iPad Pro and RAW files

November 14, 2015  •  1 Comment


This is vey much 'breaking news' so please bear with the updates. 

This week I got hold of an iPad Pro, and as I've written about before the biggest iPad yet appears to have a big bottleneck - getting stuff IN and working on it.

It's all very well having the power and the screen size to work on but as a professional photographer and video-maker I'd love to be able to review my images and footage and cull some files before I get back to my main Mac, and also whilst I'm in the field, So I don't have to take my laptop. 

So in a little experiment I decided to see if I could get past this 'injest' issue. This isn't going to be a review of the iPad Pro (iPP) but more a rolling review that i will add to as I make more discoveries. I want to get my images into Adobe Lightroom Mobile and ultimately back to my iMac. 



First test was to use the lighting to USB adapter, plug in a mini USB cable and connect directly to my 1DX SLR. 

The iPad immediately opened up the photos app and started to build thumbnails. I selected some images and they appeared to import quite fast.

On looking in the photos app, they also started to appear on my desktop. I could see the images on the iPad and they also started to populate into my iCloud photos account, as well as reflecting any edits made on the iPad. 

I plugged in the iPad and examined the files using image capture on my Mac and can conform that the files are indeed the RAW files NOT the JPEG renders.

The files all now on my iPad, I turned to Lightroom Mobile to import them. Lightroom Mobile shows there are files 'there' in the file count but can't see the actual images to import. It can see the JPEG files if I've shot JPEG+RAW but any editing done on the JPEG will not change the RAW file. 

You can of course use the iPad to cull images and then import them back into Lightroom using the lightning cable.


It appears that RAW files can be imported, viewed AND edited but at the moment only using the Photos app. Lightroom Mobile will not access the file. You can play around with the photo on the iPad and then this will be reflected in the Photos app on the Mac.

Shooting as RAW+JPEG will obviously show (and allow you to import) the JPEG into Lightroom but leaves the RAW untouched on the iPad. 

If you don't use Lightroom and only use the Photos app on the Mac - then you're in luck!



SD card reader using Leica M240 DNG files. 

As before the iPad opened up the photos app, and imported the files. HOWEVER the images were the tiny JPEG's that the camera renders for it's LCD rear screen. I was upset with this - obviously I could shoot RAW+JPEG, which would give me a bigger file to work with on the iPad. BUT then..

I opened Lightroom Mobile and is SAW the RAW files on the iPad. Unlike with CR2 files from the Canon, it actually saw the raw files. I could then import then into LR mobile and edit them. At the same time my iMac was showing the files after they were synced. I checked the file on my iMac 'reveal in finder' and it does appear that the RAW DNG file has been synced back to the mac. 


iPad Pro with lighting to SD card reader does import DNG RAW files and then LR Mobile can see the raw files (even though the stock Photos app can't) and then they can be worked on and synced. VERY promising news. 



Not quite still images but thought I'd try importing some video. The video came in through the SD card reader, and then was able to be used in iMovie. The video was MP4 shot on a Canon C100mkii so I have high hopes that this would work for pretty much most mp4 files. 


More to follow...











Have you had a chance to determine if the ipad pro "sees" Nikon RAW?
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