Nokia has, of late, invested a lot of time and energy into the cameras on its phones. We’ve all seen the ad where people get clotheslined at a school play talking about its lens and zoom features. But Nokia is really doubling down, according to rumor, and going RAW.
For those who aren’t photography nerds, a quick overview about why this is important. RAW files are what they sound like: Literally, the raw data from your image sensor, largely unprocessed. This is a great thing to have for a whole bunch of fiddly arty reasons, but it’s also good for consumers because it means you have total control over how your snapshots are processed. It seems like a minor thing to some, but the introduction of RAW files was a big deal for professional photographers, and now it’ll be a big deal for consumers.
RAW is War
What this means for consumers is essentially you can take better photos. One of my pet peeves are the tiny, pixel-crammed sensors on smartphones; they take crappy photos, thanks to certain problems of sensitivity and engineering. But, with access to the RAW files, you may not be able to fix your sensor size, but you can address a lot of problems it causes, like noise and discolored pixels. Being on a smartphone, it’ll also allow you to use more complex and subtle image manipulation to achieve the effect you want. OK, yeah, it means there will be more shamelessly flattering photos on dating sites, but this is still cool.
2014 Is RAW
Nokia will apparently be adding these features to their smartphones starting in 2014, among other features such as adjustable focus and social sharing and tweaking features. It may not be enough to sell phones on its own. But if you care about photography, it might be time to switch to Nokia.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.