Initially, we found the Nexus 5's camera specs to be kind of underwhelming. Would RAW image capture and processing convince photographers to buy the 8MP phone?

After digging into the publicly-available application programming interface (API) for Android 4.4 Kitkat, code-reading sleuth Josh Brown made some observations on his Google+ page

"Looks like Google was working on a new Camera API, but it didn't make the KitKat release," he posted, linking to a comment left by a Google developer saying: "DO NOT MERGE: Hide new camera API. Not yet ready."

Ars Technica did some serious digging into the code and found some strong clues as to what Google had in store for the KitKat release.

Here is some of the cool stuff that Ars Technica revealed:

"Full-capability devices allow for per-frame control of capture hardware and post-processing parameters at high frame rates. They also provide output data at high resolution in uncompressed formats, in addition to compressed JPEG output.

General RAW camera sensor image format, usually representing a single-channel Bayer-mosaic image. Each pixel color sample is stored with 16 bits of precision.

The layout of the color mosaic, the maximum and minimum encoding values of the RAW pixel data, the color space of the image, and all other needed information to interpret a RAW sensor image must be queried from the {@link} which produced the image."

It looks like RAW for Android is definitely in development, but not for all devices. Your smartphone must have the hardware and processing power to handle the large files. Since the RAW feature was expected to come out with KitKat, we can expect that the Nexus 5 hardware will be capable of handling RAW files, but there is no way to know at this point.

"The camera device is removable and has been disconnected from the Android device, or the camera service has shut down the connection due to a higher-priority access request for the camera device."

This is one of the coolest things in the code. Referring to a Sony QX-like device that is removable from the smartphone, this fragment makes us wonder if Google is including this in the code for Sony's camera accessory or if it is developing its own version of the display-less digital camera.

If RAW is coming to Android, we have a lot to look forward to from the Android app developer community. While Windows Phone 8 users may be able to take RAW photos on the Lumia 1020 and 1520, Android users have a lot more photo apps to choose from. Photo Mate is currently the only app that we know of that is capable of processing RAW files on a mobile device but  Photoshop Touch and Snapseed will hopefully step up and offer RAW editing, with other app developers following their lead.

If you have experience reading code and want to do some snooping of your own, here is the link to the camera API comment that started all of this.