Photosmith … iPad to Lightroom

I originally reviewed the iPad and it’s potential use as a portable storage device for shooters on the go … you can check this out here if you are interested.  Quite a bit has changed over the past year, including the new iPad 2 (which is a nice upgrade from the original) and apps which make the iPad more usable as a tool, including viewing of images while shooting.

Perhaps one of the more significant apps for those that use Lightroom has just been released … Photosmith.  It’s a little pricey for an app (although $18 isn’t what I’d call expensive), but for Lightroom users, it turns the iPad into a very effective storage device while traveling.  Using the iPad Camera Connection Kit, you can download your card into Photosmith.  Once there you can rate, title, and keyword the images, as well as modify other IPTC data.  You can rotate images, and you can even indicate you don’t want to keep the image (which means it won’t be imported by Lightroom).  You can also organize the images into collections which allows them to be organized into folders when you transfer them to lightroom.

You can also use any of the tags and ratings to filter the images you are viewing on the iPad.  I normally do a step process to finalize my images.  I start by assigning all images 2 stars.  Then I go through them one by one, and either demote them to 1 star or promote them to 3.  This culls the outright rejects out.  I then go through the 3’s and promote those that I like best to fours.  I then review the 4 stars, and  promote only those that I believe would be a nice wall print and which customers might choose to decorate a wall with to 5 stars.  Those will get the most work including a test 24×30 print.  The 4’s will get worked on as well, but probably with the idea of printing no larger than 20×24 or smaller.  I’ll go through the 3 stars one more time to make I sure I haven’t missed one I like.  Now I can do this process on my iPad before I ever get to Lightroom (at least with my Leica files.  Unfortunately my PhaseOne raw format isn’t supported).


Filter options screen to make a selection in Photosmith


When it’s time to transfer the images to the computer, Photosmith includes a Lightroom plugin module which allows you to sync your images into your Lightroom library.  This will transfer any images not on your computer, and sync any changes made by either Lightroom or Photosmith to each other.  This works for both raw and jpeg images, and any camera whose raw format is supported by the Mac OS works very well (which is most of them).  Currently native .dng files (such as from a Leica M9) has some issues so I can’t see the full rez image, but most camera formats work fine.  You can transfer them via the wireless network (slow … not recommended for more than just a few files) or used the advanced mode and use your iPad docking cable.

Check out the Grand Tour at the Photosmith website.

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One Response to “Photosmith … iPad to Lightroom”

  1. seth says:

    This was a great review thanks for posting. I’ve used photosmith a bit and it’s been very helpful. I’ve seen some other limitations of the app that were actually covered in the article by

    Thanks again for the great review.

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