Samsung is making Expert RAW available for older Galaxy camera phones. Recently announced, the Camera app with Pro controls has been extended to the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 2 – joining the Galaxy S22, S21 and Z Fold 4. Any of these Samsung Galaxy devices can download this. App from the Samsung Galaxy App Store.
- Samsung Expert RAW app expands compatibility.
- Now available for Galaxy S20 Ultra, Note 20 Ultra and Z Fold 2.
- The app has hardware requirements such as 2x optical zoom and at least 8 GB of RAM.
Version 1.0.05.4 released by Samsung does not add new functions to the previous version. Instead, it’s an update meant to support the rest of the Galaxy shooters with compatible camera hardware. The app should be globally available, avoiding sideloading like previous releases.
Why use the Galaxy Expert RAW app
Expert RAW App is a standalone camera app. It was originally limited to a few Galaxy handsets with optical zoom sensors and Bayer RAW technology. The benefit of the app is that it adds more flexibility to users by adjusting various camera controls that are not available from a standard camera app. While shooting, you can adjust ISO, shutter speed, white balance and manual focus and more.
Download the Samsung Expert RAW app from the Galaxy App Store
Another key feature is the option to capture DNG 16-bit RAW images over multi-mix HDR files. These formats are mainly used in post-processing by amateurs or professional photographers. Users can use direct integration with Adobe’s Lightroom program.
Which Galaxy phones are compatible with the Expert RAW app?
There is a hardware requirement when running the Samsung Expert RAW app. Currently available for download for devices with 2x optical zoom lens, Bayer RAW, Snapdragon 865 and later devices and at least 8 GB of RAM. If you have one of these Galaxy phones, you can download the Expert RAW app:
However, there is a downside to using a professional RAW app on older Galaxy devices as it requires higher processing and memory requirements. Samsung notes that processing times may vary and be slower with the above models. It is not clear whether the South Korean company plans to add compatibility with other devices such as the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Flip 3 in the future.
How to shoot with the Expert RAW app
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Expert RAW app lets you choose all available focal lengths. Samsung’s original camera app lets you select ultra-wide and wide-angle lenses only in Pro mode. Apart from that, the camera app looks very similar to the pro mode of the regular Samsung camera app.
You can manually set the ISO value, shutter speed, exposure value and focus as shown in the image below on the left side – or leave them in the automatic setting. At the top of the screen are icons for settings, self-timer, measurement mode, and histogram display. The latter helps to judge whether your manually set exposure is correct or not.
The Professional RAW app itself doesn’t offer many settings–and unlike the regular Samsung Camera app, it always launches RAW + JPEG at the same time.
Now, why do you shoot RAW? As mentioned at the beginning, relying on automatic mode in standard camera applications often gives good results. But when you end up with JPEG images that are the result of some serious computational photography magic, you lose a lot of flexibility.
White balance, for example, is baked into the image—like exposure. By editing the RAW files manually, you can not only fine-tune the color and exposure settings, but also save quite a few details, as shown in the comparison image below.
Although shooting RAW pictures can be a problem for a new user, the difference in quality as seen in the pictures above is definitely worth it. Once you get the hang of what each setting changes, a whole new world of photography opens up before you and your Samsung Galaxy phone proves to be a great device.
Have you taken advantage of the advanced features on your phone’s camera app or don’t want to take pictures with automatic settings and worry about the available options?