Following on from my last post, and developer Mike Hardaker being unfairly criticised over his use of the word "RAW" in 645 PRO's pre release description, I decided to take the final release candidate for a spin today, and here are my thoughts on this new (yet to be released/approved) app.
Before I start, I'm going to say one thing, and that is, "for me 645 PRO is a game changer", and an app that any serious photographer using an iPhone will want to own and use. I can hear many of you asking "why?" Well read on, and hopefully you'll see why, and agree with me.
645 PRO offers 5 different film formats from square 6x6 to a panoramic 6x17, 7 live view film effects (4 colour and 3 black and white), focus, exposure and white balance locks, spot and average exposure metering, self timer, level indicator, grid and flash on/off options. Once configured (and you will need to read the manual), like Mike's other apps 6x6 and 6x7, 645 PRO is easy to use, with a well laid out UI, and with all film and format types/styles, produces excellent results.
Many blogs (including the iPhoneography blog) may have hyped up the use of the term RAW in the apps description, and many commenters have criticised the use of this word. Now I'm not going to comment or pass any judgment on whether the use of the ward RAW in the description is right or wrong, or misleading, but what I will say, and as the photos below show, is the apps ability to capture unfiltered "raw data" is a "game changer".
Shooting JPEG +RAW
Whether you choose to shoot with one of the colour or black and white film stocks, if you choose to shoot with the RAW option enabled, then the app will save a standard JPEG version to the camera roll, and a raw, unfiltered version (TIFF format) to the apps internal documents folder. Whilst this copy of the photo can't be accessed or editing on the iPhone, it can be copied via iTunes to your Mac or PC for editing with a desktop application. Whilst some may ask "what's the point of this?", it becomes very clear when you take a black and white photo, as the app saves a high quality, colour "unfiltered" "raw" version, that you can use later, if/when wanted. Whilst this feature won't be for everyone, for me it is the "game changer" I keep mentioning.
Below are 3 sample shoots all taken with 645 PRO, using the 6x17 panoramic film back (with Schneider iPro wide-angle lens attached), and with JPEG +RAW enabled. The first photo was taken with one of the black and white film stocks, the second image is the unfiltered raw version, and the final image is the unfiltered raw TIFF version processed through Snapseed for Mac OSX, and saved back as a JPEG.
If 645 PRO gets approved by Apple (and I sincerely hope it does), then many serious photographers will find the apps ability to save a "raw unfiltered photo" (not to be confused with RAW file format) a god send. Whilst I think this is the single most important feature, the apps others advanced features and UI should not be forgotten, as this truely is a great app.