Lightroom Mobile: How to stop those horrible smart previews? Also how to export the same size as my original image.

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  • Updated 6 months ago
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Problem, Question and Request: I’m using Lightroom mobile for iOS, and It uses those “Smart Previews”. I don’t like it, it only makes sense in a vacuum, and the only setting to control that feature is worded in a way that by turning it OFF it doesn’t stop them. I have 2 issues with them. 1. Since my iPhone X gets those previews no matter what I do, it must really like them, because any time share or export out an edited image it sends super small files. This happens even though I choose “Largest Available” from the export dialog box. The only other option is what it calls “Small” at 2048 px, but I get 475p X 350p (approx). Now that’s not right. Am I doing something wrong ? Is there a different way to get a full resolution image out of the app? I size my images very specifically (Not in Lightroom, I have to use a different app to do that ; in fact, two different apps, on for iPhone and one for iPad) and I need them to come out that size. So if there isn’t a solution for this then that is my request, 1.An option to disable smart previews. 2. An export option that gives back the same size image I put in. That’s long enough, we can skip the second reason I don’t want smart previews
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madNfluenZ

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  • frustrated.

Posted 1 year ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Tap in the 'Lr' in the upper right corner. That will reveal the settings. Go to 'Cloud storage & Sync' and turn off 'Only download smart previews'.
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Robert DuVernet

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Yeah, you’d think that would work, but it just doesn’t do anything.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Also bear in mind where the files are coming from. Lightroom Classic can only upload smart previews, so whatever your iOS settings, if the originals aren't in the cloud, it can't access them.
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Maxwell Lau

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it doesn't make sense at all and it's freaking frustrating!!!
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Robert DuVernet

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It may not be a bug, but for me, as a professional, I don’t want to edit a small pixelated version of my photos or EVER have any small version of any photo I take, ever created by any app or software automatically... I don’t own tens of thousands of dollars worth the gear so I can play around with crappy low res blurry versions of my photos. I can’t even check critical focus with these so called “smart previews”. Maybe call them “stupid previews” it’s a stupid annoying idea and it breaks Lightroom and any workflow for me. Give us the option to use up all the space on our iPads if we choose to. Period! I’ve been ranting about this for a long time. There is zero use for the iPad as an editing tool if you force me to edit low res crap versions of my photos and then only export or share the same low res version. Maybe if I took photos with my iPad, it would make sense, but I’ve literally never used the iPads camera, and I never will.
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Antoine Hlmn

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Robert, the "only" reason for this "bug by design" is because Adobe wants you to use -there are, imho, many reasons for that- their new cloud based system.

Unfortunately, this 'new' version of LR is not answering (pro, enthusiasts, ...) photographers needs: many features are not there yet but probably more importantly, people don't want to be locked up in a cloud based system.

Bottom line, as a photographer needing LR, you should keep LR Classic as you were used to and forget about LR mobile, or see it as "a little plus". But unfortunately not as an integration to your workflow. Their comm should have been clear to begin with, unfortunately.

Imo, why does adobe wants to push towards cloud? The main reason is probably to lock their users in their ecosystem. Once the pictures are on the servers, it's way more difficult to manage them and to switch to another app if needed. This also allows them to provide AI and stuf, which is good.

Why do people don't want to switch to cloud? because of the above, because not everyone has a fast connection, because LR fucks up pictures and there is no back up, because it just doesn't integrete in people's workflow, because LR is not a pro software anymore, ...
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Robert Duvernet

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I just don’t use my iPad to edit anymore. Even if I ingest the raw files directly into my iPad, I can’t save or export (share) the full resolution versions of the edits with Lightroom. That aspect makes it useless to me. As far as the cloud goes, I don’t mind the cloud, but I don’t need it! I just want to be able to edit and save my full resolution files without any software or app changing resolutions. It’s pretty simple, Adobe just won’t do it. If I could drop the photos into my iPad, edit them, and export them out at full res, without dealing with my laptop, I’d be really happy. I like your post and all the points you make!
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Antoine Hlmn

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Thanks Robert :)

If you were to try (or already have) to integrate your iPad in a somwhat "pro" (understand: streamlined or organised workflow) with LR Classic, you will hit so many walls you'll become crazy. There are so many bugs, either real bugs or either "by design". The only way would be to switch to "LR cloud" but as you said, there are also too many restrictions.

Furthermore, and I don't like to speculate, but I expect LR Classic to die soon. "Official reps" and "Champions" will -of course- disagree. They will say LR Classic will continue to be updated, but I don't expect big updates anymore; only bug fixes or easy implementations.