The Smart RAW feature works using a new automatic logic built for getting the best RAW shots out of the iPhone XS and XR, enabling photographers to get even more detail out of their iPhone camera.
According to developer Sebastiaan de With, the Halide auto-exposure on iPhone X already optimizes for the lowest possible ISO and the highest amount of detail, making Smart RAW unnecessary on the iPhone 8 and X. However the iPhone XS and XR benefit from Smart RAW because of the new sensors in the phones.
The Smart RAW feature is on by default and promises to bring noticeably lower noise and better highlight recovery in RAW shots taken with auto-exposure. Interested users are encouraged to search Instagram using the #SmartRAW hashtag for some early examples of the enhanced shooting mode.
This update also adds an option to compare JPEG images with RAW equivalents, while the Halide watch component has been optimized to make better use of the larger screen on Apple Watch Series 4. Lastly, the developer has done some cleaning up and have managed to cut down the app size to half of what it was in the previous version.
Earlier in the week, Sebastiaan de With published an in-depth look at the front and rear-facing cameras in the iPhone XS and XS Max, providing some insight into complaints about a possible skin smoothing “beauty mode” that results in less realistic selfies than prior iPhone models.