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How Do I Edit iPhone RAW Photos In Other App Than Photos App?

RAW photos are saved to Photos app. If I copy them to a folder or try to edit them in another app such as Luminar Neo the photo is no longer a RAW photo. How can you copy a RAW photo as a RAW photo?

I am trying to edit RAW iPhone photos in other processing apps.
Ken Dyer

Comments: 6 Responses to “How Do I Edit iPhone RAW Photos In Other App Than Photos App?”

    2 years ago

    A RAW file is the data from the sensor of the camera. You can't edit a RAW file and produce a RAW file. Kinda in the same was a you can't take film from a film camera, develop it, and then get undeveloped film back.

    An expert at RAW photography may be able to explain this better than me. But from what I understand, the idea behind RAW is the camera does no processing of the data from the sensor at all. You just get that data. Even to view it in Photos or another app it has to be "developed," which is what an app like Photos does just to show you the photo so you can then fine-tune those adjustments.

    If you really could export as RAW again, that would just strip out any changes you made and give you back the original RAW photo data. No changes.

    So when you edit a RAW photo in Photos, the result you see is the RAW photo with the adjustments you selected applied. If you revert back to its original, it just takes those adjustments away. The original is always preserved in Photos.

    If you are doing it in another app, then it depends what you are doing, exactly. If you bring the image back into Photos as a second copy, then the original copy would still be there as a RAW, and you'd have a second copy as jpeg (or whatever format).

    If what you are really looking for is a way to save your photo without any compression, then choose an export format like TIFF or PNG instead of jpeg. Those are lossless formats. You still won't have a RAW image, and the changes you made like light and color adjustments would be "baked in" to the photo now, but it would be slightly higher quality (and much larger file size) since there would be no compression.

    Maybe if I knew what you were trying to do I could help more. You skipped the WHY question, not really saying what your goal is here.

    Ken Dyer
    2 years ago

    I am not trying to edit a RAW photo in Photos which has an extension of .DNG. I want to export the photo to another app like Luminar Neo. The problem is that when you export a photo it only exports as either a .TIFF, .PNG or .JPEG therefore it is not then a RAW photo. If you copy a photo to your Pictures folder it changes to a .JPEG file.
    Thank you Ken dyer

    2 years ago

    Ken: DNG (digital negative) is a special type. Export from Photos using "Unmodified Original" and then import into your other app, assuming that reads DNG format. Or, maybe that app has an extension for Photos to edit directly?

    2 years ago

    I m beginning to understand RAW now. I want to get an external editor. In the olden days in windows I used photoimpact I guess that was the dark ages. What simple editor would you recommend.

    2 years ago

    Meg: What sort of "editing" do you want to do? You can do a lot with the built-in Photos app and it is mostly what I use. There are many third-party apps. I like Pixelmator Pro, Affinity Photo or Acorn. But here are some more ideas:

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