Troon Brewing, Hopewell, New Jersey, Barn
Troon Brewing, Hopewell, New Jersey

iPhone Camera Kit 2018

In 2016 I posted about my about my iPhone 6 photography kit which was an update from the photography kit I used in 2015. I bought an iPhone 7 last year and changed my photography kit only slightly but I made some changes to how I process my mobile images.

NOTE: Lightroom CC refers to the new cloud-based desktop version of Lightroom. Lightroom Classic CC refers to the regular desktop version of Lightroom. Lightroom CC mobile refers to the iOS versions of Lightroom CC.


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for iOS was released several years ago, has gone through several iterations including a recent name change. Originally a standalone app, Adobe has made the mobile app an integral part of its Creative Cloud (CC) strategy and added features along the way. Over the last year, this free mobile app, now call Lightroom CC, along with an Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan subscription, has become my go-to software for all my iPhone photography.

My Creative Cloud Photography subscription includes the Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC desktop app. Apple added RAW support to iOS starring with version 10. Adobe added RAW/DNG support to Lightroom CC mobile soon after.

The app has three shooting modes — High Dynamic Range, Automatic, and Professional. The Professional capture mode gives me complete control over essential camera settings like the shutter speed, the ISO, exposure, and the white balance. Lightroom CC mobile focus mode has a feature that simulates the “focus peaking” feature found on many mirrorless cameras. A green outline around the edge of the objects show the features that are in focus.

Lightroom CC for mobile has Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) mode for creating RAW (DNG format) High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. Three images are captured and then aligned, merged, and de-ghosted within the app to create a high dynamic range composite. With the HDR mode, I get a 16-bit floating point image with the full flexibility of a traditional raw file plus the expanded dynamic range of a multi-frame HDR blend.


Adobe Lightroom CC mobile’s key feature is its synchronization with the desktop versions of Lightroom CC. This Lightroom CC feature syncs developed photos easily between an iPad, Mobile, or Mac.

Lightroom CC mobile has easy-to-use sliders, filters, and quick adjustment tools. Edits on my iPhone are automatically synced everywhere else. I can shoot on my iPhone and edit on my iPad or Mac.

Just like in Lightroom Classic CC on my iMac, I can pretty much adjust everything about an image via Lightroom CC for iOS. Lightroom CC mobile contains all the image adjustments found in the Basic panel of Lightroom Classic CC desktop’s Develop module, such as white balance, exposure, contrast, clarity, and vibrancy. It also includes several presets for applying black-and-white and colour filters (landscape, portrait, and vivid), specific looks, and tones; and a crop tool that can straighten, rotate, or lock the photo’s visible area to specific aspect ratios.

The details section inside Lightroom CC mobile gives me control over sharpness, as well as adding noise reduction tools. I use those a lot. The iPhone 7 sensor is subpar in low light situations. I created a preset in Lightroom CC mobile as a default starting point for my editing.

The one thing lacking that I wish Adobe will do something about is that presets in Lightroom Classic CC cannot be synced to Lightroom CC mobile. However, Lightroom CC users can use the same presets between desktop and mobile. Presets imported through that Lightroom CC desktop version will now sync via the cloud to the mobile apps. The same synchronization also works with colour profiles. The feature works with both purchased third-party presets and user-generated presets.

Like on Lightroom CC desktop, the Lightroom CC mobile app uses the edits already applied to the selected photo to create a new preset. I can select which adjustments to include in the user created preset.


I’m pretty good at holding my iPhone 7 steady while taking photos but long exposure and HDR require that the camera remains stationary. A few years ago I bought a small Manfrotto tripod that I use to use with my iPhone.

The tripod is lightweight, portable and rugged. It’s small enough to fit inside a long coat or small backpack. The tripod has a push-button locking adjustment, so I can position the tripod head just where I need it.

You can learn more about Adobe Lightroom CC on Adobe’s website.

Complete Kit

My mobile photography workflow is snap, edit, post. The Manfrotto tripod and two camera apps are all I need to create compelling photographs with my iPhone.

Adobe Lightroom CC + iPhone 7 back camera @ 3.99mm, 1/1400 sec at f/1.8, ISO 20


  1. Update 2019-01-25.Over the years, I’ve documented bits and pieces of my kits on this website including my diabetes travel kit, my diabetes kit for photowalks, and iPhone camera kit. I even have some kits — my basic camera kit and coffee making kit — documented on an external site dedicated to “kits”.Aaron Parecki recently updated his “life stack” page with the tools, apps, services and other things he uses to manage his work and life. I think the idea is worth “stealing” and given my recent attempts to re-embrace the IndieWeb principle of “owning your data,” I’ve documented my collection of things, my “kit and caboodle”1 on this page.I use a lot of apps and services. I will only add the products and services I use and recommend2. If possible, I will also link to any reviews I have written. I add things to this page if I would personally recommend purchasing them.ComputingMy 2013 iMac has a 3.5GHz Intel “Core i7” with 32GB of RAM, a 27” HD 2560×1440 LED-backlit 16:9 widescreen IPS display, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. I have a lot of external storage, so I limited the internal solid-state storage (SSD) to 512GB. Peripheral ports include four USB 3.0 ports, dual Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n compatible), and Bluetooth 4.0. The iMac came with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a multi-touch “Magic Mouse,” but I also purchased a multi-touch “Magic Trackpad.”I purchased the iMac primarily for use with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s an excellent performer, especially when stitching panoramas from several 24MP images.I have an 11-Inch (Wi-Fi Only) Apple iPad Pro with 256GB of memory. I use it mostly for reading (email, news, RSS feeds, books), note-taking and quick research during meetings, writing, presenting and shopping. It is my laptop replacement. I understand and acknowledge the limitation, and I have no expectations that I will be as productive on the iPad Pro, as I am on my iMac.I use an Apple Magic Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse.iOS and macOSThe apps listed below have iOS and macOS versions that sync between my iPhone, iPad Pro and iMac.

    1Password is the password manager I have used on iOS and macOS for years. It syncs with macOS and iOS. I also use 1Password to store credit card numbers, insurance account information, social security numbers, etc. I trust this software.

    Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Photoshop Lightroom are the apps I use to edit and catalogue my digital images. I use both the macOS and iOS versions of these apps.

    AirMail is a mail client with support for Markdown, multiple accounts, Unified Inbox, Exchange, iCloud, Gmail, IMAP, POP3, Google Apps, Yahoo!, AOL,,, etc. and supports attachments from Google Drive, Dropbox, CloudApp, Box, Onedrive, Droplr, and FTP.

    Wunderlist is a nice todo app with projects, labels, shared lists, and anything else you can think of.

    Byword is a minimalist Markdown text editor with subtle syntax highlighting. I use it with and without MarsEdit to create my blog post. Documents can be synced via Dropbox or iCloud to iPad, iPhone, and macOS. Byword can publish to Medium, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Evernote.

    Reeder is an RSS news reader that supports Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, FeedHQ, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Inoreader, Minimal Reader, BazQux Reader, Fever, Readability and Instapaper. I use it with Feedbin and Instapaper to sync and track my news feeds.

    Tweetbot is my preferred Twitter client. It has support for multiple accounts and lists. It also has mute filters and multiple column views.

    iCloud Calendar works for me. I no longer use Google Calendar.
    Apple Maps on makes it simple to get directions and information about local points of interest ,including restaurants. I no longer use Google Maps.

    AnyList is the best way to create and share grocery shopping lists with a family. When my kids or spouse make changes, they show up instantly on everyone’s iPhone, iPad or Mac.

    iCloud Drive syncs important files to my iPad, iPhone and iMac. I no longer use Dropbox or Google Drive for anything important.

    Mint is how my wife and I keep track of our finances. so I can post to WordPress directly from the iOS app for
    iOS OnlyI have Type 1 diabetes and useFatSecret to help with carbohydrate counting and tracking my diet. This is useful information for my endocrinologist and myself to review to make any necessary changes to my diabetes management.I enjoy coffee over the years I have learned various brewing techniques. I use the Press app for customizable brew timers and entering tasting and brewing notes.When travelling ,I use Foursquare to find restaurant recommendations. I use Yelp as well but I prefer Foursquare and the sister app Swarm to check-in to locations that I think are noteworthy.macOS OnlyI’ve used MarsEdit for what seems like … forever.Programming ToolsI used to do a lot of Web development in Perl, PHP and JavaScript on top of a Linux, Apache and MySQL (and to a lesser extent PostgreSQL) stack. I have not coded professionally since 2013, but I do mess around with PHP when making changes to WordPress, and I create small Perl 5 scripts for personal use. The macOS Terminal app (for local or remote access to a Linux VPC) with vim, a highly configurable text editor that I have used since the 1990s, is included as “vi” with macOS and is my IDE of choice. I don’t need anything else.PhotographyAfter over ten years of shooting with Nikon DSLRs, I dumped all my lenses and switched to Fuji. My current camera kit is minimalist – the Fujifilm X-T2 (Body Only) + Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens. I have two Lexar Professional 32GB SDHC UHS-II/U3 SD Card set up in a backup arrangement with every photograph capture saved in both cards. I have a Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2 for my Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black). I bought a Hejnar Photo 3.250 Inch conversion Clamp for Manfrotto that provides an ArcaSwiss style mount plate. For mobile photography, I use a Manfrotto MTPIXI-WH PIXI Mini Tripod (White) with a Glif.Audio/VideoApple TV 4K and TiVo Bolt connected to Sony XBR-55X850D TV and Sony HT-CT780 soundbar. I’m hoping to add an Apple HomePod to that.

    The word caboodle may be derived from the Old-English word bottel, a bunch or a bundle, as a bottel of straw. Later the word boodle may have become synonymous with the woodpile, a term used at a gaming table, and signifying a quantity of money. The word kit may have originated with the military, referring to the whole of a soldier’s necessaries, the contents of his knapsack. ?

    links on this page or review posts may link to affiliate links for the product. I make a few bucks if you purchase the product. ?

  2. @khurt I’ve started to use Lightroom on my phone also, although I find it to be a bit “heavy” to be used as a camera and usually use ProCamera (not ProCam) instead.

    1. @jemostrom, I’m not sure what you mean when you say Lightroom is “heavy”? I’ve not used ProCamera but have used ProCam. I use Lightroom CC mobile as the input point for an workflow that works across multiple devices because small screens and presbyopia are a bad mix. :-)

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