RAW and burst shooting modes are coming to Android mobile cameras

If you’re a photography fan and enjoy editing a photo once in a while, the idea of shooting RAW on a mobile is exciting. And it’s one Google has seen would be loved by many so it’s been overhauling the Android OS to support just that.

READ: Google looking to add RAW image support in Android

Nokia recently announced that it will be adding RAW shooting as well as its refocus (Lytro-style) shooting options to the Lumia 1520. After much excitement it looks like Android will be trying to do the same.

READ: Nokia refocus

Google’s Gina Scigliano says: “Android's latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports RAW and burst-mode photography," she added: "We will expose a developer API in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality."

Since this is a very deep level adaptation - that allows hardware access to the OS - it’s still down to developers to use the API end and create the software. So for each handset the software will need to be updated to create RAW and burst modes that work with that device’s camera. For this reason we may not see the updated snapper on current handsets until Android 4.4 KitKat reaches them early next year.

The Nexus 5 should be one of the first phones to receive a working update. This already features burst mode and HDR+, but RAW will be a welcome new adage. This RAW file will add greater flexibility to photos, allowing for more drastic changes in editing programs. Perhaps this will also see new mobile editing software capable of taking advantage of the the file format. This could be perfect for Instagram’s lenses for example, were it to be built into the program. Just an idea.