Lightroom CC Mobile Review

When my editor at Download.com asked if I could write a review of Lightroom CC Mobile, I figured it would be an easy assignment. 2700 words later, here’s my review.

When my editor at Download.com asked if I could write a review of Lightroom CC Mobile, I figured it would be an easy assignment. I’ve used the mobile version of Lightroom since before the first version was released, publishing an ebook that coincided with the software’s introduction, and have written extensively about the software as it’s evolved.

Well, 2700 words later, the review is now available. There was a lot to say, because the software has grown a lot since that initial version. I cover its organization, editing, and sharing features, and point out areas of frustration and suggestions for the future. This review looks at just the iOS version.

Take a look here: Adobe Lightroom for iOS Review: Industrial-strength image-editing tools on your iPhone or iPad.

Update, 2/25/2019: A reader on Twitter, @peaceman, pointed out an error in the review. I alerted my editor, and the italicized portion of the following paragraph is now updated. I wrote: “One feature I miss when editing is visual indicators for areas that have been clipped to either all white or all black pixels. On the desktop, this feature helps you see whether the image is blown out to those extremes. Related to that, it would be nice to incorporate clipping indicators while adjusting the tone sliders: on the desktop, holding the Option/Alt key while dragging the Exposure control, for instance, shows only the brightest areas of the photo; when those clipped areas disappear, you’ve reached the point where the image won’t be overexposed.

It turns out that you can view clipping while making an adjustment, but as far as I can tell it’s undocumented. Start dragging a slider (such as Exposure), and then rest one finger on the image. I even tried this when testing, but I put my finger down first before dragging, which just zooms the image. The order is important. So, yay! It’s a feature I use often on the desktop version of Lightroom.

The new paragraph now reads: “One feature I miss when editing is visual indicators for areas that have been clipped to either all white or all black pixels. On the desktop, this feature helps you see whether the image is blown out to those extremes. There is a hidden way to view this information as you make an adjustment: start dragging a slider and then touch a second finger to the screen, giving you an interactive representation of clipped areas. But it would also be helpful to include a toggle to mark the brightest and darkest areas in an obvious way while looking at the image instead of just relying on the histogram.”

Also, a typo crept in: under the Camera Features heading, in the third paragraph, the second sentence should read, “It does a good job” (not “doesn’t”).

And lastly, a representative from Adobe reached out to let me know that another part of that paragraph is incorrect. I wrote, “[HDR] [does] a good job even handheld, with the caveat that the HDR processing is done on the Creative Cloud server. If you don’t have Internet access, or if you switch away from the app, the processing is done the next time it can reach the cloud. You end up with a single HDR-processed image, though you can also opt to save the original.”

I’d swear that HDR processing happened on the server at one point, perhaps an earlier version of the software, but currently, according to Adobe, all the HDR processing happens on the device; the caveat is that the app must be running and active to do the processing, so if you switch away or turn off the device, processing resumes when you go back to Lightroom Mobile.

That new paragraph now reads: “It also includes an HDR (high dynamic range) feature that captures multiple exposure levels and blends them together to achieve a range higher than even a single raw DNG image would produce. It does a good job even handheld. You end up with a single HDR-processed image, though you can also opt to save the original.”

Much thanks to @peaceman and the folks at Adobe for contacting me. I’d much rather post corrections than have bad information linger without anyone telling me. That’s like coming home to discover that you’ve had spinach from lunch in your teeth and no one told you about it.

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