How to shoot DNG (lossless raw) photographs along with JPEG on Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android 5.0 Lollipop brings a big overhaul to the look and feel of Google’s operating system on the outside, but there are some major changes under the hood. Camera in particular benefits most from the changes as Google has upgraded the API from a fairly limited version 1.0 to a more versatile Camera v2 API.

What the new API brings is support for full-on manual camera controls, so that camera apps can have access to things like shutter speed and ISO. The bigger novelty for enthusiast camera photographers, however, is the option to save a lossless raw file (in DNG format) for post-processing rather than a compressed JPEG.

The Nexus 5 in particular is the first handset to get the feature as it is one of the first to get Android 5.0 Lollipop. A third-party app called L Camera is already available for download, and it does not require root, while allowing you to use all the new features: manual shutter speed control, and DNG images.

If you have an Android 5.0 Lollipop on your device, all it takes is a download, and you can take photographs with those new controls. Take a look at the full feature set of L Camera below:

  • True manual focus (adjustable focus distance)
  • Manual exposure time (1/2, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/100, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000)
  • Manual ISO (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 10000)
  • DNG output support
  • 30fps full-resolution burst capture with focus stacking & exposure bracketing
  • Material design

source: L Camera



1. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

I don't understand any of these.But that 1st Raw pic looks epic.

13. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

There is no denying it , Android 5.0 King of mobile Operating Systems. Just immagine next android flagship generation from samsung/sony.....

20. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014


22. NOSrawesome

Posts: 49; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

And Motorola

2. tabbas97

Posts: 11; Member since: Mar 03, 2014

I'm sorry to ask but where can I get the apk ?

3. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

you need a phone that runs android L atleast until google releases the source code.

5. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

look for lcamera-debug.apk at the link in the article

4. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

So, will this allow say, 4MP captures at 60fps or 2MP at 120fps? You know, slow-mo?

11. Darkerm

Posts: 322; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

same question here

6. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Panasonic FTW !!! No need to wp, adios wp ! , with RAW mode , take a look ... the new camera KING !

7. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

You mean the bulky camera king, right ?

17. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Bulky ??? What about Sony RX-100 can you make calls ???

8. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

The problem is, people will think that you're talking to a camera, NOT a phone.....btw you know that Microsoft signed a deal with Canon so they can use their camera algorithms on smartphones, right ?

10. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

Waiting for the successor for Lumia 1020 :D

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Given an absence of leaks about the successor, it would seem to be at LEAST 6 months out. Talk about obsolete.

18. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

MS should stay with Android and ruled the world.

9. Bogdan86

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

MANUAL EXPOSURE TIME !!! FINALLY GOOGLE !!! low ISO + long exposure = beatyfull night shots.

12. rsiders

Posts: 1954; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Coming from the Nokia Lumia 920 and 1020 to switching over to the Sony Xperia Z3 next week, I have to say this is awesome news for me. Looking forward to this.

14. user996

Posts: 221; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

lumia feature for long time already

24. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

The beauty of this is that it won't require a custom camera app for the phone but anyone can do it.

25. user996

Posts: 221; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

not anyone. this is OS feature not and independent app. so me with specs like nexus 4 and even better camera can't use it. i need new OS but my manufacturer won't give me any updates anymore so what should i do? any lumia which has beg enough resolution sensor can give you both DNG and JPEG

23. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

The exposure time isnt long enough.

15. Damo579

Posts: 264; Member since: May 18, 2013

This is good. Hopefully in future updates they will increase the Shutter speed to 4 seconds as well.

19. rsiders

Posts: 1954; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Damo579 when they do that I will be a happy man. I can work with half a second for now though. The Camera FV5 app has the ability to go even beyond 4 seconds shutter speed but it is with the sacrifice of the output being reduced to 2mp or less. I've been looking though.

21. Classique

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

The raw shooting and control was a big reason for me getting a nokia this might persuade me since my upgrade is coming up I just wish shutter speed could be longer

26. paulyd0021

Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 20, 2013

Why limit the camera to a 1/2 second shutter? The Galaxy K Zoom allows for up to 16 seconds open shutter and I can get AMAZING night shots combining that with the iso turned all the way down. Longer shutter times like that allow you to take a pitch black night scene and basically make it look like it was shot during the day with a surprisingly little amount of noise. So why limit it?

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