I have heard a lot of folks that want to use the Expert RAW app – the advanced camera app from Samsung – to take photos, but want to know when and how to use the app. I thought I could share my thoughts here so it can help those who want to know more about the Expert RAW app. You can watch my video if you don’t want to read the lengthy post below 🙂
The Samsung camera app is powerful and has many options to choose from when you want to capture that moment, be it a photo or video. If you want more control, then the Pro mode puts the control in your hands, so you get the photo and video you want. But what if you wanted more control? Samsung’s Expert RAW app is an advanced camera app for the S21, S22, and Z Fold series. The Expert RAW app brings advanced photography features and controls, giving users greater access to the phone’s cameras and better control over their photos.
How does the Expert RAW app differ from the standard camera app? First, the Expert RAW is only available to S21 series, S22 series, and Z Fold3/4 series phones. Second, three main differences make the Expert RAW app a great utility for advanced photography.
Focus on photos
- The Expert RAW app supports only taking photos. You cannot record videos. This is both good and bad. Good in the sense that it’s laser-focused on the goal, which is to help you take great photos. There are no distractions, not even different photo modes like single-take and portrait modes.
Advanced controls in your hands
- The advanced controls can manually adjust photo settings such as the ISO, shutter speed, exposure levels, focus, and white balance settings.
- This is where it is essential to know what these settings mean and how they affect your photo. Ok, let’s go over them quickly!
- ISO controls camera light sensitivity. By increasing the ISO, you make your photos brighter. So, by manually adjusting the ISO, you can control how bright you want your photo to be.
- Shutter speed is the length of time the camera shutter is open while the camera takes a photo. The more time it is open, the more light will travel through the shutter.
- Exposure refers to the overall brightness of an image, which is determined by the amount of light that hits the camera sensor. So, higher values will result in over-exposed images, and lower values will result in under-exposed images. The Expert RAW app also has a histogram where you can see if your image is overexposed or underexposed – if the graph leans more toward the left, it’s underexposed, and towards the right, it’s overexposed.
- The focus option allows you to either manually adjust the focus points or automatically adjust them based on touch points in your camera.
- White balance allows you to adjust the color of your photo to match the light source. So, for example, you could adjust your photo to be of a warm color tone or cool depending on the day you take the photo.
- Now, that is a lot to digest. Try these settings one by one to see how it changes your photo. That is the best way to learn!
- The next advanced control you get is using a specific camera lens. For example, in my S22 Ultra, I can choose to shoot with ultra-wide-angle, wide angle, telephoto, or super telephoto lenses. Each one has its specific purpose. With the Expert RAW app, once you choose a lens, it will not automatically switch lenses when you zoom in on your subject – instead, it will zoom in using the selected lens. This is a big difference. When you use the standard camera app in Pro mode, the camera app will decide which lens to use and switch automatically. So, with the Expert RAW app, you have total control.
Powerful RAW output
- Expert RAW is built around shooting in the RAW image format, complete with a wider dynamic range that produces more detail in bright and dark areas of a photo. This gives you control when editing these photos. These 16-bit RAW image files can be between 10MB and 30MB each – meaning they are large files!
- This brings up an important point. With the standard camera app, you can expect it to produce a great photo that you can share instantly with your friends and family. However, the RAW output from the Expert RAW app is not meant to be the greatest output but rather an output you can post-process and adjust the settings to produce the desired photo. Only then could you expect the photo to be of something share worthy!
- So, you will need apps that can edit RAW photos. Adobe LightRoom and Google Snapseed are some examples. I would recommend Google Snapseed as it is free, but if you have Lightroom, that is great too! Let’s take a look.
Would love to know if you are using the Expert RAW app. What do you think so far?