How to shoot DNG (lossless RAW) photographs on the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 29 Jun 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge - the camera, LED flash and heart rate sensor cluster

Last week, Samsung started rolling out the Android 5.1 update for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Among a plethora of enhancements and improvements, the update also introduces the ability to shoot photos in RAW format.

However, the ability to shoot images in RAW format might not be immediately obvious to Galaxy S6 and S6 edge owners after updating their handset to Android 5.1 since Samsung has not included this feature in their built-in camera app. Instead, the company has only added full support for Camera2 API of Lollipop with the update, which in turn allows third-party camera apps from the Google Play Store to click RAW photos on the handset.

Initial rumors about the Android 5.1 update for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge had claimed native support for RAW images in the stock camera app, but it looks like Samsung had a change of heart at the last moment, and decided instead to only add the necessary APIs to do so. So now, if you are wondering how to shoot RAW/Loseless DNG photos on your Galaxy S6 or S6 edge after updating it to Android 5.1, check out the steps below.

Step 1: Head over to the Google Play Store and install a camera app on your Galaxy S6 that is fully compatible with Camera2 APIs from Lollipop like Camera FV-5 or Snap Camera HDR.

Manual camera on Galaxy S6

Step 2: Open up the app on your Galaxy S6 or S6 edge and tap on the cog button present near the shutter button. From the black bar that expands, tap on ‘JPEG’ to cycle to RAW + JPEG.

Now, any picture that you click on your Galaxy S6 or S6 edge will be saved in JPEG as well as in RAW format. Keep in mind that loseless DNG/RAW photos occupy a lot of space and can only be opened on your PC via some professional photo editing apps. An application called Photo Mate R2 does allow you to open RAW files on Android, but it significantly slows your phone.

In addition to being able to save images in RAW format, you can also use Manual camera to shoot pictures with ISO levels as low as 50 — an option that is not available on the stock Samsung camera app.

In the end, shooting photos in RAW format is not for everyone, since it will not automatically allow you to capture better images from your Galaxy S6. Instead, RAW photos will allow you to play around with the raw data captured by the sensor and then process it on your own — according to your taste and liking — which can take up a significant amount of time and energy.