Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile has been around for sometime now and gave photographers the ability to syncronise their Lightroom edits on their PC or Mac to the Adobe Cloud and then continue to edit them a mobile device through a Smart Preview file rather than the original RAW.
Personally, I have never had the need to use this although can see it as a useful tool for some photographers.
Now, Adobe have released version 2.0 on the Android platform which allows you to edit your RAW files (DNG format) captured on your Android device (providing the camera is capable of capturing RAW files).
Adobe Lightroom Mobile 2.0 is completely free, you don’t require a CC subscription to use it. The only function that you need a subscription is to synchronise photos back through Adobe’s Cloud to your desktop version. If all you want to do is take a photo and make some edits and share them, it’s totally free. I think you have to sign up for an Adobe ID, but there is no charge.
You can get the app on Google Play. At time of writing, this new feature is not available on the IOS platform due to what I believe to be Apple restrictions.
[clicking any image will open a higher resolution]
I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ so was very interested in this new version for editing any “out and about” shots I may take. The Lightroom Mobile App has a built in phone app, however, I found this to be, well a bit rubbish if I’m honest. Not only does it lack advanced controls but I found it was struggling to focus in low light and sometimes not even getting focus at all.
This led me to another problem which is hopefully a bug that will get fixed soon (I did get an update today but it didn’t fix this issue). Using the phone’s own camera app in “Pro” mode when I captured files in RAW format it would only include the JPG version in the import screen within the Lightroom app. There are 2 ways around this, either copy the RAW file into the folder used for the Lightroom Camera App where the importer would see it or reset the phone and the file would show up. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon.
Lauching the app takes you to the library screen where you can import your photos. If you have a cloud synced collection from your desktop Lightroom, this also shows in here.
Once inside the manual editing tools, clicking the leftmost button brings up all the available adjustments
Opening an image into the equivalent Develop module shows the available options. Double Finger Tapping scrolls through exif information and even a neat Histogram.
The Crop Tool even has Auto Straighten which is a fantastic feature for the Mobile version
Lightroom Mobile comes with quite a big array of presets for quick editing
Adjustments are made using slider bars
Holding 3 fingers on the screen shows a “before” image so you can see your changes.
As a quick test, I stopped on the side of a road earlier and snapped this shot in “Pro” mode. The photo below is the jpg version straight out of the phone. It’s not a great photo but fine for this quick test.
A couple of minutes and a few screen presses and swipes in the Lightroom app and the result is this photo.
To show just how easy and powerful Lightroom Mobile 2.0 for Android is, I recorded the screen on my phone as I edited the picture.[watch in HD if possible]
To summarise, I think this new version is fantastic. Adobe have taken the introduction of Phone Cameras ability to capture RAW files and provided us with a great tool to edit these files for quick sharing. I may even use the synchronisation to Adobe Cloud for the purpose of transferring photos to my home environment. I’m not sure if Adobe will improve the built-in camera app as most will use their own phone-provided app, but it would be great if Adobe fix the RAW import bug that I’m seeing.