Lightroom mobile 2.4 for iOS has just gone live and this is a BIG update. It includes full raw support and local adjustments! The Android version is still lagging a little behind, but there are some improvements to the built-in camera in the 2.1 update, also released today.
Raw Import for iOS
Many of us have dreamed of being able to go on vacation without lugging a heavy laptop, but until now, Lightroom mobile iOS could only import rendered files (JPEG/PNG/TIFF). There were workarounds. You could shoot raw+JPEG and use the Syncomatic plug-in to sync the settings from the JPEGs to the raw files upon your return. Or you could use the recently end-of-lifed Photosmith app and Lightroom Publish Services plug-in. But the workarounds felt like workarounds – nothing was smooth.
With the release of Lightroom mobile 2.4 for iOS, things have changed. It can now import and edit raw files from all of the supported cameras. So does Lightroom on the iPad now make a useable vacation workflow?
Last week, I took a trip to the Isle of Wight, leaving my laptop at home. All in the name of Lightroom mobile testing, of course! The conclusion… it works!
First, you must upload the raw files from the memory card (e.g. using an Apple memory card adaptor) into the iOS Photos app, and then you can add them to Lightroom mobile. Once they’re in Lightroom mobile, you can remove them from the Photos app to free up space. In Lightroom mobile, you can view the photos, organize them into collections, add star ratings and flags, edit them, and share them with friends and family. When you have an internet connection, Lightroom starts uploading the originals to the cloud, ready to download to your computer on your return home.
There are a couple of limitations:
1. You either need an iPad with large enough storage space to hold all of the photos you shoot on vacation, and a fast upload speed when you return home.
2. You need an internet connection at your destination with a fast upload speed and unlimited bandwidth, which would allow you to upload the original photos to the cloud, and then clear the cache to recover space on your iPad. Sadly this seems to be hard to come by in most hotels, but leaving the iPad awake and uploading overnight may be adequate if your files are small.
I’ve detailed the workflow in my Lightroom mobile book, and I’m just putting the finishing touches to the Android app changes, so the update
will be available to download tomorrow is available now.
Local Adjustments on iOS
The other big news in this update is the addition of the Linear and Radial Selections (aka Graduated Filter and Radial Filter on the desktop). As well as adjusting existing gradients applied on the desktop, you can also create new ones. These are useful for off-center vignettes and darkening skies, among other things.
Keyboard Shortcuts on iOS
If you have a keyboard connected to an iPad (e.g. iPad Pro or a bluetooth keyboard), there are now a few keyboard shortcuts! To see the shortcuts, hold down the Cmd key:
Camera Improvements on Android
Although the Android app doesn’t get full raw import (DNG/RW2 only) or local adjustments in this update, it does have some improvements to the built-in camera, offering manual control, and a new widget to make it easy to access the camera.
Saving and sharing images now uses the full resolution file if it’s available on the server, for example, if uploaded through Lightroom mobile or Lightroom Web (not desktop).