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HTC One M9 can now take pictures in RAW format

Much has been said about HTC's camera in the M9, but it ultimately comes down to this: It can take some really good pictures, if you're patient and don't mind getting out of Auto mode and shooting more manually. And today M9 mobile photogs have gotten a pretty big boost to their phones with the addition of support for the RAW format, which gives you far more control over the editing of a shot (while getting rid of the compression that comes along with JPGs).

It's just a simple update of the HTC Camera app in Google Play, and from there you'll choose "Raw camera" in the modes screen.

As for image sizes, well, RAW files take up a lot of space. Getting close to 40 megabyte per picture isn't out of the question here, folks. The good news is the M9 can take an SD card to go along with that 32GB of on-board storage.

While the RAW update is only for the M9 at the moment, the app does add Crop-me-in mode for the HTC One M8 Eye and Desire Eye phones, and you now have the ability to remove modes if you don't use them.

Download: HTC Camera update from Google Play (opens in new tab)

33 Comments
  • Thats pretty cool, though the image size could be big... Is this coming to other manufacturers phones? Seen LG doing the same.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just so happens I thought of that ... I just forgot to upload those pics. See above now — but we're looking at high 30MBs. ...
  • Nexus phones can do it as well with the app Manual Camera from the Play Store.
  • tested it now. looks good so far. kinda like hdr
  • I guess this is HTC's fix for the Toshiba sensor. I'll try some test shots today...
  • I do find this to be a cool feature, but for me personally, I need a camera that can snap awesomeness out of the box. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think what you described is what most people use. Bring up the camera and let "auto" pick the settings. If you really want a very good shot, you may spend 5 minutes tinkering with settings just to get it right. For some things, that's fine..but for most pics, it's too tedious.
  • The shot will be gone in a few seconds. Posted via Android Central App- Via HTC One
  • Three settings that are common and take 30 seconds. Then you save that camera profile and select it, and it stays as the camera that always pops up by default until you pick a different one. Just mentioning that for the sake of those readers who may think that you have to adjust the camera every time you launch it ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I wonder how may people actually know what RAW format is and what they can do with it in post processing. Sounds like a good idea for an AC article.
  • I haven't downloaded it yet but I see there is also an update available for the Gallery app. I'm thinking maybe it can do RAW editing. Maybe.
  • I have an M9. The gallery will edit RAW, but it's no Lightroom/Photoshop. Just same silly basic things. The average consumer will never understand what to do with RAW, but cool that it can do it I guess.
  • That's fine. But it's a cool option to have.
  • Basically a JPEG is a compressed file and it is compressed after the imaging system has applied various algorithms to the raw data with the intent of making the image look better. The algorithms include noise reduction levels, sharpness, white balance, contrast and probably more. Generally, in good light, most imaging systems do a decent job of getting a good image (although raw would allow more seasoning to taste type of adjustments) but when things are unusual or more challenging they may fail to achieve what can be obtained by skillful post processing the raw file. Additionally, post processing a raw file allows for the user to decide just where on the continuum a picture looks better form say more detail and noise or is it better with less noise and more smearing of detail. The other issue is that often imaging systems apply corrections for lens weaknesses, such as barrel or pincushion distortion. Of course how benefiicial raw output is depends on how raw the raw file is. Some cameras do process some elements before outputting a raw file.
  • Yeah, most RAW files do still include a few basic adjustments, like lens distortion correction.
  • You have to transfer the RAW image to a computer to edit anyway. But a nice feature to offer.
  • First, the M9 has a companion JPG with the default RAW values, so you can see the picture out of the box, which btw seems way more better than auto mode imo. Second, you can use tools like Photoshop Express if you want to edit them out of the box. If you want a full professional edition with a more realistic screen, yup wait for the PC, but you can edit it just form your phone, or use th JPG if you like it already
  • Personally, if I care enough about an image to shoot in RAW, then I care enough to pull out my DSLR and its better metering technology. I still think this is the right way to go with a camera phone though. I love shooting with a DSLR but I simply don't have it with me all the time. The way I see, the more phone makers keep pushing the envelope with phone cameras, the better.
  • I don't always carry my big camera with me, so for me..that's not always an option. Do you always carry your DSLR with you?
  • Sony Xperia Z3 wants that!
  • The lg g4 does that better with proper manual controls Posted via the Android Central App
  • The HTC phones have PROPER manual controls too. And for over a year now.
  • I don't understand the big deal to the average consumer. Can I open up the app and shoot with Raw? Is post image editing complicated? Does it improve the quality compared to the S6 for example?
  • RAW is not for the average consumer. But yes, in the right hands a mediocre photo can be turned into something special. Posted via the Android Central App
  • RAW takes the photo without or almost without any processing, it's the raw picture using the lens capabilities and will let you modify the processing later. In my opinion processing is the main problem of HTC camera software, I just took a photo in RAW and the exact same photo in manual mode: in the JPG taken by RAW with auto settings, I can see more sharp and detailed information than auto out of the box, but if you're not comfortable with it you can open an editor and change a lot of variables of the photo: like white balance, exposure, denoise it, defog it, change sharpness, brightness, and so on
  • Yeah bad RAW photos. How does that saying go "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm not an expert photographer, but have you tried it at least? I did and I noticed the lens is not the problem here, it's the processing software. In my case the difference between a RAW taken with auto controls and the same photo taken with manual mode is actually noticeable: more sharp and detailed information, similar white balance and less noise. However you have manual controls in the RAW camera, so you can leave the white balance in auto or change it before taking the picture if you feel it doesn't match properly.
  • Don't forget to turn off the auto-upload feature on the photos app! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, THAT would chew up your mobile data! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Phil... Any sample images? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Your move, Samsung.
  • I dont understand why all phones dont atleast have manual focus option. Nothing more annoying than trying to focus on something for five or six shots knowing you're not too close to it but the camera autofocus just won't get it Posted via the Android Central App
  • Miss that the most since switching from a lumia 1020 Posted via the Android Central App