Post update on 07.Feb.2016
Lightroom Mobile for Android to me is a try after i switched to the Creative Cloud version of Lightroom because of a offer from Adobe for the photography program.
Not only the switch to the Creative Cloud version of Lightroom and Photoshop but also the new tablet were a starting base to give Lightrom Mobile on Android a new try, even though i already had a trial phase after upgrading to Lightroom 6.
The cloud synchronisation with Lr Mobile allows processing the images on your tablet. This is achieved by converting your RAW images to compressed DNG files. This procedure is similar to the smart previews, were the original raw files are converted to compressed DNG files with a file size of only 10% of the original file and a width of 2560px.
If you never worked with LR Mobile before you first have to add an image on your mobile device. After synching a new collection can be found on your desktop version of Lightroom. From this time you can add images to this collection which by the way is not an smart collection.These new images are available on your tablet after synching.
After successful synchronisation further image processing can be done on the mobile device.
Now you can alter the different parmeters like contrast, white balance or saturation:
Of course changed parameters are synchronized with your catalog on a desktop device and are applied on the original RAW file. Images which are synchronized with LR Mobile are marked with a special symbol in the upper right corner of the image.
You can later most of the parameters of an image and of course handling was adopted to a touch screen.
For different parameters like color for example LR Mobile offers presets to apply a certain effect very fast to an image, but these presets are not the same as presets in the desktop version and desktop presets are not synhchronized with LR Mobile.
The reverse way
The reverse way meaning to import RAW files on the Android device first and synchronize them later to the desktop catalog is limited.
First of all you could take a card reader and copy your images to your tablet to do a first image processing like on vacations and synchronize these images later on with your desktop catalog.
If you try to add Canon RAW files to Lightroom Mobile you’ll get a failure because the app accepts JPEG and DNG formats only. But surprisingly the app accepts the raw files from my Lumix G6 which opens the reverse way.
This is a little bit annyoing because even the raw files from my Canon 5D MK II can be converted to JPEG in decent times with the app RawDroid . I assume converting to DNG wouldn’t be much more time consuming so it would be possible to accept other raw files within Lightroom Mobile, but Adobe said no 🙁 and this restriction is still there even in the newly released version 1.4
But even with a little help of raw2dng, to convert raw files to DNG format (the app has servere problems to save the converted DNG files to a external memory card) it is not really a workarround. You could get the idea to convert to DNG first, process your image within Lightroom Mobile and after synchronisation to copy the settings to the original raw file. But image processing in Lightroom Mobile is missing a history, you’ll get the final result only iwthout the steps in between.
What is missing
Besides the missing raw file capabilites it would have been more interesting to me to add existing keywords from the main catalog.
This would be an alternative if you are on tour or on vacation. Image processing shoud be done on a calibrated desktop system. So were talking about same basic corrections (if you need a JPEG for sharing on facebook or Google+)
Lr Mobile for Android devices goes the right way, but the limitation to a couple of files types is not understandable, especially because other apps are able to handle different raw files and even Lightroom Mobile will handle the raw files of a Lumix cam.
What do think about Lightroom Mobile, do you activly use it? Just let me know in the comments and questions are welcome too.