Zoom quality of raw images limited in free version

New Here ,
Feb 28, 2021 Feb 28, 2021

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I have a problem regarding the zoom quality of Raw pictures in Lightroom. I'm using the free version of Lightroom on my iPad air (latest model), app v. 6.1. To my understanding, the RAW-editing features are part of the premium subscription. But the organization features (also regarding RAW pictures) are free. However, I find, in my experience, that the organizational potential for RAW pictures is also limited by the free version due to limitations in the free version. I hope to find out if this is an intentional design decision, or rather an oversight.


I will first clarify the issue. I have some RAW pictures which I import in Lightroom from an SD card through the file system. My intention is to star and pick/reject the pictures, using the free organization functionality. Therefore, I need to zoom into the raw picture. (I do this for instance to check if the subject is well in focus). However, the image appear 'blocky' and show some signs of compression artifacts. Below is a screenshot showing this behavior:



My suspicion is that the software deliberately limits the zoom quality in the free version. When I export the picture as JPEG to my camera roll, and then reimport the picture, I can notice much more detail by zooming in on the picture. Below is an example of exactly the same picture, without any editing, after exporting and reimporting it. The zoom really shows the detail which is completely missing in the RAW zoom. The 'blockyness' is gone.



This arose my suspicion of a programmatic limitation of RAW zoom capabilities of the free version. I therefore subscribed for the trial of the premium version. Immediately, the zoom quality of the RAW picture, which was already zoomed in before entering the trial subscription dialog, refreshed and showed all the detail which the picture really contained. I suspect this is the consequence of unlocking the 'RAW editing' feature. In my opinion, zooming is not an editing feature, but rather an organizational feature.


My question is if this intended behavior, or rather an oversight. If this intended, I find the statement that 'organization features' are free a bit misleading in terms of RAW pictures. They are limited in terms of RAW pictures, and only free & complete for JPEGs (and other non-RAW like).


Best regards









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