Adobe Lightroom Mobile update takes HDR photography to the next level

50 shades of awesome

Lightroom on smartphones is getting an upgrade that lets you capture HDR images in RAW.

But wait, you might be thinking of how you’ve had and HDR capture mode on the iPhone since forever. You are right about that but Adobe’s newly updated app lets you capture images in an uncompressed format that captures even more distinct levels of light.

Adobe claims the new HDR mode will let users achieve the ever-fabled “DSLR-quality on a smartphone.” But what Lightroom Mobile really comes with is the technology allowing it to use Adobe Camera Raw just as its desktop version does.

Like your smartphone’s built-in HDR mode, Lightroom Mobile will automatically scan the scene to determine the best exposure range before taking three RAW images. All the user has to do is keep their phone steady.

From there the mobile app can automatically align everything in the shot and merge tone mapping to minimize blown out highlights and dark shadows. Users are also left with a 32-bit RAW image that they can further tweak in Lightroom Mobile.

The only catch with the new feature is you’ll need a practically brand new phone to use it. As of this writing, Adobe says only the iPhone 7 (Plus), iPhone 6 (Plus), Samsung Galaxy S7 (Edge), and Google Pixel (XL) support the new RAW HDR capture tool. 

However, we’re sure this list will grow given the recent spate of new phones from MWC 2017.


Kevin has been a writer for the better part of five years covering everything from green energy to high octane cars, videogames and tech, biohacking, and even city politics. At TechRadar he's settled into a life as the Computing Editor while also covering cameras and shooting video. He can be often found in the lab testing a half dozen laptops at a time or deciding which camera bags to carry for the day.