There is mounting evidence that Google may be looking to introduce RAW capability into its Android operating system. Last week Ars Technica reported that Google was working on a new camera API that supported RAW. Now Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano has confirmed this in comments made to Cnet.
“Android’s latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography. We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality,” Scigliano said.
The appeal of RAW images is that these contain unprocessed data straight from your camera sensor and gives users much more post processing flexibility compared to JPEG files. As a result of the extra detail, RAW images are usually much larger than the traditional JPEG equivalent. Therefore, support for RAW images is likely to appeal to those who really like to tinker with their photos.
Nokia’s top-end Lumia camera phones have RAW capability, underlining their imaging focus. If Sony wants to compete on this front, we feel it is a matter of time before we see RAW support added. Is this something you are looking forward to? Would you like to see what the pure hardware of your Xperia smartphone is capable of, without Sony’s processing algorithms? Or is it too much hassle and do you feel that the pictures you take right now are good enough? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.