Normally, smartphone photography processing is usually composed of these basic steps
1. Camera hardware and sensors capture light and image data
2. Software algorithms process the data and compress its life out.
3. The final image information is displayed and saved in memory as a JPEG picture.
The major advantage of these are in the quick and easy ways with which pictures are taken without much need for tinkering before it brings out a decent photo. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t even allow for much tinkering or post processing, that is you cannot modify parameters of the picture (white balance, exposure levels etc )after you have taken them, this is why you will not find a professional photographer with knowhow in digital photo manipulation use a smartphone as main camera, because it’s just so limiting.
This was at least the case until Nokia’s PureView series of phones came on board. Boasting to be the first smartphone manufacturer to include RAW image support in lossless DNG format, this means that all the uncompressed photo information taken in by the camera is not discarded when rendering a photo, but saved and available for further manipulation with professional image editor software. This is in adition to the normal Jpeg images that come as normal pictures after the camera has done its job.
Good news is that Android has also added this feature in their next release, Lollipop. As part of the new Camera API 2.0, lossless support is included. This means third party camera/picture apps have more data to play with when processing a photo. I’m sure powerful image editors will come up soon to take advantage of these features.
This is fantastic for competition, now let’s hope iOS and BlackBerry also enables something like this. Reminds me of a favoured saying of mine, goes like this (in variations that apply to different situations):
If you build the API, the apps will come.
An app is already out to take advantage of this