Adobe shows off Lightroom-esque iPad app with RAW support, cloud syncing

Adobe Lightroom iPad

Photoshop maker Adobe has a few more or less useful apps on the App Store, most of them tied to its Creative Cloud offering and the Creative Suite family of desktop products for pros.

Although the company caters to photography buffs with iPhone and iPad versions of Photoshop Express, Photoshop Touch, Ideas and other apps, they’re pared down versions conceived as companion apps to their desktop counterparts.

But pro photographers have reasons to rejoice as Adobe’s group product manager for Lightroom Tom Hogarty today on Photoshop guru Scott Kelby’s show The Grid showed off a yet unnamed prototype iPad app that will bring pro-level photo editing and image manipulation capabilities to the owners of the Apple tablet.

Among the features being promised: RAW image support, seamless sync that leverages Adobe’s cloud technologies and advanced Lightroom parameters, such as exposure, clarity, shadows, highlights and white balance…

According to CNET, at the heart of RAW image support is Adobe’s Smart Previews technology from the newly released Lightroom 5 beta.

What this does is take a RAW image file (which often has a large file size) and create a lossy DNG version. These DNGs allow for fast and efficient editing on lower-specc’d hardware as any change made to the DNG file later sync back to the RAW image file via the Adobe cloud.

Check out the iPad build in the below clip.

Some of the confirmed features in the iPad app include:

  • 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.

And here’s a video detailing Smart Previews in Lightroom 5.

Hogarty demonstrated zooming in all the way to a 36-megapixel raw photo on the iPad 2 hardware. Though he noted that some of the more advanced functions do require newer hardware.

Some of the editing sliders on the prototype software “would make the tablet blow up,” CNET writes. “We understand there are limitations” to mobile devices, Hogarty said.

The screenshot top of post depicts Adobe’s app running on an iPad 2.