Latest Updates Allow DNG File Use on Your iPhone With Lightroom Mobile & Other Apps!


If you own an iOS10, iOS11, iPhone 6S/Plus, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPhone 7/Plus, iPhone 8/Plus or iPhone X there’s good news. A recent update to the iPhone’s iOS operating system will allow their-party camera apps to save images in DNG format. Why does that matter?

DNG files enable you to process in Lightroom or other editing software which is a significant advantage. By using DNG files, you will have far more control over color and tonal adjustments, noise reduction and sharpening.


DNS also allows you to avoid the typical smearing you get in JPEG on the iPhone or iOS10/11. This recent update means you can do so much more on your iPhone or iPad with significantly better results.

iPhone photographers have long said that processing on the phone can significantly dilute the quality of images with noticeable smearing, particularly with pictures shot in lower light. That’s no longer an issue with this recent update.

Another Improvement:

But, the benefits of the update don’t end there. If you need to convert to black and white, using a DNG file rather than a JPEG means a significant and much-needed improvement. You’ll now be able to process Raw files with better results, especially if you’re trying to convert to black and white. 

Keep in mind that without a third-party app, you can’t save images in Raw format. Your iPhone simply doesn’t have that capacity. That’s where apps like Lightroom Mobile and others come in.

While there are improvements with this update, any DNG images you process on your iPhone won’t be able to be saved in your Camera Roll, even if you connect your phone to your computer. 

edit dng files on your iphone

Lightroom Mobile:

Lightroom Mobile allows you to shoot, shave, and process DNS files on your iPhone. Lightroom CC subscribers will be pleased because they, unlike non-subscribers, can take full advantage of what the app has to offer subscribers. 

It’s important to note that if you’re not a Lightroom Creative Cloud subscriber, you can still download and use Lightroom mobile for your iPhone and use it to take Raw photos. BUT, you can't save the Raw files to your Camera Roll or get at them without the Lightroom CC subscription. That’s an issue they should address sooner rather than later! 

iPhone DNG files: DNS are much larger files than a typical JPEG file. Using Lightroom Mobile means the photos taken with a camera are uploaded to Adobe’s servers, then downloaded by Lightroom desktop or mobile on another device. We suggest setting Lightroom Mobile to sync only over WiFi networks to avoid excessive data usage. Keep in mind, that given the size of DNG compared to JPEG, it can take a while to synchronize across other devices.

Of course, we prepared instructions, how to install dng files on Lightroom Mobile. Link: how-to-install-lightroom-mobile-dng-files


While the free VSCO Cam app (available for Android users as well) doesn’t support DNG, according to their recent announcement, they’re working on an update to resolve that. Otherwise, this camera app is pretty comprehensive allowing you to adjust white balance, flash, and exposure, unlike other apps. You can even download some free or purchased presets. And, though it doesn’t support DNG files, it does allow you to save photos automatically to your Camera Roll, including your DNG files, directly from your iPhone.  No WiFi connection is necessary!

ProCam 4:

The ProCam5 app is one of the most sophisticated apps available in that it saves your DNG files to Camera roll, allows for full manual control of the camera, and supports Raw. All for less than $5.00! You can also save the same image in both DNG and JPEG in Camera Roll as well as make other editing adjustments. For high volume, it’s probably quicker and much easier than Lightroom Mobile when synchronizing files. 

procam 5 for ios

500px and RAW:

RAW is a free camera app released by 500px that allows you to capture and edit DNG files on your phone as well as on your Camera Roll. You can upload and license your photos on the 500px website, create model releases, and even use filters created by other users to process your photos.

To download,  save your images to Camera Roll, and connect your iPhone to your computer. You don’t need a wi-fi connection, but it’s slow going if you have a lot to transfer. Also, note that the camera in the app itself is limited in what it can do.

DNG Downside:

We've discussed the many advantages to DNG files, especially as compared to JPEG. Now, let’s talk disadvantages because nothing is perfect, after all. 

The most significant disadvantage of DNG files is probably the size which takes up more storage space, and that’s never a good thing. iPhone users with phones of 32GB or smaller will have issues with storage space. 

Looking Ahead:

We believe there will be related updates soon as photographers begin to take advantage of  DNG files rather than JPEG. Where there is demand, there will usually be a response at some point. We look forward to seeing further updates.