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How to Take RAW Photo with Mobile Phone

A camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image scanner, or motion picture film scanner.

Obviously, we should add smartphone to the list now. Since Android Lollipop 5.0, people can take RAW photos with some smartphones. Well, that doesn’t mean all Android mobile phones. It must be running on Android 5.0 or above and has Camera 2 API enabled.    

Features of RAW Image:

  1. High image quality; lossless compression or high-quality lossy compression.
  2. Finer control. Raw conversion software allows users to manipulate more parameters (such as lightness, white balance, hue, saturation, etc...) and do so with greater variability.
  3. The contents of raw files include more information.
  4. All the changes made on a raw image file are non-destructive with the original data unchanged.
  5. Camera raw file size is typically 2–6 times larger than JPEG file size. Therefore, it is suggested to save RAW images on Android SD card.

Mobile Phones That Can Take RAW Picture

The following devices are reported to be able to take RAW photos, please check by yourself.
  • Google Pixel         
  • HTC One A9, HTC One M9, HTC Bolt, HTC 10         
  • LG G4, LG G5, LG V10         
  • Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P
  • OnePlus 2, OnePlus X, OnePlus 3             
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5, Samsung Galaxy S6/S7/S8/S9
  • Apple iPhone 6s plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 8

How to Take RAW Photo with Samsung Galaxy

Let's take Samsung Galaxy S7 as an example.
Step 1: Launch camera app, tap MODE on the left, then choose Pro from the options.
Step 2. Tap Settings icon on the top-left corner.
Step 3. Toggle to enable Save as RAW file.
Step 4. Take photos with your phone.

Apps That Support Photos in RAW Format

Usually, we can set Save as RAW file on the settings of the stock camera if the phone meets all requirements above. However, the settings are different on those devices. Actually, we can use third-party apps, which are easy to take RAW photos and may support more features, in order to take photos in RAW format. Of course, Android 5.0 or above and Camera 2 API are still needed.
Open Camera
This app is not as famous as the other one (for now), but it is totally free (also free of ads) and fully able to meet your need for a RAW photo. It also supports many cool functions, like audio control. Though it is a freeware, which often means lack of support, I have not yet found anything inconvenient.    
Camera FV-5
Camera FV-5 is surely one of the most famous camera apps. It has stable updates and well-polished functions. However, the RAW option is not available in the free version (Camera FV-5 Lite), while the paid version costs $3.95.  

Related articles:
Best RAW Editors for PC in 2018 Except for Adobe Lighroom
How to Open and View RAW Image on Windows

How to Recover Deleted RAW Photos

It always happens to us that important files are deleted by mistake or accident, but it is possible to get them back with professional file recovery software. What’s special here is that not all recovery programs support RAW photo recovery.
The RAW photo actually includes many types of format, such as ARW, CRW, CR2, etc. On a mobile phone, it is usually DNG. Here we have already found one excellent photo recovery software that is able to undelete .dng files from mobile phone memory card.
Jihosoft Photo Recovery is a professional recovery program for photos, videos and audio files. For photo recovery, it supports almost all kinds of image formats, including DNG, RAF (Fuji), CRW/CR2 (Canon), NEF (Nikon), ARW/SR2 (Sony), etc.


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