Photon, an iOS app for pro photographers, is introducing a new feature that will allow iPhone 15 Pro users to save their photos directly to an external drive, freeing up valuable disk space on their device. The app, which hails from LateNightSoft, the makers of the popular consumer app Camera+, was launched this July to cater to a more professional audience with tools for adjusting focus, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, format and resolution, among other things.
To be clear, the new feature isn’t an export option, which can be time-consuming, but actually a way to directly save photos to external storage.
To get started, users have to toggle on the option in the app’s Settings (the button in the bottom-right corner of the screen). From there, you’ll tap “Capture” and enable the option “Use External Storage.” You can then plug in your external drive and start taking photos.
The app supports a variety of photo formats, including JPEG, HEIF, RAW and ProRAW. The latter, introduced with the iPhone 12 Pro, is Apple’s own take on a RAW image — combining a traditional RAW image with Apple’s computational photography advances.
A number of photo apps have capitalized on this addition to the Pro lineup by adding support for ProRAW, including apps like Obscura, Halide, Lightroom and others. But because ProRAW photos are up to 10 to 12 times larger than HEIF or JPEG files, or even larger if you choose 48 MP as the resolution, they can take up a lot of storage space on your device — and then in your iCloud Photos cloud storage, as well.
Photon lets you bypass this issue by connecting an external drive. When you’re finished shooting, you can then plug in the drive to your Mac or PC where you have your editing software installed to access your files, the company says.
Since its debut, the app has topped 10,000 monthly active users in just a few months, the company tells TechCrunch. Photon generates revenue through its subscription offering, which costs $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year. There’s also an option to purchase the Pro version for a one-time price of $39.99. Support for using an external drive is not an extra charge.