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In-App Mobile camera overexposing DNG photos

Explorer ,
Dec 07, 2022 Dec 07, 2022

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Hello. As of at least the most recent versions of Lightroom mobile on both iOS and iPadOS (8.01), the Lightroom mobile camera appears to be significantly overexposing photos when shooting in DNG mode. Photos shot with identifcal settings except in JPG mode appear normally eposed. I am seeing this same behaviour in the LR camera when shooting on both an iPhone 14 pro and a iPad air and it appears to be happening consistently on both devices regardless of shooting conditions. See the attached pair of photos shot using the LR camera on the iPhone 14 pro. Both photos were shot on auto mode and no further post-processing was done on either photo - the only difference between them is that APC_0044 was shot as a DNG (I had to convert it to JPG to attach it here) and APC_0045 was shot as a JPG. Could this apparent overexposure on the DNG photo be a software bug? Thanks for the help.

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iOS: iPhone , iPadOS

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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I have an iPhone 14 Pro Max and don't have this issue. Make sure you haven't touched any of the settings. I was on a 3 week trip to europe and then a 2 week road trip, have taken literally thousands of pics with my new phone and not experienced this. I also use HDR - It's an advantage over the iPhone camera. 


Melissa Piccone | Adobe Trainer | Pluralsight Author | Fine Artist

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Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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Thanks for your response. No additional settings have been touched on either device that this appears to be happening with, as far as I can tell. Even the previews look normally exposed. Nonetheless, the final DNGs come out overexposed, while the JPGs look fine. If I try shooting the same scene in HDR mode (still saved as a DNG), it does look a bit better right out of camera, but as soon as you reset the automatical adjustments LR mobile applies you can still see it is overexposed. See attached images for illustration. 0052: JPG right out of camera, auto exposure; 0053: DNG right out camera, auto exposure; 0055-hdr: DNG, HDR mode, automatic adjustments applied; 0055-hdr-2: DNG, HDR mode, automatic adjustments reset.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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"but as soon as you reset the automatical adjustments LR mobile applies you can still see it is overexposed"

Do you have preferences set up to apply anything automatically to your images? Click on the gear icon in the upper left corner and choose Import. I have mine set to Auto and Optics as the default so it applies those adjustmends if I import from camera roll and when I take a pic in Auto and Professional mode. Have you done experiments with HDR, Auto and Professional? I just took 3 pics, professional is just slightly better than auto and HDR is the best.


Melissa Piccone | Adobe Trainer | Pluralsight Author | Fine Artist

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Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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I have my import settings set to "camera settings" with no additional adjustments, but having now checked, switiching it to Adobe default does not change the outcome from what I reported above. All three camera modes you list suffer from the same issue. Only setting the LR camera to JPG instead of DNG produces a properly exposed photo. When I referred to automatic adjustments in my previous comment, I was referring to the "auto" adjustments LR mobile automatically applies specifically to HDR photos taken on the LR camera - this is a normal behaviour.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2022 Dec 08, 2022

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I have the same issue and it has been happening for a long time, since way before the most recent version. I notice it most when I tap on the screen to do a focus lock. This will often set the exposure too light. I'm in the habit of reducing the exposure before I take the photo to compensate for this.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 09, 2022 Dec 09, 2022

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Maybe I just don't notice the over exposure?  I do have some blown out highlights from my road trip. The Winter sky over the ocean along the Pacific Coast Highway is brutal for pics. I have the purple phone and have some very weird purple artifacts that show up occassionaly that are the same color as my phone - I don't think that has anything to do with it but it's weird. If there isn't any other purple in the image I can mostly correct it with the defringe sliders. Now that the iphone can natively shoot in RAW I rarely switch to LR except for those HDR shots - those definately come out better in LR. 


Melissa Piccone | Adobe Trainer | Pluralsight Author | Fine Artist

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Community Expert ,
Dec 09, 2022 Dec 09, 2022

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My phone doesn't shoot native RAW so I still shoot mostly with Lr. Skies are almost always blown out if I don't reduce the exposure before shooting.

I don't know what to say about the purple in your images. That is weird. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2022 Dec 29, 2022

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Can someone from Adobe comment on this issue? Is this intentional behaviour that DNG photos taken with the LR mobile camera come out bright compared to both JPGs and the camera previews? Or might this be a software bug?

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