Lightroom Mobile: Smart previews: choice between 1:1 HEIC and low resolution raw

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Here's my suggestion to improve mobile integration.

The current situation allow to sync smart previews which are low res (2540 px) RAW files. This good for basic editing, but not suited for sharpness assessment (culling).
 
Therefore, I'm suggesting to implement an option to have 1:1 HEIC files instead of under sampled raw files. These files would weigh about the same so have no impact on the servers.

I think this would integrate much better in a workflow:
  1. You keep the option to have full res raw files on mobile by importing them directly on the device. But without other option than web sync and with the still limited storage capacities of mobile devices, this makes little sense.
  2. Mobile is still limited for real editing and it's even worse on smart previews, but does a pretty good job for culling images. However, culling without 1:1 doesn't make much sense. Having even compressed 1:1 images would make it much easier.
  3. Once fully edited on the computer, it makes more sense to store them in the cloud at 1:1 than in raw format, where the losses aspect is less important
I'm not asking to throw away smart previews, just suggesting to give more control over what's synced.

(I'm pretty convinced this will never happen, but you never know...)
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Antoine Hlmn

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Posted 3 months ago

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Carlos Cardona

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"These files would weigh about the same so have no impact on the servers." Hunh? I'd like to know where you saw actual comparisons of HEIC/HEIF file sizes vs. Adobe Smart Previews?
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Antoine Hlmn

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Hi Carlos,

* Could would be a better word. I couldn't find specific technical information for the smart previews excepted it's 2540 px on the long side in lossy compressed dng.

I've exported a couple of images using those settings and they weigh about 2.1 MB. Another way to do this would be, on mobile, the check the storage used / images stored. I'll try this later.

I've compressed a couple of 42 MPix RAWs into 1:1 HEIC and jpeg2000 (giving very similar results) of 2 MB. Those files are 7900 x 5300 px wide, so the biggest you can get but pretty big.

The result is very clear to me: I'd be happy to cull my images based on the HEIC, but it's impossible to asses sharpness on the smart preview.



Both for culling as for "archiving on mobile", I find it much more useful to have the high res 'good enough dynamic' file than the smart preview I'm still going (or more often already have !!) to edit on computer anyway.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Minor correction: Smart Previews are 2560 px long edge
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Antoine Hlmn

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My bad! I must have had a memory glitch ^^ Thanks for pointing it out. (If a mod can edit my text to avoid propagation ... ?)

Do you see anything else that would go against my reasoning ? Being technical or logic? You might have more insight with regard to smart preview specs. I've just done a rough assumption based on an cropped exported dng as proof of concept.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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I think when Lightroom 5.4 was in release, back in 2014, Adobe actually posted the 2540 value which was later corrected. A lot of older internet references still refer to 2540 which was not ever the value.