Digital Negative App Lets You Shoot RAW Photos with Your iPhone

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About a year ago, we shared an app called 645 Pro that saves photos shot with the iPhone (and other iOS devices) as TIFF files. Now there’s a new app that’s even more “raw”. Digital Negative, a new app by a company called Cypress Innovations, claims to be the first app that captures uncompressed images that retain 100% of the information captured by the camera sensor.

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The app works on the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch, and stores DNG (Digital Negative) files, just like the RAW DNG files produced by cameras that have signed onto the DNG standard.

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This means you’ll be able to pop the files into your favorite RAW processing program (e.g. Adobe Camera RAW, Lightroom, Aperture) and post-process them there.

The app has preview tools built in for on the go reviewing, and also features a built-in RAW developer for if you’d like to produce JPEGs on the go. You can also set it to capture TIFF or JPEG images for times when you don’t need to store RAW files.

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When capturing a photo using the app, it’ll show you a real-time histogram to help you avoid under- or over-exposing your photos. Other camera features include exposure locking, flash control, focus control, and zoom controls.

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Once photos are captured, DNG files can be stored on Dropbox, or JPEG images can be shared on Facebook.

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The app is available for $3 over in the iTunes App Store. Reviews are mixed so far, so even though the idea is interesting: caveat emptor.

Digital Negative [App Store via The Phoblographer]

Update: It appears the company’s claims are misleading. Even though the website claims that the app “captures uncompressed images that retain all of the information recorded by the camera sensor,” CNET reports that it simply “collects the uncompressed red, green, and blue color information for each pixel in the camera’s image and stores it as a DNG file.” In other words, it’s uncompressed data that has been converted into a DNG raw file, not the RAW sensor data itself.

  • Hynee

    So will the .DNG files have noise reduction applied to them before being encoded? The app description says “uncompressed images that retain all of the information recorded by the camera sensor,” so it shouldn’t have NR applied.

    Also other apps like ProCamera have live histograms.

    Also where is our (iPhone user’s) ability to directly set shutter speed and ISO? Why won’t Apple allow that?

  • CoffeeWithChris

    It will be interesting to see how this develops. If it really is a true “raw” file as a DNG it will be a game changer. If it’s just a jpg in a dng wrapper, then it’s lame :-)

  • Zos Xavius

    I’m guessing its a tiff embedded in a DNG. I’d be awfully surprised if they got the “RAW” data.

  • Omar Rapace

    I was very excited when I read this article, but according to Imaging Resources, it has nothing to do with “raw”. Still same heavily processed data converted to DNG. It is borderline false advertising.

  • Zos Xavius
  • Zos Xavius

    Looks fake, buyer beware:

    “UPDATE: It looks like we were right, this isn’t true raw, but rather a modified TIFF. CNET talked to the developers, and it’s the uncompressed RGBA data before it gets processed down to JPEG, but not true, direct from sensor, raw. And when PopPhoto took the app for a spin they were less than impressed with its capabilities, especially with regards to recovering information lost in highlights and shadows.”

    “UPDATE 2: See the comment from reader HTH below – He/she reports finding JPEG artifacts in the DNG files. If that’s true, then all the app is doing is capturing a standard JPEG and simply reformatting as a DNG file. We haven’t tested it ourselves, so can’t confirm or deny this, but if true, it would mean the app’s claims of capturing uncompressed data were false.”


  • tyrohne

    Bingo. As an iOS developer I don’t see how they can claim native sensor based RAW on how iOS handles image processing.

    Update: Just saw your updates… makes sense.. gimmicky

  • Hynee

    Thanks for including the source.

  • Mansgame

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think there is a way for a 3rd party to have access to the RAW data that the phone captures without some sort of access from the manufacturer.

  • Zos Xavius

    I try. :)

  • BigD

    Here’s another situation where Peta Pixel jumps the gun, reports on something and then doesn’t bother to add an update to correct their false information, leaving to their readers to do it for them.

  • dannybuoy

    645 Pro is the app to go for if you want as close to RAW as you can get.

  • Matt Carthum

    With this “update” to the article, I would think the author would have the article taken down or at least change the headline.

  • Emily

    Lame I wish It was real “raw” data.