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Adobe Is Testing RAW Photo Processing on Tablets

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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]