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Leonardo is a new, powerful image-editing app

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Leonardo offers a wide range of advanced editing tools including selections, masks and layers.
The app also features a live histogram for making adjustments to overall highlights, shadows and details or by color channel.

The recently launched Leonardo is a full-featured image editing app for iOS that offers tools you won't find on too many other comparable apps, especially since PhotoForge was taken off the market when Yahoo purchased it. After a quick run through Leonardo, it seems that this little app may bring some competition for Filterstorm (my personal favorite for mobile editing). 

Although there's a slight learning curve to get the hang of the user interface, some of the tools will be familiar to Adobe Photoshop (and Elements) users. Even if you're just starting out, Leonardo offers tutorials and help from within the app. For example, selections can be made using the magic wand or lasso tool. On the iPhone, a magnifier automatically appears when using the lasso tool so you can better see your selection. Layer masking is also available, with options including invert mask and feathering.

Leonardo offers various methods of selecting an area and allows users to choose a color to make the selection visible. Alternatively, you can opt to show edges only, where you'll see the selection outlined with "marching ants," just like Photoshop.
We used the magic wand to make this selection, clearly seeing the area in red. To adjust the selection, you can adjust the threshold tolerance of image colors. A feathering option is also available.

Among the editing options you'll also find a trio of gradients (linear, bi-linear and radial), unsharp mask, an adjustable histogram, and a Shadow/Highlights tool that allows you to increase the dynamic range. White balance can be adjusted by temperature and tint sliders and RGB channels can be adjusted with individual sliders. All the basics are there, too, such as cropping, straighten, clones and your EXIF data remains intact (IPTC and Geotag info can be edited). The app can export PSDs at resolutions up to 4096 x 4096 on iPads; iPhone resolution is limited by and equal to the resolution of the built-in camera, although on the iPhone 4, the maximum resolution is 2048 x 2048.

Leonardo requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available now for $1.99. However, the iTunes page suggests this is a "60% off promotion," so if you do a lot of editing on your smart device (or if you want to), now may be the best time to download Leonardo.

Comments

Total comments: 25
udris
By udris (11 months ago)

Photoshop is overkill these days.............. most of the public are happy to use hand held devices so these apps are tailor made for creating images /videos for viewing from phones tablets etc
Luke must be living in the 2010 "stone digital age"

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Photoshop may be overkill, ACR aint. Then there are things like Vibrance and Selective Colour that Photoshop has while PSE doesn't.

0 upvotes
udris
By udris (11 months ago)

Images destined for hand held devices do not need ACR remember colour output is different from device to device.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

@udris:

Thank you, not, for telling me where these images are destined.

Let me explain this point for you since you clearly haven’t thought much about this subject. Often the iPhone/iPad is the field computer, so any serious photo software running on the iwhatever needs to extract raw.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
udris
By udris (11 months ago)

Tablet/phone imaging is about getting images out quickly, having fun, creativity, visual communication not recreating reality.
Tablets are are about multi media not photographic tools and the software is made accordingly. Of course imaging software extracts raw data but ACR is not the only way.
With computer photo software Raw Photo Processor 64 shows just how wrong Adobe and ACR are in extracting and converting colour

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

@udris:

Thank you, again not, for telling me how to use a computer and what to use it for. "Tablets can do this but not that", do you know how silly you read.

I'm not so silly as to claim that ACR is the only way to extract raw, it's good though. It's that RAW extraction be important for mobile computers too.

Then talk about a limited world view: Raw Photo Processor 64 is Mac only. There are other computer systems than Mac.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
udris
By udris (11 months ago)

Sorry about your ignorance I actually use a PC for most stuff as for stating what tablets you need to be informed with a sign on name such as HowaboutRAW that really is a limited .....raw raw raw I guess you eat raw meat? But enjoy what you do and you may have last say. I am out of this thread

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

u:

Of what am I ignorant? The website for Raw PhotoProcessor 64 states very clearly that it is Mac only. Link: http://www.raw-photo-processor.com/RPP/Overview.html

There is no good reason for not being able to use tablets (or big smartphones) to view/extract raw files. (No, in many cases this would not be the final extraction work, but it would be a start.)

For image quality+adjustment reasons, not upload or speed though, raw is the only way to shoot digital photos.

It’s really boring to be told what a tablet (or any computer frankly) is supposed to be able to do. That kind of limited thinking provided a lot of trouble for the likes of IBM, Apple and HP for years. I’m not telling you that you have to use your tablet to extract raws, I’m saying that the possibility needs to be there.

As for PhotoShop, beyond good raw extraction, it still has a lot of amazing features that serious tablet/phone editing software would be best to add..

0 upvotes
LukeDuciel
By LukeDuciel (11 months ago)

I have to say, photo editing apps like this is missing the point entirely.

0 upvotes
m3
By m3 (11 months ago)

"The point" being …?

4 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (11 months ago)

Personally, I would never attempt serious image editing on any iOS device for the simple reason that the finger is an extremely cumbersome and imprecise pointing device for the kinds of operations that image editing often requires. I cannot even imagine how frustrating it would be to make precise selections on a touch screen. No thanks!

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Sky:

While I certainly agree that Adobe is being dumb with the rental only Photoshop. To say that Leonardo is as capable as Photoshop is a gross misunderstanding of how powerful Photoshop is. It is very unlikely that Leonardo does “Selective Colour”, that’s a huge deal in PS. And SC sure aint in PSE 9, which is the last version of PSE that I own. Then does Leonardo have “Vibrance”?

1 upvote
Perrydrew
By Perrydrew (7 months ago)

Of course editting on a computer is easier than on a phone but in a pinch it's fine especially with a good pointing device. There is also another app called Laminar that is up there with Leonardo and PS Touch. Laminar can import images from the web which is convenient. I actually enjoy editting on my iphone.

0 upvotes
Fabio Amodeo
By Fabio Amodeo (11 months ago)

I think this Leonardo job poses an interesting question. It is able to do to 8 bit files most of the useful things Photoshop can do. Now, how comes it costs less than two bucks, while PS requires a monthly contract more expensive than a seat at La Scala? If Adobe ever cared about photographers, I would think PS Elements should be the thing that does the same in the real world. But Elements has always been kept behind, being unable to do some jobs (no LAB colour space, few 16 bits filters, and most of all no actions, grrr) . I'm a photographer, not a graphic designer or an illustrator, and I would need a simple and powerful instrument made for photographers. I think Adobe simply forgot its public (and will keep PS5 as long as I can).

3 upvotes
mickeybphoto
By mickeybphoto (11 months ago)

For those of you who have decided to be untide from iOS and enjoy the "free"dom of Android, check out Photo Editor by DEV.MACGYVER on Google Play. It is way cool and works like those found in Leonardo. This would be the close PS program for Android.

1 upvote
Jcradford
By Jcradford (11 months ago)

I was a beta tester and thoroughly enjoy it. In all fairness, you can't compare tablet-ware to PS on a PC, but it has much of what most serious photogs need much of the time. Personally, I miss features like " content-aware" and yes the color space and retina screen are not going to match up with your desktop monitor. Note: the software author also markets PhotoWizard, which is a more intuitive GUI with masking, many filters, adjustments, etc., great for on-the-fly, but with a few less features. Cudos to the author on both. Highly recommended.

0 upvotes
m3
By m3 (11 months ago)

I downloaded this to my iPhone last night and was able to run through it straight away. Those proficient with Photoshop will find it most intuitive to use. An excellent idea to accompany you whilst away from the desktop.
I don't use an iPad but on the phone I can't see why I would need RAW, 16-bit, saving layers etc. which I do need on my desktop setup.
In answer to "nomorepencils" and others, I'll say a couple of dollars will clear your doubts ...

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

m3–

The reason you’d want to be able to extract raw is if the iPhone/Pad is the computer you have out in the field and you’re shooting raw–same with 16bit.

No, as iPhone cameras work today and provided you’re only working with iPhone captured photos (jpegs), one doesn’t need raw. But see first paragraph about the iPhone often being the only field computer.

Then it is not simply a few dollars to test this software if one doesn’t own an iPhone/Pad. (Perhaps at an Apple store, perhaps not.)

PS: Raw would be a helpful capacity in phone cameras–simply for better colour and exposure.

1 upvote
nomorepencils
By nomorepencils (11 months ago)

I'll try it on the iPhone.
The reason for asking about 16bit on the iPad is because of the way 8bit colours degrade when anything is altered.

1 upvote
A Boy and his 60D
By A Boy and his 60D (11 months ago)

Tablets and laptops are not targeted at professional photographers in may st product instances. They are intended for casual users. It has become evident to me over the years that my mobile devices will not afford me the type of power my desktop workstation does and I've come to accept that. Every year, though, I receive more and more power from these apps, so maybe Ina few years they will be more in line with what we're used to. In the mean time, I'm just glad to be able to do basic editing before shooting it out via e-mail. Hope they port this to Android.

0 upvotes
udris
By udris (11 months ago)

It is up there with laminar pro and a great alternative to what adobe has to offer on ipads. Great teaching/learning tool an app that is very intuitive in using

0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (11 months ago)

I stopped photo editing on the iPad when I figured out that iOS has a different colorspace that does not translate well to other systems, so all the photos that I exported directly to a site like Flickr looked 'off' on a desktop or laptop. Is this still true?

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (11 months ago)

I never seen a tablet, laptop monitor that is as good as a sRGB ips lcd monitor. Take a color monkey or spider calibrator and see how it score. Tablet are usually more saturated and has higher contrast then a good ips monitor

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Raw?

And repeating "nomorepencils": 16 bit? Layers?

How about the Photoshop functions known as "selective color" and "color balance". That first (SC), I've only ever seen in Photoshop and in my advanced film scanner software.

Then great, not, the iPad doesn't have a card slot, so one would need an external card thing specially for the iPad.

Will it becoming out for Android, does it have a library system?

0 upvotes
nomorepencils
By nomorepencils (11 months ago)

I don't have an iPad, but if I did and I was thinking of using something like this, I would want to know:

What file types will it handle?

16 bit or 8 bit only?

Can it save a layered PSD?

What file types can it export or save as?

What's the answer?

2 upvotes
Total comments: 25
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