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Google Working to Bring RAW Capability to Android Phones

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Given the incredibly positive response Nokia got from the photo community when it announced that Lumia phones would soon be able to capture images in DNG RAW, it makes sense that operating systems other than Windows Phone would soon follow suit. Lo and behold, it seems Google is on the cusp of just such an announcement itself.

The news hit the Internet thanks to Android app developer Josh Brown, who noticed some code that seems to indicate RAW+JPEG capture capability is on its way, it just wasn’t ready for the KitKat release.

According to Ars Technica, Google began work on the API all the way back in December of last year, but about a month ago (around the time when companies put a stop to all new developments and switch gears to bug fixing ahead of a major release) work on the API was put on hold. What was in the code before it was put to a halt, however, is very exciting indeed:

Full-capability devices allow for per-frame control of capture hardware and post-processing parameters at high frame rates. They also provide output data at high-resolution in uncompressed formats, in addition to compressed JPEG output.

DNG RAW image samples released by Nokia had a lot of folks very excited about just how much post-processing potential was there.

DNG RAW image samples released by Nokia had a lot of folks very excited about just how much post-processing potential was there.

Other improvements found in the un-released API include support for burst mode, and face detection which can be used for everything from facial recognition to focusing. There’s also mention of built-in support for “removable” cameras — which has most people picturing the Sony QX10 and QX100 — but the wording is vague enough that we won’t speculate on that.

No word on when these improvements will finally reach Android phones, but it looks like nine months after Google’s Vic Gundotra asked users to “just wait and see” how awesome the cameras in Nexus phones were going to get, Google might finally be ready to deliver on those words.

(via Engadget)