Adobe says the photos are made by stitching together three RAW images. That in itself is pretty standard process for creating an HDR photo, but Adobe claims it can deliver “greatly increased dynamic range” over what your phone would typically put out.
The typical benefits of shooting in RAW remain here, too. You get a 32-bit file with more color information and more flexibility to alter the exposure or white balance. As usual, Adobe is using its own DNG format for the RAW files.
Adobe put out about a dozen sample photos taken using its HDR RAW mode (a few of which are included here), and they all look about how you’d expect an HDR photo to look: colorful, contrasty, with occasionally unreal results.
Unfortunately, you’re only going to be able to use this feature if you have a recent, top-of-the-line phone — presumably since shooting three RAW photos in succession and then combining them is a pretty intensive task.
Supported phones include the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, iPhone SE, Pixel and Pixel XL, and the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is also supported.
That’s a pretty small group of devices, but Adobe says it’s working to expand the selection. It’s also likely to grow as more powerful devices get released this year.