Lightroom mobile 2.8: Full review of update (after using) lengthy but I hope this helps you

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  • Updated 10 months ago
  • (Edited)
You can follow the original conversations here: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2017/07/july-mobile-updates.html
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I was about half way done editing a wedding when this update released (2.8) so last night I had a full night to sit down and complete my edits with the new update. Here are my thoughts (running a 12.9 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil)

As you all know, I had to change my workflow around almost entirely with the lack of "swipe to rate" and "full screen edit". The biggest issue I found is with the adjustment bars, they are simply too small, making precise edits is almost impossible. In full screen mode the bar used to extend the entire screen, so going to an exact number was pretty easy and fluid. Now when I place the tip of the Apple Pencil onto the "circle" of the adjustment bar, there is a lag before the circle even moves and because the bar is so small it jumps from one number to the next very quickly and not fluid. I FOUND A SMALL FIX FOR THIS HOWEVER. For each adjustment, take for example the Exposure, you can tap once on either far end of the adjustment to adjust in increments of .10 for exposure or increments of 5 for settings like Contrast, Highlights, Etc. This helped me TREMENDOUSLY because most of the pictures just needed a few bumps on settings in either direction. Oh also, the SPLIT TONE settings are EXTREMELY difficult to edit, the color bar/box is just not a good option for getting those precise edits.

The next big "time waster" was the copy/paste. I use this feature with almost every edit because I edit both color and black/whites. BEFORE I CONTINUE: This issue could be completely taken care of if they would allow custom presets or "sync presets from Lightroom Desktop" or something of that nature. Because that is not available, with my style of editing I'm constantly copy and pasting settings from images. Before, you cold hold down on an image, tap copy, go to the image you want to edit, hold down and tap paste. (Maybe that's not the easiest way to do it, but that's what I was used to and I was very quick and efficient at it.) Now you have to tap all the way to the top right of the screen on the 3 dots and then you have access to copy/paste. I realize that moving my hand to the very corner is not a huge time waster, but annoying and if you add up all those milliseconds throughout a full wedding edit, you'll see the time add up.

One of the PROS I found was in fact the "Brush Tool" it did the job pretty well along with the Apple Pencil. There was a little bit of lag (not enough to be frustrated about) but I know the technology and hardware is there to have absolutely zero lag. The pressure sensitivity worked well with the Apple Pencil but I feel it could even be improved a little bit better for even more precise edits.

There were a few minor things here and there, like there is not an overall adjustment for NOISE but there is a noise adjustment for the brushes (didn't make much sense to me). The "UNDO/REDO" buttons have moved from the top to the bottom, so as you might expect almost every time I needed them, I naturally went to the top first and had to correct myself every time (which got annoying).

Over all, it wasn't awful, the BIGGEST ISSUE IS NOT BEING ABLE TO EDIT IN FULL SCREEN! The images are so small in either orientation when you edit that I'm just in awe that they thought this was ok (And that's that I'm using a 12.9 iPad). Anyway, I hope this "lengthy" review helps some of you that were as frustrated as I was.
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Jeff Lopez Photography

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Posted 10 months ago

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Dave Pearce

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Good write up and this mirrors my feelings 100%. Ive only just started using the Split toning, but this new update has made things a lot harder, at least when using finger tips.

Im happy to take the new features over the things i feel have been messed up, but i wish those messed up features hadnt been tampered with. So much lost screen space now.

I do most of my editing on my ipad Pro these days. The only time i really use the desktop version is if i need to use the Transform tool, or to change the Camera profile (PLEASE Adobe, give us the option to use more than just the bland Adobe one).

Im not sure if i read your post wrong, but there is a noise reduction section for the overall image, not just the brush tool. Also sharpening has its own section now.
(Edited)
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Sebastian

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I couldn't agree more. I got the android update, and we didn't get the brush tools yet, so I can't comment there. Also, my tablet doesn't have a stylus.
I liked the new layout, the possibility to force the sync and a couple of few other options, but there were changes that are making my life much more difficult. Really, there are things very frustrating, and it looks I am not the only one. Here's my top 3:

1- the Adjustment bars are very, very difficult to use, way to small and imprecise. I struggle to even be able to grab the circle to move left or right, and when I do, I can seldom place it in the right value. In the past didn't have this issue

2- the ability to Quick Rate/select is lost. It is really annoying to have to switch that on top, for me is no longer quick

3- the Color bars, as in Split tones, are extremely difficult to use and I am never able to get an accurate value

There aren't any new Presets. If we won't have the ability to use/import the desktop version presets, then I would expect a broad variety of choices. Other free editing services have a lot of very nice, or even professional looking presets to use.

I also noted a slower Performance. I have a good hardware: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. I have never seen this tablet struggle with any software in the past, call it games, editing tools, video editing. But I notice some lags with the new update in Lightroom. Hope there will be some performance improvements in the future.
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Kent Messamore

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I would support these comments.  I was a heavy user of Lightroom Mobile on my iPad Pro 9.7.  My normal usage was on my Desktop with two 24 inch monitors, but over the past year I have become to prefer the iPad.  When the change was made to the iPhone user interface, I was dissapointed but understood why the change was being made.  Now that the iPhone user interface has been implemented on the iPad, I am really disappointed.  The comments above reflect my disappointment.  The two biggest issues are the smaller screen size when doing post processing and the reduction in slider size.  The long sliders allowed for very precise adjustment.

I welcome the two positive additions - Adjustment Brush and Pencil.
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Dave Pearce

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Is it my imagination that you can now zoom in more without the images looking soft? I'm sure if i double tapped on an image before it would zoom in but look soft. Today Ive been getting pin sharp images on my iPad Pro when doing the above.

Oh, and i like the full screen mode, although I'm not sure how useful it is.
(Edited)
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Alan Harrington

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The swipe to rate feature in full screen was my #1 use for LR Mobile. I would rate and do preliminary editing on my iPad then fine-tune on my desktop. Missing this feature greatly reduces the usefulness of the app for me. I much prefer using broad gestures and keyboard shortcuts to having to poke at small targets with the tip of my finger or Apple Pencil. This version is full of small targets. The image area is also too small. I like the new organization of the app but too much real estate is wasted. Portrait orientation is shockingly bad / completely useless. I am on the iPad Pro 10.5.

The new brush editing features are great.
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Rick Baumhauer

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I know that Speed Rating/Flagging is coming back, but letting it go for any reason at this point indicates that Adobe doesn't know how the product is used. The interface change (very much for the worse) just adds to that feeling. This isn't a 1.0 product - Adobe should have a decent idea of where the tablet interface should be going by now, but 2.8 feels like they just threw everything away and started over again, with really bad results.