Cover Image for A Big Little Update for RAW Photos

A Big Little Update for RAW Photos

It started out with a bug, how did it end up like this?

Between iOS 12, Halide 1.9, and Darkroom 3.7, RAW previews in Darkroom became blurry. We went in to investigate, and what we found was not just the fix for the issue at hand, but a larger problem with how we were managing RAW images. Unpacking that problem resulted in a few benefits that make this dot-release more than just a bug fix, but worth its own Medium article:

  1. RAW images are now tack-sharp when previewed
  2. RAW images now support zooming at full resolution (This is new and pretty friggin’ amazing if we say so ourselves.)
  3. Fixed a problem that caused RAW images, especially with deep shadows, to appear washed out in Darkroom. Now RAW images should match the preview in Halide.
  4. Fixed a problem that caused RAW files from DSLR cameras to have missing metadata.
  5. RAW editing was never supported on devices older than the iPhone 6S but we didn’t properly degrade that feature so that it falls back onto the JPEG companion. Now if you have RAW images and you open them on, say, an iPhone 5S, you’ll still be able to edit the JPEG rather than get an error.

All these changes together make RAW editing even more pleasant and powerful and it’s quite magical to see this all running at 60fps on an iPhone when editing massive DSLR files. As always, there’s still lots to do, so don’t expect this to be the last RAW-focused update.

Please note, RAW files still are a massive memory strain on the phone. If you encounter crashes while zooming in and out, please let us know with a note at We’re monitoring this but it doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue to our beta testers.

That’s it for now.

Until next time,
The Darkroom Team

Latest Posts

Cover Image for Create your own custom preset
Cover Image for Comparing Darkroom & VSCO