How Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Changes the Mobile Photo Landscape


Over at TidBITS, I write in more depth about the changes in Lightroom for iOS 2.4, and they’re doozies: Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Changes Mobile Photo Workflow.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, adding native raw file format support to Adobe’s mobile photo editor is a big deal, especially for people who are looking to use just an iPad or iPhone on photo shoots to minimize the gear they carry.

It means you don’t end up with separate edited copies of photos that are synced with Lightroom on the desktop—a raw file editing in Lightroom mobile is synced to your main library with edits intact. And the editing power takes a big leap in quality, pulling detail out of shadows without blocking up sections where JPEGs just don’t hold up.

For example, here’s an underexposed raw photo edited entirely in Lightroom on my iPad:

LRm24 raw before after

There’s a better example in the article that shows extreme pixelation in a JPEG.

I also talk about the new local selection tools, which are great for adjusting selected portions in linear or gradient areas. Here’s another before-and-after, showing the radial tools at work; I was able to bring up the exposure for just the birdhouses without overexposing the background.

Lightroom m24 local original

Lightroom m24 local radial

Overall, this is an exciting release, something I’ve been looking forward to for years. It streamlines the mobile photo workflow and does what I envisioned in 2011 when I wrote the first edition of my iPad for Photographers book.

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  1. Hi there,
    great update, but how do I import both the raw AND the jpg file? Most of the time I’m happy with the jpg file from camera (usually a b&w film simulation from my Fuji camera), but I do want the option to edit the raw file (if I decide against b&w, for example, or the jpg turn out badly). I’ve tried it and interestingly the ipad seems to import both the jpg and the raw file, but as “one image file” (in inverted commas because clearly there are actually two files). At this point the b&w simulation is still visible in Photos. When I go to import in LRM it shows up as b&w, but says “raw”, and when I then tap “add” only the raw file is imported with no sign of the b&w jpg. How do I get both? What am I doing wrong? Or do I need to “split” the jpg file off in a different app (eg Snapseed doesn’t recognise my Fuji raw), save back to camera roll and then import?
    Thanks for your help!

    P.s.: I might just have found the perfect reason for me to upgrade to the dual sad card slot X-T2/Pro2 🙂 set one sad card for jpg, and the other for raw, problem solved


    1. Hi Kat,

      Great question. You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just a situation that is outside of Lightroom’s expectations. Lightroom mobile will import only the raw version. It assumes the JPEG is just a preview and you want the raw file by default, because that’s the version that has the most information to work with. Having a JPEG that’s been processed using film simulation is outside the norm that it expects.

      I think your solution is the workaround: open in Snapseed, tap Save, and choose the Export option that saves it as a JPEG.



  2. Hey Jeff. It’s really nice to see your web site. It’s very cool. Thanks for everything first .
    I have a trouble with my ipad pro 12.9′. I bought it yesterday and tried lightroom mobile. I imported raf files (x-t1). It doesn’t look correct and sharp in LR mobile. They look blurry at the beginning. If I select any tool , it start to look sharper. But not enough. I tried other mobile raw editors like photoraw. My photos is looked sharper and more correct in this app . Am I missing something?


    1. Hi Emre, how are you importing photos to the iPad? Using the Lightning SD Card adapter?


      1. Thanks for reply. I downloaded it from google drive than use ”open in” section than select lightroom mobile. I just ordered SD card adapter. Whats the difference between importing from adapter or ”open in” section? The file is the same at least.

  3. “Open in” might be what’s causing the issue. Are you shooting with just raw format, or Raw+JPEG mode? And how are you getting the images from the camera to Google Drive?

    If you’re dealing solely with the raw .RAF files from your X-T1, Google Drive may be passing along only the comparatively low-resolution JPEG file that the camera creates so you can see the image on its LCD.

    When you import using the SD card adapter, the original raw file is imported into the iPad’s camera roll untouched. Then, in Lightroom mobile, you can import the shot from the camera roll, and LRm recognizes the raw format and properly reads it.


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