One the most powerful feature in Halide is support for RAW file capture. Unlike JPEG or HEIC files, RAW files give you incredible latitude when you go to edit the image later.
On the left is the default image you'd get from the iPhone camera. On the right is the same image with a few edits that are only possible when shooting RAW.
That said, RAW is not a magic button that makes your photos better. Because it's a bit more complicated to work with, if you don't know what you're doing you can end up with worse photos than if you just took a JPEG. Make sure you read and understand the section on editing RAW files.
An Important Note about Compatibility To shoot RAW, you require an iPhone 6S or above. Also, the front facing "selfie" cam does not support it. Unfortunately, these are limitations imposed by Apple, so there's no way to support RAW on older devices.
How to Toggling RAW
Inside the quick bar, you'll find a button labeled RAW.
Tap it to turn it on, and you're good to go. Now when you take a photo, it will save a RAW alongside the JPEG.
Do you see MAX instead? When RAW isn't available, we offer MAX mode. When it's enabled: we save your JPEG or HEIC file at the maximum compression quality. It isn't nearly same as RAW, but it's the best we can do.
If RAW is awesome, why disable it? There are two big tradeoffs when you enable RAW. First, the files are huge. While a JPEG can be one megabyte, RAWs are over 12 megabytes each!
The other challenge is that Apple turns off its magical image post-processing. This is because RAW files are, by definition, completely unedited originals. That means that your images may appear blurrier. If you don't plan to do detailed editing, you're probably better of trusting apple's standard post-processing.
Checking for RAW
If you can't remember if you had RAW enabled when you took a photo, don't worry. Open the photo in the photo reviewer. In the upper right, you should see both RAW and JPG (or HEIC) listed.
Use a RAW Editor
The most common mistake people make is to go to the trouble of shooting RAW only to open the file in an app that doesn't support it. Most apps don't know how to read these files— and that includes Instagram and Facebook! When you open the file in an app that doesn't support it, the app falls back to the plain old JPEG. You'll be very disappointed.
If you don't know for sure if an app supports RAW, assume that it doesn't.
Darkroom is our recommended RAW editor. It's even free to download.
Once you've downloaded Darkroom, its triangular logo will appear in Halide. Tap it, and Halide will send the current photo to Darkroom for editing.
Editing RAW is a lengthy topic. Sebastiaan wrote two detailed articles about it:
Exporting the Files
You may want to export your RAW file to a desktop computer. There are a few ways to accomplish this.
If you're just exporting a single file, tap the action button— the up arrow next to the trash can. Halide will ask if you want to share the JPEG or RAW. Tap RAW. This will open the standard iOS share-sheet, with options like AirDrop.
If you plan to export dozen of photos at once, we recommend plugging your phone into a computer and opening a camera-import app, such as "Image Capture" on the mac. It will show a list of photos in your camera roll. The RAW files end in a .DNG file extension. (This stands for "Digital Negative.")
Third Party Apps? As we said before, not every third party app knows how to read RAW files. So if you try to share to a cloud service using that share sheet, don't be surprised if your favorite app just saves a JPEG file. We've tried many ways of hinting the correct file format to other apps, with no luck. If your favorite app saves the file incorrectly, please reach out to the developer to let them know, since there's not much we can do.