If you’re a photographer that uses Adobe’s Lightroom, then Photosmith from Squared Enterprises is one app that you’re definitely going to want to take a look at. Photosmith is a niche photo organization app developed specifically for users of Adobe’s Lightroom. It syncs flawlessly with Lightroom and makes reviewing and sorting your photos quick and easy, no matter where in the world you happen to be.
Leave that laptop behind and do all your photo organization work right on your iPad, as soon as you snap your photos while everything is still fresh in your mind. With Photosmith, there’s no need to lug around a heavy computer, you can travel light with just your iPad and your camera.
With Apple’s Camera Connection Kit, or a similar card reader that is compatible with the iPad, you can import photos from most cameras and DSLRs directly onto your iPad. When your photos are uploaded, you can create collections and keywords, set titles, captions, and write descriptions, add star ratings, color labels, filter, and organize photos (with drag and drop), and even view EXIF data – ISO, shutter speed, f/stop, flash data, plus more. There’s support for RAW and JPEG images, which is a great feature that most photo apps don’t have. You can also view your photos at full resolution (even huge RAW files), which is helpful for checking focus.
Once you’ve sorted and organized your photos, it’s easy to import them right into Lightroom. There’s a plug-in provided on the Photosmith website and I had no problems installing it and syncing my photos wirelessly from my iPad to my computer. All of the changes I made on my iPad ported into Lightroom with zero problems, and vice versa. There is an option of uploading via USB if wireless is too slow, or if you’re transferring a lot of photos. You can also email photos or upload them to Facebook, Flickr, and Dropbox. I uploaded a few to Flickr with no issues.
Currently, Photosmith is light on features. It doesn’t do the photo editing that I can do in Lightroom (resizing, white balance, tone, treatments, etc.), but the developers are committed to continually improving this app and many more features will be available in the future.
In its current incarnation, Photosmith is not a photo editing app for your average point and shoot camera user. It requires quite a bit of equipment to get it up and running – a compatible camera, the Camera Connection Kit from Apple (or similar card reader), and Adobe’s Lightroom. You could possibly use it without Lightroom, but you would be missing out on a lot of functionality and you would be unable to transfer your photos from your iPad. Hopefully functionality with other photo platforms, such as Aperture, might be available sometime later. On the support page, it was mentioned that they may consider it once they’ve implemented the features they want the Lightroom version to have.
I’m not a regular Lightroom user – instead, I use Aperture to manage my photos. However, after using Photosmith and Lightroom together, I’m jealous of those lucky Lightroom users who are able to use this system.
What I liked: I was impressed with how well Photosmith interacted with Lightroom, and it was great to be able to import RAW photos into the app. Squared Enterprises has a feedback page where you can submit ideas and vote on new features that you would like to see. I voted for Aperture support.
What I didn’t like: There’s not a ton of things to do with this app, but the developers are very up front about that. They list exactly what Photosmith can and can’t do on the app page in iTunes. Adding metadata to groups of pictures was not available, and it took a long time to add information one picture at a time. I found it frustrating not to be able to delete photos from inside the app, and hopefully that will be remedied at some point in the future. This would be a very powerful tool that would be useful to a wider range of people if it included actual editing tools. Again, I’m hopeful that this will be added later.
To buy or not to buy: I would recommend this setup, if you have all of the equipment necessary to make it work, or if you’re willing to invest in it. It’s a great system for photographers that is unlike anything else in the App Store.
- App Name: Photosmith
- Version Reviewed: 1.03
- Category: Photography
- Developer: C Squared Enterprises, Inc
- Price: $17.99