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Adobe Shows Off Lightroom-Style Photo Editing for iPad

CNET reports on a sneak peek from Adobe product manager Tom Hogarty showing off the company's concept for Lightroom-style photo editing on the iPad. The app would rely on cloud-based connections to serve as a companion app to the full Lightroom software, but offer a number of higher-end features for on-the-go photo editing.

He wouldn't promise when the app would ship or what exactly it would do, but he did demonstrate some features of the prototype software running on an iPad 2. He also offered several details about its features:

- The ability to edit photos taken in raw photo formats, including Lightroom develop-module parameters like exposure, clarity, shadows, highlights, and white balance.

- Cloud-synchronized editing so that changes made on a tablet arrive on the same photo on the PC.

- The ability to zoom all the way to 100 percent for checking photo focus and details.
Hogarty also noted that he would like to bring features such photo sorting and flagging to the app, although other features such as brushes for tweaking photos have not been included.

The app is clearly a work in progress, with the feature set still yet to be finalized and performance issues remaining, but Adobe has made clear that it wants to make some of the same powerful photo editing tools from Lightroom available to photographers on the go. For photographers who travel and spend significant amounts of time in the field, an iPad capable of performing some Lightroom-style editing on raw images could significantly improve their efficiency and workflows.

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77 months ago
I hope this isn't what deforstallization looks like...

"Icons were too flashy, so we flattened them out and just put text.... pure text.."
Rating: 3 Votes
77 months ago
While I'm glad that Adobe is doing this it is truly shameful that both Aperture and Final Cut Pro have not done anything at all like this yet. They're the 2 teams that should be leading the way with this kind of "companion app." And it's not because those programs need iPad integration so much as they're the teams that could have lead the way and show 3rd party developers what's possible. Even if few people used them just having them out there would put the iPad on a lot more developer's radars.

Adobe should be playing catch-up to Apple with stuff like this but instead they seem to be all alone.
Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago
For a mobile app, I have thoroughly enjoyed using PS Touch for the iPad. This looks to be another great iPad app from Adobe.
Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago

What I like about seeing higher end apps becoming available on the iPad is the evidence of the industry moving into the post-PC era.

No. This is NOT the full application. Btw, Lightroom, PS or Aperture are impossible on non-calibrated displays.

Post-PC era is a marketing term. An iPad is a Personal Computer (PC).

The app would rely on cloud-based connections to serve as a companion app to the full Lightroom software, but offer a number of higher-end features for on-the-go photo editing.

Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago

without any proper file system, even "Load" and "Save" are complicated.
Thanks to Apple we'll be usuing iTunes to organize our images,
how convenient :(
iPad is capable of doing great things, the silly iOS is a limitation...

I still don't get why Apple makes it so difficult to deal with photos/folders.
Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago
Hm. Regarding doing our edits on calibrated monitors. If your images are destined for print, then of course it's necessary, but if your images will be viewed on screen, then 1, for desktop users, considering that most people don't have a calibrated desktop/laptop monitor, they'll be seeing your work off-kilter anyway, and 2, for the increasingly commonplace tablet viewers, at least they'll all be looking at consistent displays you can match.

It may make sense to just do start the workflow doing quick organization & edits on ipad for iPad, then, since those edits are automatically sync'd to your desktop anyway, continue those that warrant futher work on a calibrated display for print. Since you invariably wind up doing a separate edit for print anyway, it's not an increase of work overall, but a decrease on the front end.


Now if only Apple would bump the connection to Thunderbolt, we'd be able to efficiently transfer the huge raw files from our Leica S2 to the iPad in the first place.
Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago

THAT is dedication. Thanks Adobe! If only more companies were like Adobe, maybe the Mac would sell in significant numbers!

Why do you always go on about mac sales, and what has that got to do with an iPad app?
Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago

Yeah, every time people mention cloud storage and services for photography I cringe. I don't think the people who write and talk about such things realize how big RAW files have gotten and how scarce electricity--let alone wi-fi--can be in some places. The iPad really just needs a way to get files from your flash card to an external backup drive for editing later.

If you read the LR5 announcement, then you'll find that LR5 uses a unique scaled-down version of the original RAWs (which are themselves still RAWs) to allow for offline editing on devices with little memory (in the context of the full LR5: laptops with SSD permanent storage). Allegedly, those mini-RAWs use only 1/10th of the space of the original RAW, which would be only half the amount used by a full-res JPEG coming from the camera (CANON 550 in my case). You can then apply all the modifications to the scaled-down raw, and they will be saved as protocol as always with RAWs. Once your full-size RAW photo database gets online again, all mods will be applied to those.

Transferred to tablet use, this would mean that LR5 syncs the scaled-down RAWs along with their mod files to iCloud, the tablet syncs both to local memory and lets me work on the RAWs. The mod files will be re-synced to the cloud, then synced to my main machine and there automatically applied to the full-size RAWs.

Perfect workstream for people on-the-go. Of course with limitations with regard to color-proofing, fine details etc.

EDIT: See for example the sexplanation at dpreview: (
Rating: 1 Votes
77 months ago
Don't understand why people have to hate everything that's not Apple.

Adobe develops some great software like Lightroom and Photoshop. Flash sucks but all companies have some lemons in their portfolio (even Apple).

I seriously doubt Apple would have the market share today if it wasn't for software like photoshop being available. Apple appears to have abandoned the pro user so be thankful at Adobe hasn't.
Rating: 1 Votes
77 months ago

would love for Apple to have Aperture do this "in the field" or "on the couch" rating system/maybe editing too via iPad and sync to main Mac running Aperture.

PLUS, with non-destructive changes the iPad is fine for starting on things.

There used to be a great app called Pixelsync for rating, organising and flagging called Pixelsync but it got torpedoed when Aperture/iPhoto had their file system changed:

// (//

Apple should've done what Adobe are doing ages ago and made a companion app for Aperture for use with their own device the iPad! It's a pity and flabbergasting that they still haven't; fingers crossed this will be part of Aperture 4.
Rating: 1 Votes

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