Lightroom Camera Profiles

Have you even noticed that when a preview first appears, it looks nice and bright, then suddenly changes to a more washed-out look? I bet you have and have wondered what’s going on.

Well, the image you first see appearing is the JPEG preview that is embedded in the Raw file. It is an image that was created by your camera. Canon users may have one of the PictureStyles selected which gets used when these JPEGs are created.

Canon Options

Canon Options

Upon import, Lightroom creates its own previews and because you have not done any post-pressing yet, the preview is built from the unadjusted Raw file, which will typically not be very bright or saturated so the Lightroom-generated previews will rarely look the same as the embedded JPEG.

Thankfully, Adobe has worked with the manufacturers and have created camera profiles that can be loaded into Lightroom and which closely match what the camera would do. These profiles, while still in beta, are an essential download in my opinion. Here is how they work and where to get them.

Here is how they work. And, by the way, they will only work with Lightroom 2 and ACR 4.5 or later.

They are “context sensitive”. In other words, they only appear when appropriate. So, if the EXIF data in the photo indicates the picture was taken with a Canon 5D, only the Canon 5D camera profiles will be displayed.

Here, on the left, you can see these profiles in the camera Calibration panel (Develop Module).

Canon users will immediately recognize them as being similar to the PictureStyle names. And that is precisely the intention of these camera profiles.

They aim to duplicate the manufacturer’s color appearance.

See the example below, where the top image is the untouched Raw file, while the one below that has the Landscape Profile assigned to it.

Not a huge difference, but definitely an improvement. You are now in a much better starting point to commence your post processing. It’s sort of like starting by setting your white balance.

Untouched Raw

Untouched Raw

With Canon "Landscape" Profile

With Canon "Landscape" Profile

The link to get these profiles from Adobe website is here: Get the profiles from Adobe

At the moment only Canon and Nikon camera profiles are provided.

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