Samsung is now adding Pro Mode support for the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s dedicated telephoto camera via a new “Expert RAW” app.


[Update 01/21]: Although still not widely available globally, the Expert RAW app for Galaxy S21 Ultra has been updated to fix a number of issues including when using the telephoto camera. SamMobile also speculates that this could help resolve known issues including shutter speed information when attempting to capture long exposure photos with the Expert RAW app.

While we would ordinarily suggest steering clear of sideloaded apps but in this instance, the application is not available officially outside of Korea. Samsung tipster IceUniverse originally shared the APK file if you would like to trial Expert RAW on your Galaxy S21 Ultra.


In what seems a strange move, the Korean firm has announced the release of a standalone app to enable Pro Mode support for the telephoto zoom lens on Galaxy S21 Ultra handsets. One would have expected a software update to simply add the option within the default camera app, but Samsung has decided that a standalone option is the best solution.

The Pro Mode within the stock or default camera app on S21 devices only works with the main wide and ultrawide lenses. Any zoom you achieve here is completely digital, which is disappointing when the Galaxy S21 Ultra has one of the best zoom lenses on a smartphone today. While most people are unlikely to delve into the Pro Mode all too often, this is still a solution for those wanting to use all lenses and have expert controls.

At the moment, the Expert RAW app is only available on the Galaxy Store in South Korea (h/t FrontTron). With Pro Mode access, when using the enhanced zoom levels of Galaxy S21 Ultra’s telephoto camera you can fully access shutter controls, adjust ISO levels and exposure, view live histograms, and tune highlight, shadow, and saturation levels, among a laundry list of other tweaks.

The Expert RAW camera app also supports HDR with the ability to save and store images in Lossless JPEG and 16-bit Linear DNG RAW formats. It seems that Adobe Lightroom integration is also included, as you’re also able to open RAW images directly in the image editing app via an in-camera toggle. There are even profiles that you can download for an even smoother editing experience.

Another sore point is that the Expert RAW app is in beta and only currently compatible with Galaxy S21 Ultra devices running Android 12 with One UI 4.0. No word was shared on when the Expert RAW app will come to other regions.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com