New Camera App Provides "RAW" Image Format
Developer Jag.gr’s 645 PRO may be the most "professional" camera app available for the iPhone. If ISO, f-stops, and RAW aren’t in your vocabulary, sticking with Instagram or the native camera app might be a smart choice.
Jag.gr has packed a dizzying array of controls and options that many professional photographers and imaging professionals will recognize. The app borrows design elements from DSLR, rangefinder and medium-format cameras on top of providing a plethora of professional shooting options. Shooters can control their exposure, white balance, focus and utilize a live histogram as well as real-time ISO and shutter speed readings. Jag included auto-focus lock and auto exposure lock buttons as well.
A few other features put this app in another league in terms of pro shooting features. The ability to select different “Backs” (aka aspect ratios) is a nice treat. The backs range from square (1:1) to panoramic (2.83:1). These different backs are all software crops as the iPhone’s image sensor is natively 4:3. To utilize the entirety of the iPhone’s sensor user’s should select the 645 back as it uses the entire sensor without a crop.
Jag included a film mode selector as well. Each film/color mode attempts to replicate a film stock used in the old 645 Pentax medium-format film cameras. The film modes range from monochrome (black and white) to very rich, saturated color.
However, the most interesting feature is the addition of a psuedo-RAW image format. This camera app gives users access to the processed "lossless" output of iPhone’s camera in what Jag calls “developed” RAW TIFF files. The RAW mode captures the processed data right off the iPhone’s camera sensor before the phone compresses the data into a JPEG and instead saves it as a TIFF file. These files can only be accessed later through iTunes.
The "developed" RAW TIFF image mode is a first for camera applications. Every other camera app, even the native camera app, compresses photos into JPEGs. For those unfamiliar with RAW image processing, RAW image files provide photographers with as much information as possible straight off the camera's image sensor. The unprocessed images often look “flat”, but this is because they contain an insane amount of color information and give photographers tons of latitude to fine tune their images in post.
While the “developed” RAW TIFF files aren’t “true” RAW image files, the fact Jag, is able to skip the JPEG compression and retain more color information is amazing. Don’t expect your iPhone images to rival DSLR’s or high-end point-and-shoot cameras, but for $2.99 645 Pro's additional features should satisfy those who want a little more control over their phone photography.
Source: DP Review