What do you most miss from Aperture?

I get many emails a day requesting features for upcoming releases, and questions about RAW Power in the context of Aperture.

While RAW Power is not a replacement for Aperture, I do know many customers have or had Aperture and really loved it.

I’m embedding a poll here for people to vote on their favorites.

To be clear, I’m not making any promises. I think it’s valuable for people to see each other’s opinions on this. That said, I’ll start the voting 🙂

If I missed your favorite feature, add that to the comments. If you didn’t use Aperture, but have favorite features in Lightroom or other apps, feel free to chime in as well.

What do you miss most from Aperture (choose up to 5)

View Results

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RAW Power 2.0 for iOS

RAW Power 2.0 is now available!

Like its companion, RAW Power for Mac, iOS version 2.0 will be shipping very soon!

If you are a current customer and would like to beta test the new version, tap or click here to email us. Please include what kind of iOS Device you intend to use with the beta build.

Beta testing is now closed.

RAW Power 2.0 runs on iOS 11 and 12. The hardware requirements are the same as before (so no iPhone 5s, 6, or iPad mini 3 or earlier).

Here is the list of improvements for Version 2.0:

  • New Adjustments
    • Chromatic Aberration*
    • Perspective
    • Black and White (a Monochrome Mixer)
    • Vignette with Controllable Center Point
    • Enhance including Definition
    • RAW Processing: enable / disable Lens Correction when available
      • (this is the existing [limited] lens correction with an on /off switch
    • Adjustments are 100% compatible with the Mac version and sync through iCloud Photo Library.
  • Presets
    • A selection of built-in presets
    • Ability to create your own
    • Undoable
  • Workflow improvements
    • Share to Photos
    • Export to Photos (TIFF, PNG, 16-bit images, etc)
    • Delete will consistently advance the selection forward to the next image
    • Paste Last Edit is an option in Batch Processing so you don’t have to explicitly copy in Edit before doing the batch operation
    • Adjustments can be rearranged (good for small screens). This does not affect the processing order.
  • UI Improvements
    • Indicator for which adjustments have been applied to an image
    • Space-saving UI design limits the number of adjustments that are visible at a time.
    • Easier to use sliders in landscape device orientation
  • Batch Processing in the Grid** (See important note below)
    • Batch Apply Presets
    • Batch Paste of Adjustments
    • Batch Revert to Original
    • Batch Generate JPEGs for RAWs

*Note: Chromatic Aberration, Vignette, Perspective, and Black & White will be part of Advanced Adjustments Pack #2, which is inexpensive in-app purchase (not part of the current Advanced Adjustment Pack #1). Enhance will be bundled with the app and not require an in-app purchase. Beta testers will receive a promo code to get the in-app purchase for free when it’s released.

**Batch Processing is still under development. Because iOS has a very limited memory and background processing model (compared to the Mac), it is not certain that this feature will make it into version 2.0. You’ve been warned 🙂

RAW Power 2.0 for Mac Is Coming!

RAW Power 2.0 is now available!

RAW Power for Mac 2.0 will ship in the next few weeks, and it will be a free upgrade!

If you would like to beta test the new version, tap or click here to email us. Please include what kind of Mac you intend to use with the beta build. ** Current customers only **

Beta Testing is now closed.

Important Note: RAW Power 2.0 runs on macOS High Sierra and Mojave. It does not support macOS Sierra.

Here is the list of improvements for Version 2.0:

New Adjustments

  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Perspective
  • Black and White (a Monochrome Mixer)
  • Vignette with Controllable Center Point
  • Enhance including Definition
  • RAW Processing: enable / disable Lens Correction when available
    • (this is the existing [limited] lens correction with an on /off switch)

Features for the Standalone App:

  • File Browser – browse folders on your disk, establish favorite folders
  • Batch Processing in the Background
    • Batch Apply Presets
    • Batch Paste of Adjustments
    • Batch Revert to Original
    • Batch Export with Custom Naming
    • Background Processing Task View
  • Multiple Windows
    • Multiple Browser Windows (View different parts of your disks at once)
    • Multiple Editor Windows (Open and edit multiple files at once)
    • Full Support for Tabbed Windows
    • Collapsible Panels
  • Thumbnail Grid
    • Control over thumbnail sizes
    • “Adjusted” badge in the thumbnail grid
    • Filter to show RAWs only
  • More metadata information including a map
  • Quick Look
  • Full Dark Look in macOS Mojave

What features are you most interested in?

RAW Power 1.1 for iOS is now available

Free download on the App Store.
Video demonstration of the new features here

RAW Power for iOS version 1.1 – Approaching Beta Test!

Version 1.1 is feature complete. We plan to start beta testing in a couple of weeks. If you have time to beta test the iOS app, tap or click here to email us.

Here is the list of improvements scheduled for version 1.1:

  • Hierarchical View of Library (support for folders [created on the Mac] in Album view and Inspector)
  • Filter images to only show RAWs (per album and a special RAW Smart Album as well)
  • Delete Button in 1-up
  • Export images to Files.app as TIFF, PNG, JPEG with a selection of color profiles and bit depths.
  • Improved Share: images are shared at the highest possible quality (including sharing originals when possible)
  • Revert to Original works in all cases (sometimes requiring a download of images)
  • When Sharing, images get the original’s file name (not “FullSizeRender” or something like that)
  • In Info, RAWs display the full pixel dimensions of the file (not the size of the embedded JPEG)
  • Preference to set the DPI when exporting or saving images
  • Preference to set JPEG export quality
  • Curves samplers uses the median pixel value, not the mean
  • Improved adjustment layout when screen is in portrait orientation
  • Guided tour can be easily skipped
  • 3D Touch for delete, share, and favorite in 1-up
  • Preference for the inspector location (left or right side)
  • The current adjustment tool in portrait is tinted blue
  • When in portrait, the histogram location is preserved
  • Fix bugs in zoom, where the image would become fuzzy either temporarily or get stuck that way
  • Easier to use Black and White points for Curves
  • Info Panel: Camera and Lens fields are combined to provide more information
  • Show all of Curves adjustment in portrait
  • Fix bug where sometimes edits would not be persisted even when pressing the Done button
  • Added Hide Thumbnails menu to Edit
  • Added Auto Histogram which hides the vertical histogram when not moving a slider or using a sampler
  • Show Original is now the “m” key and is a sticky setting you toggle on and off.
  • Improved appearance of badges in thumbnail strip
  • Option for larger thumbnails in Preferences
  • Detect HEIC files and display them as such in Info (instead of displaying “Image”)
  • Remember if Info panel is expanded in portrait and preserve that.
  • Show Live, HDR, and Portrait icons in Info
  • Map now has a Re-center button
  • If you Select images, the select state is exited automatically in more cases to make it easier to use.

How RAW works on iOS

UPDATE 11/16/2018: Support for RAW has improved in iOS 12. The major difference is that the Photos App on iOS can now edit RAW images natively. That said, Photos will still show the embedded JPEG until you enter Edit, so you still don’t see the RAW most of the time on iOS. Also, on iOS 12, it is not possible to develop a RAW Photos extension for iOS, because extensions are always passed a JPEG. I have filed a bug against Apple (with a solution). Hopefully, they will fix that some time soon.


RAW has been (minimally) supported on iOS for a long time. You could import them directly onto an iPad for example. However, when you looked at the RAW on iPad, you could only see the embedded JPEG. Apple added support for RAW decoding in iOS 10, but despite that, most of the time, you are still looking at the embedded JPEG. In this post, I will describe what is really going on and how to make the most of your RAW files on iOS.

Embedded JPEGs:

The embedded JPEG is a camera-generated JPEG stored inside the RAW file. This JPEG uses the camera manufacturer’s algorithms and will look different from the actual RAW. Sometimes the difference is relatively subtle (color, noise reduction, or sharpness), but other times, the difference can be quite striking. For example, embedded JPEGs receive any “picture styles” set on the camera, so if you set your camera to “monochrome”, the embedded JPEG will be black and white, while the RAW will remain full color. In addition, many cameras do not produce full-size embedded JPEGs. Common sizes for small embedded JPEGs are: 640 x 480, 1920 x 1080 (2 megapixels), and quarter-resolution (e.g., for a 20 megapixel camera, the JPEG is 5 megapixels). It’s hard to judge an image when you are only looking at 10-25% of the pixel data!

Here is a link to a RAW file that demonstrates the problems with embedded JPEGs. Import it and view it in Photos.app. This is a 20 megapixel RAW from a new Panasonic G85. It makes a 1920×1440 embedded JPEG. The embedded is black and white, because I set the picture style to Monochrome. RAW Image

Apple RAW Camera added in iOS 10:

Apple added support for viewing and editing (and capturing) RAW images in iOS 10. However, applications must opt-in to RAW (for backward compatibility reasons). The built-in Photos app does not opt-in. Nor does the built-in Camera app. So by default, you cannot capture, view, or edit RAWs on iOS, even though Apple’s RAW Camera software is capable of decoding hundreds of RAW camera formats. On the plus side, RAW images get synched over iCloud, and sent properly via AirDrop.

Another confusing aspect of RAW on iOS:

As mentioned earlier, most of the time you are looking at the embedded JPEG. To preserve the illusion for apps that don’t support RAWs, Apple APIs do not return correct information about the RAW. For example, if an app requests the pixel dimensions of a RAW image through the standard ImageIO framework, Apple’s code will lie and return the size of the embedded JPEG. To get the correct size, one needs to use Apple’s RAW Camera code. This is not true on the Mac. The same ImageIO call on the Mac returns the RAW’s image size, as expected.

Working with RAW:

If you are going to import on iOS, then you will definitely want a RAW editor (like RAW Power) that natively understands RAWs. If you edit an image in the Photos library (using any app), then you will end up with two images: the original RAW and a JPEG that is the result of the editing process. iOS will also store the adjustment data so that you can edit non-destructively. Though there are two images, you can only see one at a time.

If you want to back up your data using something like Dropbox, then you will probably want to back up the RAW first. Then edit and back up the JPEG. If you are using iCloud Photo Library, then both images will be synched to the cloud for you.

If you have questions about RAW, post them here. I will update the post or respond to your comments below.

UPDATE (2/14/18):

RAW + JPEG:

When shooting RAW + JPEG, both iOS and macOS will combine the pair of images into a single “asset.” On iOS, the JPEG is always the image shown and edited. On macOS, the JPEG is the image shown by default, but you can switch the display to show the RAW instead. Whichever image you are displaying on macOS is the one you will edit. RAW Power for iOS shows the JPEG by default also, but if you enter Edit, it will show and edit the RAW.

RAW Power Plugin for Lightroom Now Available

I have added a much requested feature to RAW Power — Lightroom support. There is now a plugin you can download from the website ( RAW Power Plugin for Lightroom), which you use with the just-released RAW Power 1.4.

There is a short video that shows how it works as well: ( https://youtu.be/4suoyktLxqw )

The plugin support non-destructive editing (including roundtrip editing between LR and RAW Power).

It works with Lightroom Classic and earlier (not the [feature-limited] Lightroom CC 2017).

Try it out and let me know what you think!

On Plug-ins

I spent some time the last few days playing around with an Aperture Plug-in. My idea was to create a plug-in that could address a big problem for those of us still using Aperture — lack of camera support. The macOS blocks new camera support from Aperture, so the two new cameras I bought recently get the dreaded black “unsupported image” square when I import their images.

I figured that if I could write a plug-in that could decode images (using the RAW Power engine), I could output TIFFs back to Aperture, and all would be well. Once that worked, I could make something more sophisticated that could allow editing of images by invoking the RAW Power app. Sounds good.

After some rummaging, I was able to find a download link to the Aperture SDK, and was actually able to build and install a sample plug-in. Kind of amazing, really. I started getting excited about the prospects and then a bucket of cold water got dumped on my head: if an image is unsupported, Aperture refuses to send it to a plugin. A bunch of work down the drain.

Then I tried the other kind of Aperture plug-in: the export plugin. A bucket of iced tea this time. Aperture sends the unsupported file (yay!), but shortly after that, Aperture throws an exception and crashes (no!). The crash only happens with unsupported images and I can’t catch or block the exception. Close, but another dead end.

This brings up a question: is there any reason to write a RAW Power plug-in for Aperture that works for supported images? I can’t think of one, though I have gotten requests for it many times. Maybe those requests are for camera support, which won’t work.

If not Aperture, would plug-ins be truly useful for Lightroom, or maybe Luminar / Photoshop / Affinity? If you have an opinion, please comment below.

Happy New Year!