The 48MP ProRAW photos on the iPhone 14 Pro are a game changer

When you look at this image, your first reaction may be that it was taken with a camera equipped with a long-range zoom lens. It has a good amount of detail and is obviously a close-up shot, so you might think it was shot with a periscope lens if it’s a smartphone or a zoom camera.

What if I told you this image was taken with a phone’s 24mm camera, and more, and if I showed you that this is actually just a small cutout from the original photo, which actually looks like this:

Holy cow! Yes, this really is the new iPhone 14 Pro and for the past few days I’ve been playing around with the new 48MP ProRAW files and was blown away by the amount of detail you get. This new 48MP resolution is a fourfold jump over standard 12MP files and you should definitely give it a try, and while other companies have been using even larger resolutions for years, I’ve actually noticed that in many photos the iPhone’s 48MP files they actually looked better than 108MP shots from the biggest competitor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The difference can vary depending on what you shoot and how you shoot it, but it seems that 48 megapixels on the iPhone can sometimes provide users with more detail than 108 megapixels on other phones (and let’s not forget that. Motorola just shipped a phone with a 200MP camera and we’ll be exploring this in more detail soon.) We have yet to compare this in more detail using Samsung’s Expert ProRAW, but this was impressive enough to note.
But if you’re already in the iPhone field, you probably don’t care much about other phones, you want to see what it means to you and if you should start shooting 48MP ProRAW with every photo now.

Well, let me give you some examples that convinced me that 48MP is an absolute must for those special photos you really want to remember. The images above might also have you considering the option of blasting iPhone photos into print and hanging them in your home, which wasn’t really possible with the 12MP resolution we’ve had so far (iPhones however have been capable of capturing high-resolution panoramic shots that have been good for printing for years now).

Comparison of ProRAW details of iPhone 12MP vs 48MP (in cropped images):

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I have to admit I wasn’t expecting that at all this type of a difference, but the image above speaks for itself.

But as much as I want you to start shooting in 48MP RAW right now, I have to warn you that there is a bit of a learning curve. Put simply, it’s a bit of a hassle to run in ProRAW. First, each photo you capture is around 80MB in size (we have a couple of 120MB images, the size of a video). It happens to be around 10 times the size of a regular JPEG file and most people won’t want to keep those files around and if you want to share them with the world you have to process them first, which takes extra time and effort.

I have my own routine which I have now perfected and it is very fast. Here’s my process: I run these files via the popular VSCO camera app, which supports the Apple ProRAW profile (Lightroom, Halide, and others also do and they’re just as great). Once I import the 48MP file into VSCO I can just export it and in seconds you’ll end up with a super detailed JPEG file, or you can start perfecting it, but keep in mind that you don’t actually need to as the built-in ProRAW profile does. already for you.

Scene 2

And since I was blown away by the results, I continue with my mission to convince you that shooting 48MP ProRAW files is absolutely now it’s worth it and I’ll never go back to shooting 12MP JPEGs again.

The faces of the girls sitting at the bar are a proof in themselves, but they also look at the blades of grass and how much more detail you get with these files. It’s like you shot it with a completely different camera.

Scene 3

And as any RAW photographer will tell you, the details in the ProRAW file below might be a little faint, but you can easily fine-tune them by pressing a slider and get a nice, sharp image, only with an amount of detail you can never get a 12MP JPEG files for iPhone.

Note, however, that you can only shoot 48MP files in 1X mode. ProRAW files at other focusing distances result as 12MP images and do not benefit from the high resolution.

Scene 4

One of my problems with iPhone cameras for years has been the excessive artificial sharpness that manifests itself as a kind of glow around the edge of objects in photos, and watch the new 48MP mode get rid of that too.

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Even in low light, the benefits of a large resolution file are enormous. While you do occasionally get fine-grained noise, the sheer amount of detail on these files more than compensates for this.

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If your models aren’t as steady as this statue here, though, you should be warned that 48MP files are processed for about a second or two after pressing the shutter button, which is just enough to make you miss that special moment. or that nice move.

And that would probably be the second reason you might want to stick with the 12MP photos (the first is the hassle of processing RAW files, of course). In the normal 12MP mode, you can simply shoot in burst mode capturing dozens of photos in the time it takes the iPhone to process a single RAW file.

Scene 7

And here’s just another example to convince you of the power of this new camera mode in the iPhone 14 Pro.

So what do you think? Are you ready to take a dip with ProRAW files now that the 48 megapixel resolution is really worth it, or do you think it’s just a hassle?

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