April 17, 2024
Shot with Leica Q2 Monochrom

Chapter 5: The problem with JPG+DNG files on your iPad.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom journal.

Connecting your iOS Photos app to iCloud creates one of the best photo editing workflows possible. This automatically stores the original file in the Cloud and keeps the edited file in the iOS Photos app. If you want to go back and re-edit the image, reverting gives you access to the original and then saves the new edit to Photos. Works great—until you get into JPG+DNG files exported from the Leica FOTOS app.

The JPG+DNG file is actually three files in one: A JPG, a DNG and the DNG’s JPG preview image. iOS understands this filetype, however it presents a dilemma for the system of which file to edit, since they’re both original files. If using the Photos app as your library, iOS only gives you editing access to the JPG, while leaving the DNG untouched, should you want to edit it later in another editing app or on desktop.

Importing from the Leica FOTOS app further complicates matters by giving you the choice of three files (JPG, DNG, DNG JPG preview). But it only seems to let you download one version of the file from your Leica. So you can download the JPG or the DNG file or the JPG preview. Once downloaded you don’t have access to the other files through the FOTOS app.

So what if you want to work with both files separately? Maybe if the JPG is good you can dump the DNG. Or if you don’t like the JPG you may want to trash it and keep the DNG. The answer is that you can load the JPG and DNG files separately.

The key is to use the Apple SD Card Reader. It’s available in both USB-C and Lightning. Just remove the SD from your camera, pop it in the reader, connect the reader to your iOS device and the Leica drive shows up in the Files app. When you open DCIM/100Leica, you can then share these files with Photos through Save XX Images in the menu and also delete the images when done. Downloading from the Reader also is substantially faster than downloading through the Leica FOTOS app.

You can also import JPG+DNG files directly into Photos with the reader. But this method only has access to the combined image, not the two individual files. The Leica drive will show up in your Photos sidebar on iPad.

So why even bother with the Photos app? Answer to come.

Read the next chapter: What you’re supposed to shoot

Read the whole series

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Photography Leica Q2 Monochrom

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