Samsung’s MPI Lab and SRI-B worked together to make Expert RAW a reality
Samsung’s Expert RAW app debuted with the Galaxy S21 Ultra last year as a comprehensive suite of in-camera editing tools to give you a DSLR-like experience on your smartphone. The company has been working on bringing the app to several of its phones – it came into the Galaxy S22 series. In the coming months, it should be available on Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy Z Fold2, Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Galaxy S20 Ultra. But what went into creating this excellent software? An interview between Hamid Sheikh from Samsung Research America’s MPI Lab and Girish Kulkarni from Samsung R&D Institute India-Bangalore (SRI-B) reveals all the details behind the scenes.
As good as Samsung’s standard camera app and ever-improving computer photography algorithms are for the average user, they sacrifice a lot of control for the expert and enthusiast community – which does not have much to say about how the image’s color, tone, details or noise will be reproduced. This was one of the biggest inspirations for the Expert RAW app. And the result? An app that captures very comprehensive data for each image that can be used to enhance images with built-in editing software such as Adobe Lightroom, giving photographers full control over the entire creative experience. Samsung even adds automatic camera control setpoints with specific default values in Lightroom to help novice photographers.
Two teams came together to build Expert RAW, but what role did each play to ensure that the complex project was a success? MPI Lab used its expertise in computer-based image processing to create a brand new computer photography pipeline that produces both DNG and processed JPEG files. In other words, it developed the primary idea and technologies behind Expert RAW. On the other hand, SRI-B utilized its skills and resources to develop the AI blocks for the Expert RAW pipeline, the app’s user interface, and all other aspects necessary for an excellent end-to-end consumer experience.
Interestingly, Expert RAW was under development 24/7, with both teams using the 12-hour time zone difference effectively. MPI Lab and SRI-B moved the project back and forth to complete the app’s development as planned. Both teams have played a crucial role in improving Samsung’s night mode – it will be interesting to see what other exciting features the collaboration brings in the future.
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