Photoshop/Lightroom: HEIF support for iOS 11

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  • (Edited)
Any plans to support the HEIF file format that iOS 11 uses natively?
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Aaron Biggs

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Posted 1 year ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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There's unlikely to be anything officially announced until support is available, but no doubt it's on their radar.
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Gabriel

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I think it would be great if they would announce something sooner rather than later, especially if they still want to compete in the mobile editing space.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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For sure, but the Apple news has only been out a couple of weeks, and nothing happens THAT quickly in big companies. I think, however, you can rest assured that they're not going to ignore Apple's changes. They can't afford to be left behind.
(Edited)
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David Converse

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Actually, HEIF is an MPEG standard and has been around for a couple of years. Adobe could drop in a reference implementation pretty quickly, I'm guessing, even if just read support.
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Eric Welch

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No kidding, let's kill jpeg, png, and gif in one swoop!
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robgendreau

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I'd like to see HEIF support for sure. Should be quite nice, especially since it would reduce upload and download times substantially for better quality images.
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Pete Green, Customer Advocate

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Official Response
Hi all,

Adobe is committed to supporting the imaging industry and we are constantly reviewing new formats as they become adopted throughout the imaging ecosystem. We are currently reviewing our strategy to support HEIF format images, but have no immediate timelines that we can share.
(Edited)
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Khürt Williams

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This response is an excellent example of an information free response. It's an answer that basically says nothing.

Apple will release iOS 11 and two new iPhones this fall -- one this month and one in November. I import my iPhone photos to Lightroom and use Lightroom mobile. If neither can support the default image format in iOS 11, I think the tech press will be all over this.
JPEGmini already announced they will be ready when the time comes.

http://blog.jpegmini.com/did-apple-kill-jpegs/
(Edited)
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Justin Lindsey

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Just spent 5 minutes trying to import some fireworks photos into Lightroom mobile, before I remembered that heif support is probably why I couldn’t edit
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Kevin Morrison

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Give us HEIF or WebP, I dont think anyone cares anymore since both technologies have been fleshed out many years ago. It is time to get up to speed with better image and video compressions and for Adobe to make the lame claim they are reviewing this is a joke! They have been reviewing both of these then for more than 7 years. How long do they have to review something before they take action?

One upside at least for HEIF is if you can create these image types you dont need to wait for a browser to support it because you can just upload a js script and you are good to go.
(Edited)
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Henri

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But another script JUST for browser support. The sad part is that not all browsers will come aboard so they are likely to be the only ones - for sometime  - to be the ones to target.Chrome is playing w/ their own JPG replacement (pik - v. experimental), and have WebP to work with (which they are targeting PNG for replacement in fact)FireFox has shown much reluctance in the past to adopt new formats, and have done it begrudgingly for WebP (originally swore to not support it, but proceeded to implement support years later - filed here) Are CDNs going to provide the support??Oh ya, there's a patent too. re: WebP, there is a 3rd party plugin that seems to be working well - though no support seems to be coming from publisher any longer... 
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David Converse

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For those unfamiliar with HEIF, its a container format to hold other image and video files. Video is moving to h.265 which is an improvement over the older h.264. HEIF allows things like Apple's Live Photos to be encapsulated into one standard format file.
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robgendreau

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And it can hold audio and other stuff too. But the big deal is more compression with higher quality than JPEG. So not only storage but transmission times are significantly reduced.
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Kevin Morrison

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Yes it is a container but it is not just a container, it is a full blown file format with a compression algorithm. Which is the biggest plus for it, however the ability to work with a variety of formats (gif and video) makes it an ideal candidate for the future.

Just shaking my head as to why we are still waiting and not taking advantage of these new engines and still have to hack our way along with jpg, png and the various video formats? So much for the tech industry being on the cutting edge. I guess when you have the likes of Google, Microsoft, Adobe and Apple on the playground arguing about whose stick is bigger, nothing will ever come of this.
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john beardsworth

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"Just shaking my head as to why we are still waiting and not taking advantage of these new engines and still have to hack our way along with jpg, png and the various video formats?"

Because the format is not widely used by photographers. When or if it is, then I'm sure Lightroom will support it in some way.

That said, I have always advocated that Lightroom should be able to catalogue all file types, leaving it to the photographer to decide if the files are part of their photographic workflow.
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robgendreau

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I see the point, but it begs the question of whether Adobe wants to lead or follow. It once led. But like most tech once it gets a big base it develops inertia and becomes more risk-averse.
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Kevin Morrison

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I think part of why Adobe is taking a back seat to this is because they are waiting to find out what the browsers are going to support. Granted we dont need to care about that so much with this format but it would be nice since it means one more script working on the site that can cause a conflict. If you are familiar with Dreamweaver, Adobe has done much the same there and this seems to be an issue when dealing with multiple tech. 
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john beardsworth

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"I see the point, but it begs the question of whether Adobe wants to lead or follow. It once led. But like most tech once it gets a big base it develops inertia and becomes more risk-averse."

To meet generalisations with another, shouldn't each issue be judged on its individual merits? Maybe HEIF will be widely adopted, but how many false dawns have you seen?
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Kevin Morrison

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I think in this case John it comes down to what is functional. Sure Adobe could push it and try and force it on us. We have seen this behavior from them and know they are quite capable of it. However in this case if the format does not work or causes issues on the browser or server side, then regardless what Adobe wants it is not going to happen. I think the bigger issue here is each of these others have their own idea of how this need should be met and they are the ones forcing their influence. For Adobe to join in and do the same would just be adding one more bully to the playground.
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john beardsworth

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I'm not sure Adobe should be encouraged to use LR for bullying. If / when HEIF gains enough traction with photographers, no doubt it will address it in various ways.
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robgendreau

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This is a bit different than say DNG. HEIF will be widely adopted, since it's gonna be on every iPhone and iPad. 500px is looking at it, and I believe some of the video sites like Netflix already use HEVC. It will be used extensively even if consumers never notice it. Where streaming sites and sharing sites have end-to-end control, they'll use it. So maybe Lr Mobile too. At the opposite end, despite its obvious benefits cameras won't use it. This is where smartphones and cameras may start to diverge even more; most cameras may not ever have the horsepower to process HEVC, and maybe even HEIF fast enough.
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john beardsworth

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And if it is adopted by photographers, fine, I'm sure LR will offer support in some way. That might be as basic as importing JPEGs from Camera Roll, regardless of whatever internal format Apple choose, or support might be more thorough if the format is indeed widely adopted. Keeping it under review is a perfectly good position.
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Kevin Morrison

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I agree John, just wish it was more readily available in applications. I am testing now on a development site to see how I might be able to use it on my web projects and how well it plays with other scripts.
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Geoff Faulkner

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photo format change is coming! Apple changing to HEIC instead of JPG.

With the IOS 11 beta, Apple has changed the photo format from JPG to HEIC. This is a different file format that Lightroom currently doesn't support. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Image_File_Format

It would be a good idea to jump on the new file format quickly before the world upgrades to IOS 11 in the fall and suddenly realizes they can't view their photos in Windows, and can't edit their photos in Lightroom.
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Geoff Faulkner

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Searched for "HEIC" before posting, which is the HEIF file extension of IOS 11 photos. I am glad to read the discussion had already started.

At this point in the IOS 11 beta there is a setting to change the format back to JPG.  
Settings > Camera > Formats > Camera Capture
  • High Efficiency
  • Most Compatible
By default, Apple is switching on High Efficiency, and changing the photo format.
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reboot81

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I'm surprised this thread only has 20 comments. Come September 19th thousands of LR/PS user will scratch their heads asking why their software isn't loading their pictures.
Adobe: I'm paying you to support the major file formats for pictures.
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Geoff Faulkner

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I sent this email to all my users:

The new firmware for the phones (IOS 11) is going to be released very shortly (9/19/2017). I have been running this firmware in test mode on my phone for a while now and I have been very happy with the upgrade. There are a few things you should be aware of before you upgrade to the new firmware.

Camera settings

In an effort to save storage space on your phone Apple has embraced a new photo format – HEIF. This “high efficiency” format compresses your photos more than the standard JPG format while keeping similar quality. This is a great new feature, BUT...Windows, apps, programs all need to be updated to support this brand new image format. If you take HEIF pictures and transfer to a computer you may not be able to view the photos or use them on your computer.

I suggest you disable this new format for now, until the industry has caught up and embraces the new format. Follow these instructions to disable this feature:

  1. Open Settings > Camera > Formats > Camera Capture
  2. Set the option for Most Compatible
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Henri

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I was just going to point out the same. There has always been an opt out. But they are clearly transitioning to the new format. BUT, they have spent sometime talking about this and in fact had 3 sessions during WWDC. I do feel this roll out is mildly messy. At writing, I'm not even sure that Safari is supporting this. Let's see how it goes. But this is significant enough that  could get the ire of many for rushing this one out. Who knows. I guess today is the day no? Sept 19th?
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Jeff Grosse

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OK, so now some of us have taken delivery of our new iPhone 8 Plus and the like. Has Adobe found a way to support the HEIF format yet?
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Stephen Shankland

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I might add that HEIF/HEIC is available just with an iOS 11 upgrade to several earlier iPhone and iPad models. I've pulled a few HEIC images over to my laptop with Dropbox sync out of curiosity. I had to manually change Apple capture mode to "high efficiency" and disable Dropbox's default conversion to JPEG, too. I'm not sure what Apple's future plans are for exposing this as a mainstream format vs something iOS uses mostly internally, but I'd like to see HEIF/HEIC support, in part because it seems an efficient container for bursts, panoramas, live photos and other image formats that are gaining currency beyond mere stills. (https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-ios-boosts-heif-photos-over-jpeg-wwdc/)
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robgendreau

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How did you disable Dropbox's conversion to JPEG? I was trying to test HEIFs and the only way I could get one out of the phone was to use Image Capture.

And that's with "high efficiency" enabled and with using the original also enabled.

In short, at this point it's rather tough to even get HEIFs outside of Apples Photos/iCloud Photo Library structure. It would be nice for Lr to support it, but not very necessary at this point. I have a program that can convert HEIF, but it won't work without High Sierra (Graphic Converter).
(Edited)
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Stephen Shankland

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There are instructions on how to disable Dropbox conversion from HEIC to JPEG here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/photos-videos/ios-format


However I find their instructions baffling (person icon?) so here's my version:

1. Open Dropbox app on iOS

2. Tap "recents" from options at the bottom of the screen

3. Tap gear icon in upper left of screen

4. Tap Camera Uploads

5. Scroll down a bit and change "Save HEIC photos as..."  to the setting you want

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Michele Rossi

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled HEIC created with iOS 11 devices are synched to CC as JPEGs without their metadat....

Since the introduction of iOS 11 users can choose to store their photos using the new HEIC format which is more efficient than JPEG.
Lightroom for mobile has currently only very limited support for them and in particular it converts images to JPEGs before uploading them to CC.
This would be ok but unfortunately there is a bug - during the conversion process between HEIC and JPEG all the photo metadata is stripped out and lost.
This is totally independent from the configuration setting with regards to metadata sharing.
I can reproduce this bug always and also if I turn off HEIC the problem goes away.
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Melissa Rios, Lightroom Support Product Manager

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Hi Michele,

Can you verify which version of LRM you are running? Are you using Share settings? Which types of metadata are specifically missing? Can you provide us a workflow with exact steps so we can try to reproduce this?

Thanks,
Melissa
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Michele Rossi

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hi,
here are the steps to reproduce the problem:

1. Use an iOS 11 device, in my case specifically iPhone 7 128 Gb with iOS 11.0.3 (latest)
2. iPhone Settings ==> Camera ==> Formats ==> choose High Efficiency 
3. Install Lightroom Mobile for iOS version 2.8.2 917020 (latest)
4. Take an example photo using the iPhone camera
5. Open Lightroom Mobile and wait for the CC synchronization to start
6. Open Lightroom (2015.12 with Camera Raw 9.12) on a PC and wait for the photo to appear there, under the Lightroom Mobile folder

The photo reaches the PC as a JPEG image (not a HEIC image) with all its metadata stripped out: no camera model, no shooting date, no aperture settings, no shutter speed settings etc. Only the Copyright info is maintained.

7. Now go back to iPhone Settings => Camera ==> Formats ==> choose Most Compatible
8. Take another example photo
9. Open Lightroom Mobile and wait for the CC synch to start
10. Go back to your PC and wait for the photo to appear there

Now the latest photo will have all its metadata as you'd expect: camera model (iPhone 7), aperture, focal length, shooting date etc

I think it's very important to fix this as Lightroom mobile is the best way to merge iPhone photos with photos taken with a camera and currently that's not possible without paying the price of a serious data loss.

Many thanks for your help.
Michele
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Michele Rossi

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hi,
it looks like this has just been resolved!
As of version 3.0.0 317C4C of Lightroom Mobile (which reached my phone this morning Oct 18th 2017) the bug is gone!
The HEIF files are now correctly converted to JPEG and synched to CC alongside all their metadata.
Now the next step will be for LightRoom Desktop to fully support HEIF so that the conversion to JPEG will no longer be required - but I am happy to wait for that :)

thanks a lot
Michele
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Khoa Tran

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Hey guys, this is my online tool help to convert ios 11 photo in format heic to jpg. Feel free to let me know if you have any comments or feedback, thank you!
http://freetoolonline.com/heic-to-jpg.html
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Rosa

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Thanks Khoa Tran. . . . a fantastic tool for converting heic to jpg! Cheers!
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Khoa Tran

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Thanks Rosa for interesting in freetoolonline.com. Feel free to let me know if you have any feedback, thanks! ^^
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Rosa

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Thanks so much. Your free on line tool converted my heic to jpg beautifully. . .
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Henri

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Hi Khoa, I have a quick question: what are you using as an encoder?? 
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Khoa Tran

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Hello Henri, I'm not sure what do you mean by that. BTW, I'm using jpeg format for output files.
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Henri

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Are you using guetzli, jpegtran, jpegOptim?
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Khoa Tran

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I'm using ffmpeg
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Lightroom Mobile (3.0.0 317C4C) now supports HEIF.
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Stephen Shankland

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And by "support" you mean "converts to JPEG" still, correct?
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redcantelope

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Still appears to be the case in January 2018. I'm losing the DNG inside the HEIF file when Lightroom Mobile uploads.
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robgendreau

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Does that mean Lightroom CC (the new version) does as well, including on the desktop?
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Michele Rossi

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there is no new Lightroom version yet - Lightroom mobile converts the HEIF files to JPEG before upload. I am also hoping Adobe releases an update to Lightroom soon.
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Sami Mäkeläinen

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled HEIC/HEIF support in Photoshop / Lightroom - come on guys..

Look, I know you're "reviewing strategies" wrt supporting HEIF/HEIC etc, but this is getting a bit silly - we know the iPhone is just about the most popular camera in the world, and to not support (a non-proprietary standard, no less) the format it uses is a bit ridiculous. 
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Neo

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled HEVC/HEIF support.

Just another vote for HEVC/HEIF support in LR
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rsvienna

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Still waiting.... spoke to Adobe-Support (via chat and on the phone), it seems they are not aware - or not willing to be aware - that support of both formats is needed. Unbelievable!!!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Don't set too much store by what support tell you. The engineers are aware of the need for support, and they're the ones who count.
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Russell Morales

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Another vote for HEIF/HEIC support in Lightroom (desktop)--not just a convert to JPEG option.  This should not be hard.  Many image formats are supported--why not this?  It is an open standard image format that has some advantages over JPEG.  If you won't support, please let us know that as well.  
(Edited)
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Trevor

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HEIF support would be dandy anytime. If one product supports it, please ensure all do.