tools for devices with two cameras, focuses peaking, and, of course, the ability to capture RAW. Users have also praised its gesture controls, including those that change lenses on the latest iPhones. Halide costs $ 6 in the App Store.
ProCam 7 ( iOS )
Photos, Videos, RAW Images – ProCam 7 has it all. With all of its shooting modes, including night, burst, portrait, and even 3D, ProCam 7 offers plenty of power in one application. The interface may be a little intimidating to those who are not used to more professional photo apps, but when you know it, ProCam 7 has a lot to offer. Its RAW editor is non-destructive, which means you can go back and undo or alter any settings you have made.
RAW Power ( iOS )
Unlike most of the apps on this list, RAW Power doesn’t take photos. Instead, it acts as a digital asset manager for the photos you have on your iOS device, whether from the phone or from an external camera. That makes this the most Lightroom-like mobile app on this list (except for… Lightroom). In addition to the ability to organize images, you can also make edits, including basic exposure changes and curve adjustments. There is also an option to edit images with the depth effect taken with iOS devices with two cameras. RAW Power is available for free on the App Store, with advanced editing tools through in-app purchases.