Adobe Is Testing RAW Photo Processing On Tablets

Adobe Lightroom product manager Tom Hogarty just showed off a preview for how Adobe's most powerful photo retouching tool might one day show up on your tablet. Oh please, please make this happen.

Mobile photo editing has come a long way lately, most notably with the launch of Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android and iOS. The app expands what's possible on a mobile device, but it's also crazy barebones compared to what's possible using Adobe Lightroom.

Starting at about the 18-minute mark in the video from The Grid above, Hogarty briefly demos a research-stage iPad app editing a ~32MB Canon 5D Mark III RAW image file. At first it might not seem like much, but it's actually an ambitious undertaking.

You see, RAW photo editing on an iPad should equal pain. Its guts just can't keep up with the crunch. Remember, when you're pushing sliders around in Adobe Lightroom's powerful Develop Module you're actually processing uncompressed data, which your system is rendering as Jpeg previews on your screen real-time. It's enough to make a computer lag.

So because you can't process RAW locally on a tablet, Adobe's solution is to do the heavy lifting on cloud servers. Smart! Sadly, the tech is in that experimental stage so Adobe won't even speculate about the possibility of its release. But dreaming is nice. [The Grid via Engadget]



    How do I get my images from camera to ipad? I give up.

      I just typed your question into google and got 509 million results.. FFS here's the link

    I don't see what the fuss is, if you have a Windows 8 tablet you can do this now and do it properly, in Photoshop CS6.

      PS CS6 is ~$1,000 and it does far more than most people need. A lightroom app for an iPad might be $20-$50 and it will probably do as much as people need.

        But I already own the full Creative Suite and the license allows me to have it installed on two machines, so the cost of putting it on a tablet is zero. i.e $20-$50 less than Lightroom.

          That's really not much of an argument. It still means that anyone who does not yet own PS CS6 would still have to pay ~$1,000 to get it on their Surface; whereas, a $20-$50 app costs just that much.

            Yeah but the app won't do everything Photoshop can so you'll end up buying another dozen apps, each to do one or two things and you'll have the world's worst workflow.

          BTW, it could just as easily be debated that the real cost of PS CS6 on your Surface is actually $500 ie the overall cost amortised across two devices :-)

      cs6 on a win8 tablet? u make me LOL. do you even know what cs6 is?

        I run CS6 on a Zenbook Prime (Win7) with i7 quad core and 4G RAM. Surely there are Win8 tablets with similar specs?

          I can run CS4 on my old Atom powered netbook and it is completely usable.

        Hmmm, let me see... Watch Sydney's NINE News at 6pm and you'll see my Photoshop/After Effects work for this afternoon - a "piece to camera" with reporter Gabriella Rogers talking in front of my bionic man and a few stills of the 3 proposals for Packer's new casino. Oh, and a last minute animation for Westpac's profit.

        Last edited 03/05/13 5:24 pm

          Lol and u would use cs6 on a tablet? Really? It's about as useful as using chopsticks to eat soup.

            Why not? I used to use Photoshop on a DX2/66 with 1Mb of RAM. It doesn't actually require much grunt compared to a lot of applications I use. RAM is far more important so I'd expect a tablet with 8Gb of RAM to perform as well as my MacPro here at work.

              I have no doubt that it'll run. The point is user interface and where would a tablet fit in your workflow. When you write an applications for touch screen/mobile, it's not a matter of working out whether something will run. Tablets aren't just a cut down laptop. They have massive strengths, but for something like CS6 where the interface has not been written for touch interface, yes you can say it runs BUT you'd be better off using a laptop every time. A win8 tablet is just a gimped laptop until desktop software vendors start writing for a touch workflow. Windows 8 isn't going to provide that platform. Maybe Win 9 or 10. If you're still not sure, run up a remote desktop session on an ipad. It'll work like a local windows box and try doing something useful with it. Slashtop has the best interface if it helps. My credentials are I've been writing business web applications for a decade and half (long before it was cool), I've been writing business applications for touchscreen mobile for over 8 years (first for symbol mobile computers) as well as touchscreen manufacturing automation, public touch screen kiosks, stock control ipad applications, and also writing iOS and android apps. I'm telling you, there's no way you would use CS6 on a 10 inch touch screen. But I guess some people are into strange masochistic torture.

                Why restrict yourself to touch just because you're on a tablet? I realise that devices like iPad sort of force you into that way of thinking but, for example, my mate uses his Playbook on a charging stand with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (it's his only computer). If I got a Win8 tablet, it would be hooked up to a monitor/keyboard/mouse most of the time and I'd use the touchscreen like a Cintiq tablet (with a stylus). A perfect set-up for Photoshop, wouldn't you say?

                One thing's for sure, I wouldn't want to be working on high quality images on a screen covered in greasy fingermarks.

                  So what you're saying is that a tablet is an awful device for cs6 until u turn it into a pc. ME TOO!! Now an actual tablet app is interesting. Omg!! That's what this article is about....

                  No, I'm saying that a Windows tablet is not the same one-dimensional, largely useless device that iPad and Android tablets are and that you need to think about it differently. You can't think about a tablet being something other than a PC because a tablet is a PC. It's a form factor, nothing more. That the vast majority of current tablets are very poor PCs is not really the point. After all, netbooks are largely useless and no-one would argue they are not PCs.

                  And to answer your question, the article is about RAW image processing on tablets.

                  well your phone is a pc too? a digital camera is a pc too? I mean you can customise the firmware of my canon 5d if you want. it is just a computer after all. if you put a pc operating system on a tablet, it is just a form factor. tablets aren't a new thing. microsoft and others had been working on them for many years but it's never been a successful recipe. for it to work, you need an OS customised for the specific requirements of the device. if you have to plug it in to something to make it usable, then it's hardly convenient. when i want a PC, I use my PC. The ipad is incredible for doing the things that it does. Win8 on a tablet is a constant struggle fighting a platform that is unsuitable for the way you use it. You can only recommend it as a tablet if the software preloaded on it is good enough for your purpose. Good luck relying on software vendors releasing tablet optimised software any time in the next year or so. A tablet that only browses and does email and not much else is a whole lot more restricting.

                  How many tasks that you used to perform on your PC do you now perform on your phone? I would suggest that more than 50% of things I do on my PC I could also do on my phone, to a greater or lesser extent. Certainly every app on my phone has an equivalent on my PC, even if it is just a web page. If it quacks like a duck...

                  OTOH, cameras are far more specialised and very few of things we do on a PC coul dbe done usefully on a camera. It's really not that hard.

                  How is Win8 a struggle on a tablet? I think what you mean to say is the the WIndows desktop is a struggle using touch input on a small screen. But Win8 supports USB and Bluetooth so there is no reason to restrict yourself to touch input and when you are on the go you can rely on the touch-specific side of things, which will absolutely allow you to do everything you can do on an iPad or Android tablet. i.e. A Win8 tablet is the best of both worlds - power and portability - where iPad and Android tablets are the opposite - the worst of both worlds - with none of the portability of a smartphone, nor the processing power of a laptop.

            I can't see why not. Can you help, beyond a lot of LOL? I don't use the keyboard for anything that doesn't have a dropdown menu. Why not on a tablet?

              Check my response to Motormouth. Motormouth has a long history of comments on anything iOS related. Always preaching the same message. He doesn't understand or appreciate the philosophy of the ipad (which is fine) but assumes the millions that do are wrong. So he literally makes me LOL when I read his comments in a "There he goes again" way.

                That's what I needed. A reasoned comment from someone who knows what they're on about. I'm no IT guru, but I think Adobe is developing for mobile platforms purely an simply for the reason that it's where the consumer is at. I'm not referring to iOS or Android devices, I'm thinking more the hybrids like like the excellent devices Sony and Asus have at the present. A touch interface seems to be where the OS and hardware manufacturers are taking us, so it makes sense for Adobe to develop for that market.

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