Samsung details how the S22 Expert RAW camera app came to be, tips release for more Galaxies

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Samsung details how the S22 Expert RAW camera app came to be, tips release for more Galaxies
The Samsung RAW Expert app for the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S21 series' cameras lets you have DSLR-level control over many of the core camera functions instead of relying on the built-in computational algorithms in Auto mode that most of us do when taking a shot. 

Besides the S-series, the Expert camera app is arriving to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in April 2022, while it will be tailored for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 later this year. 
The two main culprits behind the app's development - Hamid Sheikh, Head of the Intelligent Imaging Team at Samsung Research America’s (SRA) Mobile Processor Innovation (MPI) Lab, and Girish Kulkarni, Head of the Camera Solutions Group at the Samsung R&D Institute India-Bangalore (SRI-B), - sat down for an interview and divulged how Samsung's RAW Expert camera app came to be.

Q: What does the Expert RAW app do? What are the main benefits for users?

Hamid: Expert RAW really gives users the ability to take full control of their mobile photography experience much like a professional photographer would. The app captures much more comprehensive data for each image, which can be used to both improve photos and artistically enhance them with editing software like Adobe Lightroom – the go-to app for professional photographers.

To improve the overall camera experience, we worked closely with Adobe to tightly couple Expert RAW with Lightroom. The result is that photographers have full control over their creative experience. Novice photographers can also utilize automatic set points for camera controls, and then use the Samsung-specific default values in Lightroom. In both cases, the tight integration of the two apps makes for an enjoyable experience.

Girish: Expert RAW is an epic leap forward for photography. It essentially places a professional studio in your pocket. Whether you are a pro photographer or you’re just a user who wants to capture amazing content, anyone can take full advantage of the Galaxy S22’s pro-grade camera with Expert RAW. It captures high-quality, high dynamic range pictures in the multi-frame RAW format that enables precise post-capture editing and professional results.

With Expert RAW, people can capture much more information in a single picture – from dark details to bright highlights. It also drastically reduces noise and increases sharpness and detail. If you’re looking for the ultimate creative controls, you can choose your own settings for aspects like ISO, shutter speed, white balance, EV and focus, and even choose which lenses you want to use for the subject and the scene. Finally, because both JPEG and DNG files are saved when shooting, you can hop right into the Adobe Lightroom app on your smartphone or PC and edit with ease.

The two team leads got the inspiration for developing the Expert RAW app by user feedback, especially from their pro photographer friends who wanted better controls over the picture-taking process of the camera they also carry on them, that in their phone. 

On the other hand, they had to wait for the "leaps in computational and AI capabilities of today’s mobile processors" that now make such complex image processing calculations possible. The app's developers chimed in on the importance of their creation for the future of phone cameras, too:

What makes Expert RAW such an important release for mobile photography in general?

Hamid: The camera experience is one of the most important experiences that a user has with his or her smartphone. Samsung has been at the cutting edge of camera quality, and the gap between consumers and professional/enthusiast photographers has always been a tempting one to bridge.

I think with the release of Expert RAW, users will find that their photography experience will take a quantum leap in terms of creative control and artistic expression. I expect more and more people will find this new experience rewarding because it lets them personalize their camera based on their tastes – exactly how they want them – and not based on what some other engineers chose for them.

Girish: As an app, this platform has simplified the RAW capturing process with precise camera and lens controls and post-editing with Adobe Lightroom. It’s for every user who is willing to go beyond – to unleash the true power of an Expert RAW camera, and explore their creative side.

The collaboration on the Expert RAW app development was needed to leverage the Samsung Research America’s Mobile Processor Innovation Lab engineering expertise, down to the development of "AI-based 3DISP technology to produce raw data that looks very natural when users load it in editing apps like Adobe Lightroom." The Camera Solutions Group at the Samsung R&D Institute, on the other hand, was tasked with the end user experience that all this computational technology had to be shoehorned in, and the Expert RAW camera app is an excellent example of such cross-team collaboration over at Samsung. 

The Expert RAW camera app can be downloaded from the Samsung Store for anyone brandishing the Galaxy S22 or S21 series of phones to play with.

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