Adobe Lightroom Mobile
Without much thinking I downloaded it onto my iPad to test it out. First surprise – you need Creative Cloud subscription to use it for free. I have so it wasn’t big deal but for those of you who haven’t – it might be because as far as I know you won’t be able to use this app without valid CC subscription – you simply can’t buy it as a separate product! You also need desktop version of Lightroom installed on your computer because mobile version syncs with it.
Lightroom Mobile lets you edit images that you either have already on your iPad or which you get from your desktop by syncing Lightroom Mobile with Lightroom desktop version. To do this you need to download just released Adobe Lightroom 5.4, create collection in it and set it as “synchronizeable”. When you connect iPad to your computer, all images from this collection will be transferred onto iPad.
In this develop-like module you can not only flag your photos (Pick/Reject) but you can also adjust all basic settings like White Balance, Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation or Clarity. You just click on the name of the setting and slider appears to allow you make adjustments. You can also Crop your image.
Not surprisingly not all features from Lightroom desktop made it to mobile version (iPad probably is too slow and has too few memory to support some of them). Unfortunately you cannot edit colours in the image as freely as in desktop version of Lightroom (you can change Vibrance or Saturation but you cannot increase eg. saturation of yellows only). Lightroom Mobile also misses sharpening, denoising and selective adjustments.
Once you finish editing you can share your image (at least in theory because when I tried the app crashed in my case) or what is more useful you can sync your changes with Desktop version, so all edits will appear there as well allowing you to finish editing photos on your main computer.
So time for a short summary. In my opinion Lightroom Mobile is a great tool that will be very useful for many photographers. It’s true that iPad version misses a lot of features from Desktop version (for me it’s especially selective adjustments and ability to change colours in the image) but still the ability to make some basic editing will be invaluable for many – you will be able to show first version of your images to the client. Also the fact you can quickly pick your best photos and reject the worst on location will save you some time back at home. And yes, you don’t need to pay for it more.