Most high-end and even a number of mid-range Android smartphones today allow you to capture images with the rear camera in the "RAW" DNG format. The reason for this feature's existence has always been a bit befuddling to me, personally, though. While I can understand why a professional photographer found camera-less in a situation where an image absolutely must be captured and is forced to use their smartphone would want to use RAW capture, that's a hell of a niche use case.

The reason we most often hear is that RAW images are "better" for editing, which in and of itself I find myself grappling with. RAW images are more malleable in the context of an editing application like Lightroom (which, unrelated, I love) and lack the processing that would be applied to JPEG images you smartphone captures, certainly, and they do have vastly superior archival value, given that all of the image sensor's capture data is present. They're also very large, sometimes obnoxious to manage (especially without desktop software), and must be rendered to a more common format before actually being shared or published.

Those who do photography professionally, of course, understand that this is the name of the game with RAW - that's just how it works. But as someone who is not a photographer but does often have to use a camera for my work, even I stopped using the RAW mode on my large Sony mirrorless camera long ago for exactly the same reasons I don't use it on a smartphone. And what I found was, somewhat surprisingly to me at the time, that I actually preferred the processing the camera applied to any kind of result I could achieve with the same image captured in RAW in Lightroom. Granted, much of that is down to skill - professional photographers use RAW for a reason, and there's no disputing it is a valuable tool under the right circumstance. I've always just had a very hard time understanding what that frequent circumstance could be with a smartphone.

So, I ask: do you use RAW/DNG capture on your smartphone? Why? How many of you tried RAW/DNG capture on your phone and then went back to JPEG? Vote and discuss in the comments below.

Do You Shoot Images In RAW/DNG On Your Smartphone Camera?

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