iPhone 12 Pro Apple ProRAW vs. Google Pixel RAW: A close competition

Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro models is a new addition to photography on smartphones. Several Andriod smartphones already offer computational RAW photography which Apple has just included in iPhone 12 Pro models. YouTuber Lee Zavitz tested RAW photography on iPhone 12 Pro Max and Google’s Pixel 4 to see how Apple’s new ProRAW format differs and whether it is better than RAW.

Cupertino tech giant released Apple ProRAW in iOS 14.3 update on iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models. The company describes it as:

Apple ProRAW combines the information of a standard RAW format along with iPhone image processing, which gives you more flexibility when editing the exposure, color, and white balance in your photo. With iOS 14.3 or later, your iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can capture images in ProRAW format using any of its cameras, including when also using the Smart HDR, Deep Fusion, or Night mode features.* You can edit ProRAW photos in the Photos app and other third-party photo apps.

Apple ProRAW vs. Google Pixel RAW

@Lee Zavita tested the image quality, low light performance, night mode, highlight and shadow recovery, and details level in photos, and here are the results:

  • A big difference in file sizes on both smartphones: Pixel 4 file size 10-12 megabits and open a little slower and iPhone 12 Pro file size was 20-21 megabits images open faster
  • The image quality of photographs in RAW was quite good on both smartphones and the highlight and shadow recovery show decent details.

*Images on the Right: iPhone 12 Pro Apple ProRAW / Left: Google Pixel 4 RAW

The verdict: The RAW photography experience on both smartphones was very close. Photographs captured on iPhone 12 Pro Max’ ProRAW were “a lot more crispy”, highlight recovery was better, but they lost certain details due to noise reduction. Google Pixel 4 RAW colors were more saturated and the results were unexpectedly impressive.

Check out the full video below:

Apple ProRAW has received good reviews thus far. Professional travel photographer, Austin Mann calls it a massive leap forward in photography on iPhone and Instagram has announced support for iPhone 12 Pro Apple ProRAW.

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