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Lightroom Mobile: Is Your “Smart Preview” Actually Just a Smaller RAW File?

Hi gang, and happy Monday everybody.

Below is a short (5 minute) really fascinating discussion from last week’s episode of “The Grid” (my weekly photography talk show) with my in-studio guest, Lightroom Mobile Product Manager, Josh Haftel.

I pulled out this little segment because he talks about what you’re actually editing when you send a RAW file from Lightroom desktop over to Lightroom Mobile, and I think his answer will surprise (and even shock) a lot of people. Plus, he uses a term to describe the file that I haven’t heard used before, but once he said it, it totally makes sense. Give it a quick look:


I know this clip will be really eye-opening for a lot of folks, and give a lot of photographers a sense of relief and calm over the whole mobile editing idea in Lightroom Mobile.

Beyond this short clip, you can watch the entire episode (lots of great info from Josh) right here. 

Okey, Dokey — hope you found that helpful, and we’ll catch you here tomorrow. 🙂



P.S. Are you joining me at Photoshop World in Vegas next month? Ya know, you oughta. 🙂



  1. Nicolas 3 September, 2017 at 12:36 Reply

    Hi. The question I have is, if I import RAW files directly on to my iPad via a SD to lightning adapter, I’ll have an original RAW file in LR mobile. That’s taking up a lot of space on the device now. How can I get this file showing me only a smart preview on LR mobile after editing?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. notlyle 27 June, 2016 at 10:22 Reply

    That’s an awesome thing to know that you’re working on a more data-rich file than a jpeg from LRMob. I need to watch that grid episode now.

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