The camera apps available on Android devices take photos in JPEG or PNG format, formats that (even by setting the quality value to the maximum) inevitably lead to data compression and therefore to a loss of quality. If you intend to make a photo retouch on the shots taken with your smartphone and tablet, you will need to use the RAW format. Find out in this guide what the RAW format is the best apps to take RAW photos on Android.
Take RAW photos on Android
Already in another guide we had talked about the best free Android photography applications to edit photos on your mobile device, great for giving a creative touch to photos, but none of them allowed you to take RAW photos.
What the RAW format
When you take a photo with the camera of your smartphone, this is processed by the CPU of the device, which will apply effects or corrections where necessary and finally save the photo (compressing it) in the device memory or on the external memory. This whole process takes very few seconds on modern devices, you don't even notice the work of the processor! In these cases the photo will be saved in JPEG format or at most PNG.
The RAW format is the "raw" image as captured by the sensor of your device: no effect and no improvement, the image passes directly from the sensor to the device memory. This image format used by photo professionals to be able to work more effectively in post-production (referring the improvements to PC photo-retouching programs). The RAW format (not presenting compression) takes up much more space in the device memory, take this into account when using this format! The format identified with the DNG extension files.
The best apps for taking RAW photos on Android
After seeing what RAW means and why it is better to choose it as an image format, I will show you the best apps to take RAW photos on Android. There are very few devices that boast the saving of photos in RAW format, but by trying one of these apps it will be possible to save in this format whatever the device or camera you have.
Manual Camera the first app that I recommend you to try to take RAW photos on Android. The app offers a lot of settings, you will seem to be using an SLR! Available settings for manual adjustment include: ISO, shutter speed, white balance and exposure. Obviously it allows you to save the photos taken in DNG (RAW) format.
You can download Manual Camera for free from the following link.
DOWNLOAD | Manual Camera
Open Camera is a free app that offers full freedom in choosing the settings with which to take photos. Being open source, anyone can improve its features if practical in programming. The app allows you to save the photos taken in DNG (RAW) format, ready to be loaded onto the PC and edited.
You can download Open Camera for free from the following link.
DOWNLOAD | Open Camera
Among the apps for taking RAW photos on Android could not miss Camera FV-5, among the best in the category! It allows you to set a large number of parameters (exposure, white balance, ISO and shutter speed) and also supports saving photos in the 16-bit RAW format with DNG extension. If you are looking for a professional tool you cannot give up this app, even if it is not available for free.
You can download Camera FV-5 as a paid app (at a cost of 2.99) from the following link.
DOWNLOAD | Camera FV-5
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Finally, I would like to point out the app developed by the creators of Photoshop, the best photo-retouching program currently available on the market! With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom you can take photos in the DNG format, which has become standard for the RAW format. The app allows you to synchronize all photos with your Adobe account to have them immediately at hand as soon as you open Adobe Photoshop on your PC. If you are still looking for the best app to take RAW photos on Android, play it safe with Adobe!
You can download Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for free from the following link.
DOWNLOAD | Adobe Photoshop Lightroom