Topics

The Future of Photography? Apple Pro Raw format in iPhone 12's brings Pro results


jorgeparraphotography
 

It feels like the so-called Future is already jumping on us. This morning I got an alert about an update to my recently acquired iPhone 12 ProMax and the big surprise was the appearance of the Apple Pro RAW format for the iPhone. As it is still early, the editing tools in the phone remain basically the same but the images are seen as RAW files when opening them in Photoshop, so there is room for additional adjustments, blending exposures, etc, etc.

If allowed I would d like to upload a few test files to compare the standard jpg file and the new Raw's and hear what you may find about them. The file is actually recognized as a DNG file. I am TRULY surprised by the results, as this is proof that now I can do professional jobs with the phone for real

Meantime, here is what the Canadians have tried with the Beta version and blending multiple exposures.

https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/apple-proraw-on-iphone-12-pro-max/

And if this is not enough, Huawei ( now forbidden in the USA), has put out in the Chinese and other markets, a phone with 4 Zeiss Lenses, the largest one being 5X, this is, a true telephoto going well over the 100 mm equivalent in 35mm DSLR.

The iPhone's max telephoto is 2.5X, equivalent to a 65mm lens. No doubt, the competition will go on and on! and the future of photography?? Well, I guess there is a better future for Photography than there is for Photographers!!


--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


berdov f
 

You are right, Jorge. The future is tough, if you want to earn a living. But the image quality is truly remarkable...

Merry Christmas!

Boris

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 10:32:01 AM EST, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@...> wrote:


It feels like the so-called Future is already jumping on us. This morning I got an alert about an update to my recently acquired iPhone 12 ProMax and the big surprise was the appearance of the Apple Pro RAW format for the iPhone. As it is still early, the editing tools in the phone remain basically the same but the images are seen as RAW files when opening them in Photoshop, so there is room for additional adjustments, blending exposures, etc, etc.

If allowed I would d like to upload a few test files to compare the standard jpg file and the new Raw's and hear what you may find about them. The file is actually recognized as a DNG file. I am TRULY surprised by the results, as this is proof that now I can do professional jobs with the phone for real

Meantime, here is what the Canadians have tried with the Beta version and blending multiple exposures.

https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/apple-proraw-on-iphone-12-pro-max/

And if this is not enough, Huawei ( now forbidden in the USA), has put out in the Chinese and other markets, a phone with 4 Zeiss Lenses, the largest one being 5X, this is, a true telephoto going well over the 100 mm equivalent in 35mm DSLR.

The iPhone's max telephoto is 2.5X, equivalent to a 65mm lens. No doubt, the competition will go on and on! and the future of photography?? Well, I guess there is a better future for Photography than there is for Photographers!!


--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


Daniele Di Stanio
 

Hi Jorge,

The iPhone has had RAW capabilities via third party apps for many years.

The most interesting innovation to me is that the RAW you can shoot are now capable of including several computational photography recipes that Apple is using: Portrait mode, Night mode, and the combination of these two. This is also why, probably, this will be available only on the "Pro" phones, that have 6GB of RAM.

Apple worked with Adobe to extend the DNG profile with a new tag:
https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/dng-specification-tags.html

There are several positives here, one is that Apple, for once, is not trying to lock users on a specific format. It is one of the smoothest experience to switch between RAW and non-RAW format. I sincerely hope this extension of the DNG will encourage other manufacturers to adopt the format.

So, if you really want to try something unique be sure to set for ProRAW, and to use Portrait mode, Night mode or both.

Finally a quick reminder that your phone (and many iPhones with double cameras), when set to shoot in HEIC format can capture an extra channel visible in Photoshop. This extra channel is a Depth map, a very handy mask for separating a close subject from the background. It is also usable in Lr or ACR.

Enjoy your tests!

Daniele Di Stanio
fabbricacinema.com, Founder / CdA



On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 5:02 PM berdov f via groups.io <theberdov=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
You are right, Jorge. The future is tough, if you want to earn a living. But the image quality is truly remarkable...

Merry Christmas!

Boris

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 10:32:01 AM EST, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@...> wrote:


It feels like the so-called Future is already jumping on us. This morning I got an alert about an update to my recently acquired iPhone 12 ProMax and the big surprise was the appearance of the Apple Pro RAW format for the iPhone. As it is still early, the editing tools in the phone remain basically the same but the images are seen as RAW files when opening them in Photoshop, so there is room for additional adjustments, blending exposures, etc, etc.

If allowed I would d like to upload a few test files to compare the standard jpg file and the new Raw's and hear what you may find about them. The file is actually recognized as a DNG file. I am TRULY surprised by the results, as this is proof that now I can do professional jobs with the phone for real

Meantime, here is what the Canadians have tried with the Beta version and blending multiple exposures.


And if this is not enough, Huawei ( now forbidden in the USA), has put out in the Chinese and other markets, a phone with 4 Zeiss Lenses, the largest one being 5X, this is, a true telephoto going well over the 100 mm equivalent in 35mm DSLR.

The iPhone's max telephoto is 2.5X, equivalent to a 65mm lens. No doubt, the competition will go on and on! and the future of photography?? Well, I guess there is a better future for Photography than there is for Photographers!!


--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


jorgeparraphotography
 

Daniel, I would not bother the group with this if I did not know the differences between old raw capabilities and the current ones. If you check the files you will see for yourself. There is also a probable advantage with new and better lenses at work here.

And yes, it is a good thing that Apple did not try to go for some proprietary format and joined forces with Adobe. As I said, this opens the possibilities for very low budget projects with cool quality.

It is interesting that the HEIC format provides an extra channel but up to recently, the artifacts in that format as well as jpg would put a limit on how you can use those files. I will give it a shot again with this new phone.

Best 
--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


Dan Margulis
 



On Dec 16, 2020, at 10:31 AM, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@...> wrote:

It feels like the so-called Future is already jumping on us. This morning I got an alert about an update to my recently acquired iPhone 12 ProMax and the big surprise was the appearance of the Apple Pro RAW format for the iPhone. As it is still early, the editing tools in the phone remain basically the same but the images are seen as RAW files when opening them in Photoshop, so there is room for additional adjustments, blending exposures, etc, etc.

If allowed I would d like to upload a few test files to compare the standard jpg file and the new Raw's and hear what you may find about them. The file is actually recognized as a DNG file. I am TRULY surprised by the results, as this is proof that now I can do professional jobs with the phone for real

Jorge,

There’s the tradeoff between the potential extra quality of raw and the definite extra convenience of JPEG. In all contexts that I’m aware of, JPEG can produce equivalent quality the large majority of the time. Much of the rest of the time the improvement that raw can offer is marginal. Where having the raw file available makes the difference between success and failure is probably in the single digit percentages for most of us.

I can’t tell just by gazing at a scene whether it’s going to be one of those that absolutely requires raw, but I *can* tell when it absolutely does not, and in those cases I stick to JPEG. Some cameras save both formats automatically. Others, like mine, make it easy to switch between the two. In my case, a simple twist of a dial moves back and forth.

Do you know whether it’s that easy on the iPhone12? Because it sound like it might be pretty much a choose-one-or-the-other kind of deal where it would be awkward to be switching back and forth.

Dan


jorgeparraphotography
 

Dan, a simple tap on the screen gets the user to RAW format, and tapping again goes back to JPG. Can't be any simpler.

I may agree to some extent about RAW vs JPG quality, provided there is enough care and consideration during the capture. If you go to the Photos folder I uploaded, you will find an unedited JPG file that just looks fantastic, but I used a tripod and a shutter so I did not touch the phone during capture and the result is amazing indeed.

As I have been teaching an online training about smartphone photography for quite some time, I can tell that I have seen amazing shots done with an old iPhone 4S and 6S Plus and 8S just as much as I have seen terrible images shot on iPhone 11's and 12's in spite of the obvious improvements in technology. The shooter is still an integral part of the final result and with no good care, well, you get what you get.

I am confident now that I can offer Pro Services with this new phone, something I  just had not considered before. Raw or Jpg will be decided -as you indicated- by subject matter/lighting, etc, before capture.
--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


Dan Margulis
 



On Dec 16, 2020, at 5:09 PM, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@...> wrote:

Dan, a simple tap on the screen gets the user to RAW format, and tapping again goes back to JPG. Can't be any simpler.

This is great news.

I may agree to some extent about RAW vs JPG quality, provided there is enough care and consideration during the capture. If you go to the Photos folder I uploaded, you will find an unedited JPG file that just looks fantastic, but I used a tripod and a shutter so I did not touch the phone during capture and the result is amazing indeed.

I’ve looked at what you uploaded to the Photos section with a view to assuring myself that Apple was really putting something into the raw files that isn’t salvageable from the JPEG, as opposed to simply repackaging the JPEG into raw format and hoping nobody would notice. As expected, that wasn’t the case. One of the lightest version had highlight detail available for recovery where it was blown out by default (and would have been, too, in the JPEG)

As I have been teaching an online training about smartphone photography for quite some time, I can tell that I have seen amazing shots done with an old iPhone 4S and 6S Plus and 8S just as much as I have seen terrible images shot on iPhone 11's and 12's in spite of the obvious improvements in technology. The shooter is still an integral part of the final result and with no good care, well, you get what you get.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I am confident now that I can offer Pro Services with this new phone, something I just had not considered before. Raw or Jpg will be decided -as you indicated- by subject matter/lighting, etc, before capture.

OK, but if I read this correctly you are saying that it would not have occurred to you previously to use this for professional-quality photography. If that’s true, I wouldn’t agree; it’s been capable of getting excellent results for some time in certain categories of image. Having a convenient raw capability expands those categories. There are, however, still a significant number of cases where a pro camera gets indisputably better captures. So I’d say that there are certain occasions when we have no choice but to shoot with an iPhone, and certain others where it is so much more convenient to use it that we do so anyway. But if convenience is not a consideration I would still prefer to use higher-quality gear than an iPhone.

Dan


Paco
 

Hi Jorge,

In case others are not aware of this, the new version of C1 Pro now can process the HEIC files.

All the best!

Paco


jorgeparraphotography
 

I am confident now that I can offer Pro Services with this new phone, something I just had not considered before. Raw or Jpg will be decided -as you indicated- by subject matter/lighting, etc, before capture.
OK, but if I read this correctly you are saying that it would not have occurred to you previously to use this for professional-quality photography. If that’s true, I wouldn’t agree; it’s been capable of getting excellent results for some time in certain categories of image. Having a convenient raw capability expands those categories. There are, however, still a significant number of cases where a pro camera gets indisputably better captures. So I’d say that there are certain occasions when we have no choice but to shoot with an iPhone, and certain others where it is so much more convenient to use it that we do so anyway. But if convenience is not a consideration I would still prefer to use higher-quality gear than an iPhone.
--

Well, Dan let me put it out the right way, full disclosure here: I have previously used the "Smartphone card" if and when I get calls from new potential clients who want an absurd amount of images and want to pay peanuts, the classical " El Cheapo" dude or company, typically Restaurants, Clinics, local clothing stores, etc.  This goes on at least here in Miami, where the market is equally crazy. So when someone shows up barely offering half of my fees and even as low as one-third of my regular fees, I tell them I can accommodate that budget, and I will shoot with my iPhone. No one has ever approved my proposal. People simply hang the phones and sometimes pretend to be insulted by the offer before hanging!!

So the perception in the market is -still- that no iPhone image is worth a cent. This is the reverse of "Professional shooters" when we show cool pictures and are always asked what camera do we use for those pics because the perception says it is still the camera that does the magic, therefore, the iPhone shots are just for vacation snaps, something to remember by.  I will not kill myself with much promotion of low budget services, except with the intention of helping small businesses struggling under the current economic crisis, but now I am certainly confident I can provide as good quality as with my other "professional" cameras, but I only have to show up with a small pair of LED lamps and my phone and tripod to the set, all fitting a small camera bag!
As you can tell right away, the "look and feel" of a shooter showing up for a commercial assignment with a small bag that contains all his/her equipment still looks quite amateur...

And BTW, going back to speaking about the future, just a couple of days ago was the launch of Luminart AI, a very interesting contender in the market, let's say a commercial version of Artificial Intelligence applied for basic image editing, given it simplifies the processing of images to very decent levels without any masking, no selections, no layering,  no channel operations, etc, etc, overriding all previous versions of Luminart.

I am not totally fascinated by what I have seen, but the combo of the iPhone 12 ( Or Samsung Galaxy/Google Pixel equivalent) with the Luminart AI app may be a hit to deliver those small jobs the very same day of the shoot, with maximum speed and efficiency while retaining a decent level of quality. Times are definitely changing!!

Take a peek here:

https://skylum.com/luminar-ai

I will certainly keep experimenting with the new camera these holidays, as we are staying home, no travel in plans. And Happy Holidays to all of you guys!!
--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


Dan Margulis
 

On Dec 17, 2020, at 7:51 AM, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@gmail.com> wrote:

Well, Dan let me put it out the right way, full disclosure here: I have previously used the "Smartphone card" if and when I get calls from new potential clients who want an absurd amount of images and want to pay peanuts, the classical " El Cheapo" dude or company, typically Restaurants, Clinics, local clothing stores, etc. This goes on at least here in Miami, where the market is equally crazy. So when someone shows up barely offering half of my fees and even as low as one-third of my regular fees, I tell them I can accommodate that budget, and I will shoot with my iPhone. No one has ever approved my proposal. People simply hang the phones and sometimes pretend to be insulted by the offer before hanging!!

I’m not surprised, I’d be insulted myself if I were in their shoes. Why would you tell them such a thing? The question is whether you are prepared to do the job at a decent quality level at that price, not what gear and what software you intend to bring to the party. You represent yourself as a professional who’s going to give them first-rate work. The question of how you intend to do it is not relevant at this point, *unless* it’s going to adversely affect quality. Since you don’t believe that it will, no need to raise any red flags, and no need to make them feel like second-class citizens.

So the perception in the market is -still- that no iPhone image is worth a cent.

Yes, that’s the perception, just as I believe it to be the perception that any image manipulation done in a program other than Photoshop is similarly worthless. Not our job to educate the ignorant.

I will not kill myself with much promotion of low budget services, except with the intention of helping small businesses struggling under the current economic crisis
Unless you’re dying for more work at that price, no promotion seems appropriate. But we all should understand that the current crisis affects people and businesses very, very unequally. Many are doing just fine, thank you. OTOH many are in desperate condition, literally to the point of wondering how to put food on the table or on what sidewalk to sleep when the landlord evicts them for non-payment of rent. This leads to the following four reasons why such pricing may be prevalent:

1) The business may be in such terrible shape that it simply can’t afford to pay anything more, having already laid off and/or cut the pay of much of its staff.

2) The photographer may be in such terrible shape that he feels he must accept work, any work, any work at all, regardless of pricing.

3) The “photographer” may not be a photographer at all, but he feels he must accept work, any work, any work at all, regardless of pricing, regardless of whether he’s qualified to perform it, and since he owns an iPhone and a computer, he is ready to tell the world that he’s a highly skilled and experienced professional.

4) The business may not be in bad shape at all, but aware that so many people must accept work, any work, any work at all, regardless of pricing, and they decide to take advantage of the opportunity by lowballing everything. They then face the difficulty of distinguishing between persons in Category 2 and Category 3. If the person they are talking to says he plans to shoot with an iPhone, their opinion will be he is a member of Category 3.

but I only have to show up with a small pair of LED lamps and my phone and tripod to the set, all fitting a small camera bag!
As you can tell right away, the "look and feel" of a shooter showing up for a commercial assignment with a small bag that contains all his/her equipment still looks quite amateur...
It does indeed, just as it would if you showed up in the sort of ratty clothing that most of us wear around the house these days. So, since the client expects professional dress, and expects you to be carrying a heavy bag full of all kinds of gear he’s never heard of before, I would oblige him, unless it’s seriously inconvenient to carry around a large bag. You should see the amounts of garbage I used to stuff in bags I brought onto client sites, very impressive to them albeit useless to me.

If anyone asks why you are using an iPhone, say you’ve done extensive testing and found that under these particular client-specific conditions it does absolutely as well as the multi-thousand dollar camera in your bag. The client will have a real hard time getting up the nerve to challenge your assessment.

Dan


Henry Davis
 

On Dec 18, 2020, at 2:02 PM, Dan Margulis via groups.io <dmargulis=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
<Snip>

On Dec 17, 2020, at 7:51 AM, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@gmail.com> wrote:

but I only have to show up with a small pair of LED lamps and my phone and tripod to the set, all fitting a small camera bag!
As you can tell right away, the "look and feel" of a shooter showing up for a commercial assignment with a small bag that contains all his/her equipment still looks quite amateur...

If anyone asks why you are using an iPhone, say you’ve done extensive testing and found that under these particular client-specific conditions it does absolutely as well as the multi-thousand dollar camera in your bag. The client will have a real hard time getting up the nerve to challenge your assessment.

Dan
A presentation of samples ought to speak for themselves.

Henry Davis


jorgeparraphotography
 

On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 02:02 PM, Dan Margulis wrote:
I’m not surprised, I’d be insulted myself if I were in their shoes. Why would you tell them such a thing? The question is whether you are prepared to do the job at a decent quality level at that price, not what gear and what software you intend to bring to the party. You represent yourself as a professional who’s going to give them first-rate work. The question of how you intend to do it is not relevant at this point, *unless* it’s going to adversely affect quality. Since you don’t believe that it will, no need to raise any red flags, and no need to make them feel like second-class citizens.
Dan, the bad wording ( just avoid the term "insult") starts from those potential clients who pretend to tag shooters by deciding how much will they pay for the service they are requesting.

When I am confronted with this person/company who offers me one-half and sometimes even one-third of my standard fees, I know for a fact that I do not want to work with them, so I have used the "iPhone Deterrent" to force the conversation into oblivion. As a matter of fact, in some situations, people have said that they rather put their secretary to do the images on the phone, one more time disregarding the relevance of the shooter, giving more proof that these types of "clients" do not invest reasonably in quality,  (to hell with branding!), so why bother?
 

But yes, you are right that offering lower budget solutions will lend itself to people taking advantage, so, as I will certainly re-think what type of plan/strategy can be implemented to avoid this, especially when I am one of the lucky ones who does not need to go that route for financial survival.

Maybe this is just a good idea at the wrong moment.

Back to the future: BTW, soon I will be testing the standard Macbeth Color charts and see how the Phone behaves. 

In regards to the AI part of the deal, I have already tested the Remini app to try to fix blurry photos and for some situations, it works ok. The images are sent to their big data servers and the app scans for similar parts of the image, eyes, lips, shirts, eyewear, jewelry, etc and in some cases, the results may go very well, at least to rescue one critical picture for which there is no other variation or alternative.

I tried it with a portrait that had more camera shake than out of focus and you can tell the new eyes are not exact, but if you do not know the original file, you may say that the image is all-natural. The most striking part, at least for me, was the file size, since I shot the original portraits with Canon Mark IV, the initial file is close to 90 MB and I sent it via Airdrop the iPhone 12 to apply the Remini AI adjustments. Once the file was ready, I sent it back to my computer, open it in Photoshop, and layered it on top of the original file. To my surprise, I just needed to enlarge the image just a bit to match the original one for comparison purposes.

One year from now or even earlier we may be able to see these types of apps in the computers, especially since the new M1 configurations in the Apple machines will allow iOS apps to run on them as native.

--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami