Learn how to capture stunning DNG and raw photos on your iPad or iPhone with the in-app camera in Lightroom for mobile. Use the Pro or HDR mode to get precise controls over your shots, apply pre-defined filters, and use Depth capture mode (Technology Preview) to get the best capture.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile provides a dedicated photo capture experience where you can apply various effects on your live camera view and capture the photo. The captured photo is automatically added to your Lightroom catalog.

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When you open Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile for the first time, allow the app to access your device's camera when prompted.  

Quickly launch the in-app camera

You can launch your in-app camera using one of the following ways: 

3D Touch support

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Apple has introduced 3D touch feature on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models with iOS 9 or later only. Therefore, the support for 3D touch actions provided by Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile is limited to these iPhone models running on iOS 9 or later. This feature is currently not available on other iOS devices.

To directly access the Adobe in-app camera:

  1. From your Home screen, deep press Lightroom app icon to view the quick action.
  2. Tap Camera or Take Photo to quickly access Lightroom's in-app camera.
Lightroom 3D touch support

Notification Center widget

Notification Center widget, when enabled for Lightroom for mobile, allows you to get instant access to the Adobe in-app camera. When you access notifications on your device by swiping downwards from the top of the screen, Lightroom for mobile appears in the Notification Center enabling you to quickly access the in-app camera.

To enable the Notification Center widget for Lightroom for mobile:

  1. Go to your device Settings and tap Notifications.

    Lightroom Notifications Center widget
  2. Tap Lightroom in the list that appears.

  3. Enable Allow Notifications and Show in Notification Center.

    Lightroom Notifications Center widget
  4. Swipe down from the top of the screen to access Notifications. Tap Edit. Under the Do Not Include section, tap the green plus icon next to Lightroom for mobile to enable it.

  5. Scroll to the top of the list to verify that Lightroom for mobile has been added, and tap Done. Lightroom for mobile now appears in the Notification Center enabling you to quickly access the in-app camera.

Hide user interface controls

Beginning with version 2.6, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile (iOS) allows you to hide the in-app camera controls to give you a better view of the image to be captured.

To hide the camera controls, swipe down on the viewfinder screen. To show the camera controls again, swipe up, or tap icon at the upper-right corner.

Capture settings

Tap icon to display the Settings.

Max screen brightness

Turn ON to set the brightness of your device's screen to maximum while in the Capture mode.  

Geotag Photos

Turn ON to allow tagging of the location information within the Exif metadata of your captured photo.

Save unprocessed original

This setting is available in the HDR mode only. Turn ON to also save the unprocessed original photo in addition to the processed raw HDR photo.

Capture photos in the Auto mode

Capture interface options in the Auto mode.
Capture interface options in the Auto mode.

A. Exit Capture interface  B. On-camera flash options C. Crop ratio options D. Capture Timer options E. Viewfinder overlay options F. Presets G. Exposure Lock H. Capture button I. Capture mode switch (Auto/Pro) J. Switch to front camera K. DNG/JPEG capture option L. Toggle options M. Capture settings N. Show Highlight Clipping 

Set on-camera flash options

Tap () icon to toggle flash options bar.  

Auto (default)

Automatically turn the device's flash ON or OFF based on the external lighting conditions. This is the default flash option and good for general-purpose setting.

On (forced flash)

Turn ON the device's flash for every capture.

Off (disable flash)

Turn OFF the device's flash for every capture.

Pinch to zoom

You can use a pinch gesture on the viewfinder screen to initiate the camera zoom.

  • To zoom in, use the outward spread gesture.
  • To zoom out, use the pinch gesture.

The zoom applied on your capture is non-destructive in nature, so you can always revert to the original capture (non-zoomed) while editing the photo.

Tap to focus

While capturing photos using Lightroom's in-app camera, your camera lens auto-focuses on the live scene by default. However, in scenarios where you want a sharper focus on a particular area of interest like a subject in the background instead of the foreground, you can manually refocus the lens on that area.

To do so:  

  1. Tap on the viewfinder screen to get a sharper image of that region.
  2. When you tap, a box overlay appears showing where the lens is refocusing.

Capture raw photos

Choose file format of captured photo — JPG or Adobe DNG
Choose file format — JPG or Adobe DNG

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Beginning with version 2.5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile (iOS) supports DNG raw image capture on any iPhone or iPad device that has at least a 12-megapixel camera, running at iOS 10.0 or newer.

Raw capture

In the camera module, tap the capture file format badge (DNG, by default) at the top of the viewfinder to switch between JPEG and DNG capture options. Choose DNG to shoot photos in Digital Negative (DNG) raw format.

DNG format is a raw file format created by Adobe. DNG files take up more storage space, but contain more image information and provide higher quality than JPG files.  

Compose shots using viewfinder overlays

Grid overlays displayed over your live capture view help you to compose the shots.

Tap () icon to toggle overlay options bar.

Viewfinder Overlay options in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for mobile
Viewfinder Overlay options - None, Halves, Thirds, Golden, and Level

None

By default, the overlays are turned off.

Thirds

Align areas of the subject being captured along or at the junction of the thirds.

Halves

Align areas of the subject being captured along or at the junction of the halves.

Golden

Align areas of the subject being captured along or at the junction of the Phi grid overlay that is based on the golden ratio.

Level overlay

Uses device's sensors to align the camera with the ground for leveled horizon shots and to avoid geometric distortion.

Shoot through Presets

Tap icon at the lower-right corner to display the Presets. The following Presets are available:

  • High contrast
  • Flat
  • Warm shadows
  • High contrast black and white
  • Flat black and white

Choose any of the presets to apply it on your live capture. This allows you to preview your photo before you capture it. When you launch the Adobe in-app camera again, it auto-defaults to the last preset that you used.

When you shoot through any Preset, the effect applied on the photo is nondestructive in nature. You can always revert its look to a normal photo later when you edit it. For example, to revert a photo captured with a black and white preset to a normal color photo on your iPhone — open the photo in Loupe view for editing and tap/unselect the B&W option from the Color menu in the Edit panel. For details, see Adjust image color.

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Shoot-through presets is available for 64-bit devices only, such as iPhone 5s and later, and iPad Air and later.

Set exposure compensation (while in Auto mode)

Set exposure compensation in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for mobile iOS
Adjusting exposure compensation in Auto capture mode

Swipe across the viewfinder screen to adjust the exposure compensation value. Swipe to the left for negative exposure values; swipe to the right for positive exposure values.

As you swipe, the Exposure Compensation reading is displayed at the top of the screen and the current value (Exp) is displayed above the capture button.

Double-tap the Exp value above the capture button to reset the exposure compensation to zero (default).

Preview last captured photo

In the camera module, tap the thumbnail at the lower-left corner to preview the last photo that you captured.

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Touch and hold the thumbnail of the last shot photo to preview it. The preview is displayed till you hold the touch. Unhold to return to the camera view.

Shoot in different crop ratios

Tap () icon to display the crop ratios. The following crop ratios are available:

  • 16:9
  • 3:2
  • 4:3
  • 1:1

Tap to choose any ratio to display it as an overlay in the viewfinder. This allows you to preview your photo at the desired crop ratio even before you capture it.

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This crop is non-destructive in nature. You can change the crop ratio later when you edit the photo.

Trigger a delayed capture

Tap icon to toggle timer options toolbar. You can introduce a few seconds of delay before a shot is captured. There is an option to introduce a delay of 2, 5, or 10 seconds in your capture. By default, the timer is OFF.

Capture photos in the Pro mode

Lightroom Capture interface options
Capture interface options. (Left) Auto mode; (right) Pro mode

A. Exit Capture interface  B. On-camera flash options C. Crop ratio options D. Capture Timer options E. Viewfinder overlay options F. Presets G. Exposure Lock H. Capture button I. Capture mode switch (Auto/Pro) J. Switch to front camera K. DNG/JPEG capture option L. Toggle options M. Capture settings N. Show Highlight Clipping O. Set ISO P. Set Shutter Speed Q. Set Exposure Compensation R. Set White Balance S. Set focus distance T. Reset all settings in Pro mode 

Adjust shutter speed, ISO, and focus distance in Pro mode

Adjust the shutter speed

Shutter speed controls the duration for which your camera is exposed to light. You can adjust this duration to achieve the desired creative effect in your photos.

For example, you can set a slow shutter speed to create motion blur or light trail effect while capturing a fast-moving subject. To freeze the movement of the same subject in your photo, you can set a fast shutter speed.

Shutter speed set at 1/125th of second
Shutter speed set at 1/125th of second

Tap Sec icon to adjust the shutter speed slider. Move the slider to the left for a slow shutter speed; move it to the right for a fast shutter speed.

Double-tap the shutter speed icon to reset its value to Auto.

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When you adjust the shutter speed, the ISO value adjusts automatically to compensate it and vice versa. This is to ensure that your photo is not overexposed or underexposed during the capture.

Adjust the ISO value

ISO controls the sensitivity of your device's camera to light.

Adjust the ISO value
ISO set at 400

Tap ISO icon to adjust the ISO slider. Move the slider to the left for low ISO values; move it to the right for high ISO values.

Double-tap the ISO icon to reset the ISO value to Auto.

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High ISO values introduce noise in the captured photos. Therefore, high ISO values should be used only when you want to achieve very fast shutter speeds.

Adjust the focus distance of your camera

Tap [+] icon to adjust the focus distance slider. Move the slider to the left to decrease the focus distance; move it to the right to increase the focus distance.

Double-tap the [+] icon to reset the manual focus distance to Auto.

Manually adjust the focus distance of the lens
Manual focus set at 40%

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In the Professional capture mode, tap the Reset icon to reset the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and manual focus distance to Auto.

Set exposure compensation (while in Pro mode)

Set exposure compensation in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for mobile iOS
Adjusting exposure compensation in Pro capture mode

Tap Exp icon to adjust the exposure compensation slider. Move the slider to the left for negative exposure values; move it to the right for positive exposure values.

Double-tap Exp icon to reset the value to zero (default value).

Auto Exposure Lock

Tap icon at the lower-right corner to to lock the in-app camera’s automatic exposure to its current setting.

Set white balance options

Tap WB icon to toggle white balance options bar.

White balance options in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for mobile (iOS)
White balance options — Automatic white balance, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Cloudy, and Custom.

You can choose a preset white balance option from the options bar according to the lighting conditions — Automatic, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Cloudy, or Custom.

Automatic White balance This is the default option.

Custom Aim the camera at a neutral colored surface to sample and lock the white balance.

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Double-tap WB icon to reset the white balance to Auto.

Show Highlight Clipping overlay on the over-exposed areas

Tap () icon in the in-app camera options to show a highlight clipping overlay on the over-exposed areas in the live capture view. This overlay enables you to spot the over-exposed areas prior to capturing the shot and adjust the exposure or composition.  

Show Highlight Clipping in the live capture scene
Show Highlight Clipping in the live capture scene

Capture high-contrast scenes in the HDR mode

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Beginning with version 2.7, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile (iOS) supports HDR raw image capture on any iPhone or iPad device that has at least a 12-megapixel camera, running at iOS 10.0 or newer.

When you trigger the capture button in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode to capture a high-contrast scene, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile automatically does all the processing in the background to create a raw HDR image:

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile analyzes your scene to determine the appropriate spread of exposure values to capture multiple exposure-bracketed images.
  • Auto aligns the exposure bracketed images to compensate for any hand movements when capturing your HDR shot.
  • De-ghosts the exposure bracketed images to compensate for any moving objects like cars, people, or foliage in the captured scene.
  • Auto tones the image to give you an evenly-toned merged HDR image.
  • Merges the multiple exposure images to create a 32-bit floating point DNG file — your processed raw HDR image.

This resulting raw HDR file is similar to the type of file you would get when using the HDR merge functionality within Lightroom on your desktop. For more details about HDR merge in Lightroom, see Merge photos to create HDRs.

The generated raw HDR files are large in size and require a lot of processing in the background as explained above. Therefore, it takes some time before the HDR image appears in the Lightroom photos view or the view grid after capturing the shot.  

  1. In any view, tap the camera icon at the lower-right corner to turn on the in-app camera.

  2. In the capture interface, choose High Dynamic Range mode from the menu at the lower-left corner of the interface.

  3. (Optional) To save the original unprocessed image in addition to the raw HDR image in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile, tap the settings icon and enable Save Unprocessed Original option in the Settings menu. To know more about the other settings, see Capture settings.

  4. Tap the Capture button while holding the mobile device steady in your hands. You can capture multiple HDR shots in a single capture session.

  5. Tap the cross icon at the upper-left corner to exit the capture interface to return to your last view. When you exit, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile begins processing your HDR captures.

    Not:

    Processing your HDR capture to create a final raw HDR output is GPU-intensive and computationally complex. Therefore, it takes some time for your HDR images to appear in the Lightroom photos view or the view grid after capturing a shot. To check the processing status, tap the () cloud icon and see the progress under the heading Processing Captured Photos in the menu.

    Once the HDR processing is complete, your images are now imported into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile.

    Not:

    HDR processing requires you to leave the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile app running in the foreground. This means that, for your HDR images to be processed, the Lightroom app should not be minimized or closed, and your device should be ON and not locked. In case you have shot a lot of HDR files, you can plug you mobile device for charging and enable Prevent From Sleep setting in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile app's sidebar. Enabling this setting prevents the device from sleeping while connected to a power source.  

  6. The processed HDR images now appear in the Lightroom photos view or the grid view.

    When you open any HDR image in the Loupe view (Info panel) for editing, you can observe that the name of the HDR (.dng) image includes '-hdr'.

Depth capture mode (Technology Preview)

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Depth Capture mode has been introduced in Lightroom for mobile iOS 3.4 (August 2018 release) as a Technology Preview. Depth capture requires iPhone with dual camera (iPhone 7+, 8+, X) and currently supports the rear camera only on iPhone X.

  • To use this capture mode, enable Depth Mask Creation under Technology Previews in the app Settings menu.
  • In this mode, photos are captured in HEIC format with depth map information. To apply selective edits to photos with depth map, you use the Depth Selection tool that lets you quickly turn a depth map into a selection that can be modified with a brush.    

  1. In any view, tap the camera icon at the lower-right corner to turn on the in-app camera.

  2. In the capture interface, choose Depth Capture mode from the menu at the lower-left corner of the interface.

  3. Tap the Capture button while holding the mobile device steady in your hands.  

  4. Tap the cross icon at the upper-left corner to exit the capture interface to return to your last view. When you exit, Lightroom for mobile begins processing your photo.

Capture long exposure scenes (Technology Preview)

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The Long Exposure Technology Preview feature has been introduced in Lightroom for mobile iOS 3.3 (June 2018 release). This feature is supported on iPhone 7, 7+, 8, 8+, and X models only.

You can enable technology preview features under Technology Previews in the app Settings menu.

Use the in-app camera to capture long exposure scenes without a tripod. In this mode, the camera takes multiple images and blends them together for a long exposure effect.  

  1. In any view, tap the camera icon at the lower-right corner to turn on the in-app camera.

  2. In the capture interface, choose Long Exposure mode from the menu at the lower-left corner of the interface.

    Long Exposure mode
    (iPhone X) Capture interface options in the Long Exposure mode.
  3. Tap the Capture button while holding the mobile device steady in your hands.  

  4. Tap the cross icon at the upper-left corner to exit the capture interface to return to your last view. When you exit, Lightroom for mobile begins processing your photo.

    Not:

    Processing your long exposure capture to create a final raw output is GPU-intensive and computationally complex. Therefore, it takes some time for your images to appear in the Lightroom photos view or the view grid after capturing a shot. To check the processing status, tap the () cloud icon and see the progress under the heading Processing Captured Photos in the menu.

  5. The processed long exposure photo appears in the Lightroom photos view or the grid view.

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To learn how to capture photos in Lightroom on your Android mobile devices, see Capture photos in Lightroom for mobile (Android).

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