When Adobe first released Lightroom Mobile back in 2014, I wrote that it was a game changer. My only complaint was that the iOS version of Lightroom couldn’t directly import RAW files. RAW images imported on the computer would sync to LR Mobile, so it was semi-useful for culling on the iPad while not at my desk, but what I really wanted was a complete mobile solution. The most recent iOS Lightroom Mobile update gave us that solution.
RAW images imported through the Camera Connection Kit or Lighting to USB adapter can now be imported directly into LR Mobile. From there, the same wireless sync we’re used to makes sure those RAW files make it back to the desktop version of Lightroom.
THE NEW WORKFLOW
Shoot in RAW like you normally would. When you’re finished, connect your camera to your iPad (or iPhone,) via the Camera Connection Kit.
Import the images through the default iOS import dialog.
Once the images are on your iPad, open Lightroom. If you have Lightroom set to auto-import, you should start seeing your images appear in the default collection. If not, add them manually. In the past, it was impossible to import RAW images that were in the iOS photo library.
I have Lightroom Mobile set to only sync over WiFi, and that’s probably a good setting to keep if you’re going to be syncing full RAW image files. So if you have that setting checked, and you’re on WiFi, kick back and relax for a bit. It takes a little longer for the RAW files to sync. You can check the sync status by tapping on the little cloud icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
When they’ve completed syncing, they’ll be available on Lightroom Web.
The next time you open Lightroom on your desktop computer, the RAW files will make their way down. Again, it takes a little longer to sync up the actual RAW files.
From there, any edits you make, either on desktop or mobile, will sync as quickly as they do with any other image.
This update has pretty much guaranteed that my next iPad will have as much storage space as possible. I can now dump cards onto the iPad instead of having to lug around a laptop. When I get back home, all I have to do is sync everything up.
This is the game changer.