Lightroom for iOS turns your iPhone into a DSLR with raw HDR capture mode

Adobe optimized its powerful Lightroom photo-editing app for iOS 10 and the iPhone 7 last fall, but an update rolling out this week is taking advantage of Apple’s camera in a whole new way.

Lightroom Mobile version 2.7 is adding a raw high-dynamic range capture mode to help you achieve effects you were previously only able to get with a DSLR or mirrorless camera. The iPhone 7 Plus’s dual-lens system puts a DSLR-quality camera in your pocket already, and now Lightroom is upping the ante.

How it works: Your iPhone captures an HDR image by stitching together two shots, but shooting in Lightroom will capture three raw shots in Adobe’s digital negative format (DNG) and automatically merge them for you. That way you get a full tonal range in low-light situations. See the below video for a full tutorial.

You have to shoot on an iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, or 9.7-inch iPad Pro to use the new HDR mode, because those are the only iOS devices that support DNG files.

Adobe also added an Export Original option to Lightroom that lets you export your original files. Lightroom also has new 3D Touch and Notification Center widgets that let you jump straight into the camera (either front-facing or rear-facing mode) or open the last photo you took.

The update is available for free to all Lightroom users now. You don’t need a Creative Cloud membership to shoot or edit in the Lightroom app, though you do need one to sync photos across devices.

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