Can a Mobile App Outdo Its Lightroom Plug-In Cousin?

The other day, we gave our first impressions of Perfectly Clear for Android. As a user of the Lightroom Plugin, I was simply very curious about how the two stacked up against one another when editing the same photo. With the leaps and bounds that mobile photography has taken, would it at all be possible for a mobile app to outdo a desktop plugin? Here’s a quick overview.

The Test

I took two different raw images and exported them both at 72 DPI, 500k max, and 2000 pixels on the long side in Lightroom. I took those exported images and ran them through the Perfectly Clear plugin for Lightroom. I used the Portrait preset.

Then I took the original export, sent it to my HTC One S, and ran them through the Perfectly Clear app for Android. I let Perfectly Clear work its own voodoo magic for this one.

The Results

Example 1

Original

Edited in Lightroom

Edited in the Mobile App

Example 2

Original photo exported

From the Lightroom Plugin

From the Mobile App

Thoughts

I was actually rooting for the mobile app in this case, but the Perfectly Clear plug-in for Lightroom absolutely blew me away in terms of how well it softened the skin and adjusted the colors. Sure, it blew me away before, but when it comes to large batches of photos (like a portrait session or a wedding) you’ll begin to see that it can really work wonders.

It may be the mobile app misbehaving and we will see this once and for all in our final review of the app. However, at the moment it seems like the app wants us to mess with the files instead of just letting it do all the work for us.