Adobe has released an update for Lightroom mobile for iPad and iPhone that allows users to shoot DNG raw files with Lightroom mobile’s camera. This is available only for devices with a 12 MP camera – the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, and 7 Plus; and the 9.7″ iPad Pro. (The 12.9″ iPad Pro only has an 8 MP camera, so raw capture is not available on this device.)
To update to Lightroom mobile 2.5, visit the App store, find LrM under Updates, and click on the Update button. For raw capture, your device operating system must be updated to iOS10, which is due to be released later today. To check for the update on your mobile device go to Settings>General>Software Update.
Also new with this release are bug fixes and performance improvements (so do update even if you don’t have a phone that supports raw capture.) Finally, support has been added for the new wide gamut P3 color space capable of displaying more richly saturated colors, found on the 9.7″ iPad Pro, 7 and 7 Plus. Support for this color space means in Lightroom mobile means that display of your edits will be more accurate.
To set Lightroom mobile’s camera to capture DNG raw files (DNG is Adobe’s version of a raw file), open the Lightroom mobile camera, and tap on the top center area to change the file type from JPEG to DNG.
The benefits to capturing raw files instead of JPEGs include:
- blown-out highlight recovery (limited – it depends on how overexposed they are)
- the ability to set white balance after capture without loss of quality,
- larger bit depth, which allows for heavier editing
- lack of JPEG compression artifacts.
The downsides to capturing in raw are:
- your files will be larger, and
- you’ll have to process them before sharing – i.e. raw files aren’t appropriate for most photo sharing. If you’re working on your desktop computer you’ll need to export JPEGs from Lightroom to share. If you’re working in Lightroom mobile, you can use the Share feature.
UPDATE: Note that raw capture was added for devices running Android versions 5.0 (Lollipop) and later back in February, but not all device manufacturers have chosen to support this feature. To check to see if your device does, ensure that you’re running Android 5.0+ and Lightroom mobile 2.0+, then open the camera and tap on the file format badge at the top of the screen (as in the screenshot above). If it’s available you’ll see a JPEG/DNG switch.