HTC One M9 now supports RAW image format thanks to latest camera update



HTC’s camera app has received a nice upgrade over at Google Play. The biggest feature in tow is for users of the HTC One M9 — HTC has enabled the RAW image format for those who prefer capturing images that way.

In case you don’t know, RAW format is the completely raw, untouched result of whichever image you’re capturing. No software or hardware-based encoding or alterations are carried out.

The benefit of shooting RAW is that the image retains 100% of the original color information, so it’s much preferred for making adjustments to color, saturation, tone, contrast and all sorts of other things. While it’s still possible to make these changes to an image encoded in JPEG, the partial loss of original color information might make it difficult to achieve the exact effect you want.

The one downside to RAW is that it typically has to be encoded to a file format suitable for sharing on the web after it has been edited. That extra step is a small price to pay for being given total control over the outcome of your image. There’s also the issue of RAW files being significantly larger in file size than JPEG images of the same resolution.

The lack of RAW format typically isn’t an issue for your everyday camera user, but professional photographers view the ability to capture in RAW as invaluable. It’s there if you need it, but if the original image format worked well enough for you then you’re just as free to continue.

Here’s a quick list of some of the other changes coming along as part of this update:

  • Crop-Me-In mode, only available on the HTC One (M8 EYE) running Android 5.0 Lollipop and the HTC Desire EYE
  • Adjustable divider in Split Capture mode
  • Add and remove camera modes

Be sure to grab it from the Google Play Store right here if all that sounds good to you.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. If RAW on a phone shoots just like RAW on a digital camera/DSLR, then you also have to factor in that RAW files are saved at the full Megapixel size, not compressed. This means, photos in RAW will take up more storage space. And, if you edit on your phone and save a JPEG to share from your phone, you’ll then have two files of the same photo stored.

    1. The raw camera mod on my HTC M8 is simply raw sensor data – compact but useless until post processed on a pc.

      At that point, my 4 MP shots expand to 24 MB 16-bit TIFFS (4 MP x 3 subpixels/pixel x 2 bytes/subpixel).

      A great many complaints about the apparently lower picture resolution on the M8 is very obviously due far more to the built-in jpeg processing and compression – not the MP.

      Compact raw sensor data is available from Nikons, Canons and many others.

      There’s even an Android app to post process several types of DSLR raw images.

      HTC chose the Adobe DNG format for this one.

      I can’t wait to see the results from this!

      1. Please do share your results! If I can land a good cellphone camera with RAW capabilities, I’d be inclined to leave my DSLR home for my small after work adventures and use my phone.

        My Z3 takes great photos but I’d still prefer RAW + a little bit of manual camera control, mainly shutter, aperture, and ISO.

        1. I can point you to where a few of us used the M8 raw mod (discontinued but I still use it) but for the M9, bookmark this thread –

          I haven’t gotten my M9 yet (WifelyMon and I are going rounds over who’s updating what first lol) so I can’t offer photos but I’m sure you’ll see results in that thread really soon. :)

          FWIW, here’s two shots of my buddie’s dog, post-processed differently, playing with colors for impact, I’m sure you know the deal –

          That’s from an M8 lol – processed with dcraw

          Camera and dcraw mods courtesy of great guy at XDA – defcomg – his thread

  2. oh man — like for real this is a cool thing. I’d much rather have the raw image vs a compressed jpeg anyday.

  3. Thanks for listening, HTC development team! ;) :)

  4. Nah!! The M9 ain’t sheh. Mmmmhmmm!! I see HTC listens to the people.

  5. OK – the raw format here is the standard Adobe digital negative format – DNG file type – so it does need post processing – and you can do it on the HTC M9.

    Check out “Raw Decoder Free”

    Check out “Photo Mate R2” for full power editing and decoding

  6. I want to see a real head to head comparison of all things M9, S6, and G4 once it comes out. Now that people have been using HTC camera with update for while.

  7. cool. Now lets randomly survey 100 people on the street and ask them what the raw file format is. I’d be surprised if 5% did. Of course this is good news for an extremely limited number of folks who care about things like this. Most people want to point and shoot and capture great shots in auto jpeg mode like on the Galaxy S6 or Iphone 6

    1. I’ll wait while you randomly survey a hundred people on the street and see how many can take a decent picture with anything.

      Seriously – this is a great mod.

      Just because the vast number of people eat McDonald’s hamburgers is no reason to go off on a gourmet hamburger announcement, yeah? :D

      1. It is a great thing for a select group of people who will take the time to understand and use it. most will not.

        1. You just described Bluetooth to me. I have zero use for that, and it’s just a gimmick as far as I’m concerned. :D

          Your point?

          It seems to be – by your own words – that you need an S6 or iP6 to take decent snapshots.

          Wth did everyone do before those came along?? rotflmao – I think that a lot of decent pictures have come from lots of different phones that have made lots of families happy. :)

          And without mods like this one – manufacturers don’t compete and don’t improve.

          I just don’t see the problem with the fact that not everyone will use this.

          How often do you use every hardware and software feature on your phone?

          Do most people use NFC? No. No they do not.

        2. Ignorance of the masses isn’t the problem of those who aren’t ignorant ;)

    2. Oh, so now it’s just a gimmick? Before it’s blasphemy that people are paying so much for phones and they can’t do this or that simple thing. That “simple” thing gets added to a not-so-popular phone and it’s just a gimmick no one needs. That same thing gets added to a more popular phone and it’s “about time”.

      No sir, This will have just as much use as everything else on the phone. Every feature is targeted towards a limited amount. Some groups that use certain features are larger than others, but every little thing counts.

    3. I tried to down vote you, but I don’t think they allow us anymore :-(

  8. I snapped a bunch of pix w/the M9 @ the aquarium yesterday.
    Pix actually came out real nice,even in low light (basically everything in AUTO,turned off flash in dark/reflective situations).
    Woulda been nice to have this update then (not that I would have known WTF to do w/it,but,Google & A/F is your friend)………………….

  9. Awesome! I was hoping for a trend like this to happen 2 years ago.

  10. Why did you dump this on my m8.
    You changed my camera and gallery and I do not like it at all.
    Same with putting your themes on my M8

  11. Oh is that what the phone really looks like? From the recent ads I couldn’t really tell but I can describe the actors. They featured a hell of a lot more than the actual phone.

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