Lightroom: *Cross*-Camera Matching Profiles

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  • Updated 7 years ago
One of the many primary uses for the DNG Profile Editor is to standardize color/tone across different camera models. However, its a lot of work.

I'd rather see:

Adobe Standard
Adobe Portrait
Adobe Vivid
Adobe Landscape
Adobe Neutral

where each profile looks the same for every camera.

than:

Adobe Standard
Camera Portrait
Camera Vivid
Camera Landscape
Camera Neutral

where only Adobe Standard looks the same from camera to camera.

Although I could easily live without camera manufacturer profile emulations if this FR/Idea were implemented instead, I'm sure it would be unpopular to remove that support at this point.

So, this 'Idea' is to add additional Adobe profiles that would match across cameras.

This would allow a person or team to shoot a set of photos with a Nikon D3 and a Canon 5D (for example), then select 'Adobe Portrait' as example so all photos have the same portrait look regardless of which camera they came from.

(presently the only way to do that is via DNG profile editor and several hours of time - effort to be duplicated by each user who does it, and results still not as good as Adobe could do).

Summary:
========
A primary purpose of Adobe Standard, is to have a profile that looks the same regardless of camera model. I just want to have more than one choice...

(Canon Landscape looks a little different than Nikon Landscape, and there is no Nikon Faithful...)

If you like this Idea, please remember to click the '+1' button below.
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Rob Cole

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  • picky about color, I guess...

Posted 7 years ago

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Lee Jay

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I wonder how much additional work it would take for the Camera Raw team to add four new Adobe profiles for each of the 200+ cameras they currently support.
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Rob Cole

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Good question, and I don't know the answer for sure. But, what I do know is that 95% of the Adobe Standard profile adaptations across different models differ by only a few dozen bytes. To paraphrase Eric Chan: Adobe Standard usually just needs a couple of tweaks to tune it for a new model and the rest of the profile just falls into place... Only when new sensors have bizarre response curves does the profile need to be redone from scratch.

One thing is for sure, it'd be less work than coming up with the camera matching profiles which they are doing now, since the Adobe Profiles would normally just need to be "fit", whereas each camera manufacturer / model profile has a unique look-n-feel which needs to be emulated from scratch.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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What do you do in the DNG Profile Editor? I am curious what process you go through to create your optimal Portrait Profile for each brand of camera?
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Rob Cole

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I think the instructions are in the DNG Profile Editor doc, no?

In any case, I think a tutorial here would be beyond the scope of this forum - maybe on my website/blog at some point... Or an internet or other forum search might turn up a page somebody else has already done...
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Ok, I can't comment on something I don't know how to do, but I have made cross-camera profiles using a 24-patch color-checker and the DNG Profile Editor.

What the DNG Profile Editor should allow is an automated process for computing an optimal profile from an arbitrary color target instead of just the Color Checker. I can get color-numbers for many other targets so could have dozens skin-tone-related patches to optimize, but am not allowed to use anything other than the standard Color Checker. I can't even measure my own target with a spectrophotometer and input those numbers.

The issue seems to be not that you have to do it, but that it takes hours, and Adobe could help with that if arbitrary targets could be used. I'm not sure but the limited number of data-points also seems like an issue.

I think Adobe would have problems creating cross-camera profiles because there is nothing to match against like there is for the Camera-Matching profiles, so the profiles would be rather subjective. If a "Portrait" profile really just means a skin-tone-optimized profile then there probably is some way for Adobe to do this, although there'd need to be a few different races of skin-tones I'd think.
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Rob Cole

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Some clarification, in case this FR/Idea is not yet clear.

Its not an easy read (appx. 3795 characters), so please do not bother if you are already clear, or don't care about this idea anyway, or have better things to do... (ok with me if you cheat and go straight to summary at bottom).

The way the DNG Profile Editor works is:

- You start with a base profile, then add color control points and adjust the tone curve. The specified adjustments (color control points and tone curve) can be saved as a recipe then applied to other base profiles to create new profiles.

- So its easy to come up with a (cross-camera) variation of Adobe Standard, that suits ones fancy a little better. SizzlingBadger has done that and posted the "recipe" on another thread. It uses the color calibration sliders instead of color control points, and the tone curve de-brightens the midtones - corrects for what some perceive as a magenta cast and normalizes brightness to be more like Nikon picture styles.

- However, lets say you want a profile that looks a lot like Nikon Vivid and/or Canon Vivid, but looks the same on two different cameras (say a Nikon and a Canon). Presently there are two ways I can think of:

1. Make two profiles from scratch, one for your Nikon starting with Nikon Vivid, and another for your Canon starting with Canon Vivid. To get those two to look almost exactly the same on both cameras will take a long time, since you can't just apply a color chart, you have to tweak for hours by hand using your eyes, and it still won't be anywhere near perfect. (note: if you were trying to make a Nikon version of Canon's Camera Faithful, it would be even harder, since the base profiles you were starting from would be further from the aim, since Nikon does not have a near equivalent of "Faithful").

2. Make one vivid profile recipe using Adobe Standard as a base, then apply it to both camera model's versions of Adobe Standard to create two vivid variations of Adobe Standard that will look almost exactly the same for both cameras. Try tweaking Adobe Standard to precisely emulate Nikon Vivid (or Canon Vivid) and you'll see this is also a very time consuming job.

So if Adobe went through the trouble, to create an Adobe Vivid which was similar to Nikon Vivid and/or Canon Vivid only different, but looked the same on both cameras, then the user would have to do nothing except choose the preferred profile when combining shots of the same scene where two different camera models were used (and the user wanted the same vivid look for all shots). And, if one wanted to make a minor variation of Adobe Vivid for their two cameras, it would be relatively quick and easy, and the recipe when applied to the camera's Adobe Vivid as base and saved, would be guaranteed to look almost exactly the same on both cameras.

Likewise for Adobe Portrait and all the others...

Would this take a bit of work? - yes. But I'd rather Adobe do it "once" so we don't have to reinvent so many wheels ourselves.

There would be two parts to the job for Adobe.
1. Come up with the profile(s) for any arbitrary camera. This will be the reference profiles that the profiles created for other cameras are compared to. This would be a fair amount of work, but would only need to be done once.
2. For each new model, adapt the profiles, like they do now for Adobe Standard. This is relatively easy for most models, but may present more of a challenge for a small minority of cameras. I really have no idea how they do it now, but I can imagine either manually, or by running sensor response data through a computer program. If the latter, I suspect it would be the same program used now to adapt Adobe Standard (similar to how x-rite software does now using the color chart, except using a *lot* more points. Tech Note: X-rite's internal "base profile" is linear making it easy to adapt nearly perfectly using a small-sample color chart, unlike the complex non-linear twisting profiles all of which twist differently..., like Adobe Standard and Nikon Vivid).

Summary:
=======
Benefit for the user is that they have multiple choices for profile that will look the same regardless of camera used. And, the user can *easily* make variations using the DNG Profile Editor that will also look the same cross-camera, starting from a base which is already closer to what they want.

PS - Definition of Twisted: color varies depending on luminance and saturation. For example, in Nikon Vivid, deep greens are more bluish, and light greens are more yellowish - distorting and exaggerating the natural tendency for dark shady greens to be coolor, and greens that are glowing in the sun to be warmer...
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Butch_M

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This is a reasonable idea, though I have to wonder if it really would be worth the extra man hours Adobe would have to invest to make it work.

First, I do agree that creating individual custom profiles to match multiple cameras can be a bit daunting and time consuming ... however ... you only need to do it once ... then the resulting profiles will work for the lifespan of which you own/use the camera and the time period of which you keep the resulting files ... so all-in-all well worth the relative short time it takes to get there for the individual Lr user.

Secondly ... color interpretation is purely subjective ... even though we are discussing color accuracy using a known standardized target ... that doesn't always equate to a resulting profile that looks "pleasing" to the individual user when applied to images in their catalog. While I trust Adobe to code and offer software I enjoy and am very satisfied to use ... I really appreciate that I can adjust, edit and create custom profiles that I prefer and not what an Adobe engineer/technician may create for me ... in fact I first used the DNG Profile Editor because I did not really like any of the Adobe provided profiles ...
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Andrew Rodney

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I don’t understand this request. All cameras, even the same model are different otherwise one generic profile would match all other cameras of the same make. >where each profile looks the same for every camera.

You can use the generic profiles and then season to taste to get a match OR roll your own (or edit existing generic profiles). I don’t understand what Adobe is supposed to do about this when the facts are, the cameras are different from each other. The profiles they build reflect the unique idiosyncrasies of the camera Adobe purchased.

Yes either editing an existing DNG profile or creating your own is time consuming. So is creating profiles for your display and printer. You either use the supplied profiles (for a printer) or you roll your own.

What am I missing here?
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Rob Cole

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By the time Lr4 rolls around I probably will have already solved this problem for myself, and so will no longer care whether its solved by Adobe, for my sake. This Idea falls in the category of "I think it would be good for Lightroom, and for new users who have *not* already painstakingly created a set of *cross-*camera matching profiles for themselves".

Because of that, my motivation for lengthy discussions about it is waning.

The way to understand this FR/Idea is try to do one or both of the things listed in my post above - starting with "Presently there are two ways I can think of: ".

To put it as simply as I can:
====================
Question: How many profile choices do I have to get matching color style when I shoot a set with multiple camera manufacturer models?

@present, the answer is: One - Adobe Standard.

If this Idea were implemented, then the answer would be: Several.

---------------------
Bonus Question: How long does it take me to create a customized version of a Vivid (twisted) profile (for example) that matches cross-camera?

@present, the answer is: A long time.

If this Idea were implemented, then the answer would be: Far shorter.

(note: I could have used 'Portrait' or any other profile, instead of 'Vivid', as the example...)
-----------------------

This sums up the bottom line for the user pretty well, I think. - Adobe knows how much work it would take them, I don't...
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Butch_M

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"This sums up the bottom line for the user pretty well, I think. - Adobe knows how much work it would take them, I don't..."

That answer is simple ... it would be the amount of time it takes you to create one profile x 200+ cameras that Adobe supports in ACR/Lr ...
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Rob Cole

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I don't think that is correct Butch.

Please see my post above, the part beginning with: "There would be two parts to the job for Adobe".
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Andrew Rodney

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>Come up with the profile(s) for any arbitrary camera.

The bit you have to explain is this: Come up with the profile(s) for any arbitrary camera.

That’s a generic profile, its not the profile for your specific behaving device. Assuming you’re OK with it behaving differently for all users, the by all means, continue. But since the FR uses the term ‘matching’ I think you’re a ways off from this working. Its WHY Adobe (and X-Rite) provided us tools for building custom profiles for our camera+raw processing.
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Rob Cole

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The scope of Adobe's aim with DNG Profile Editor is *far* greater than that of x-rite (RTFM). Still, your point is well taken - this Idea would not take into account differences between different serial numbers of the same manufacturer model.

Note: the 24- patch chart is not particularly useful in coming up with nice twisted profiles from scratch (since color accuracy plays a secondary role, the subjective pleasing-ness being primary), but would be immensely helpful in normalizing Adobe's profiles for different copies of same model, if desired.
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Andrew Rodney

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>To put it as simply as I can:
====================
Question: How many profile choices do I have to get matching color style when I shoot a set with multiple camera manufacturer models?

The question should be, how can I not create/edit my own profiles considering that every camera is somewhat different, even among the same model?
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Rob Cole

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Both questions seem reasonable to ask, to me. But this FR/Idea was strictly about addressing the difference between different models of cameras created by different manufacturers. One can use a color chart to normalize copy differences.
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Andrew Rodney

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>But this FR/Idea was strictly about addressing the difference between cameras created by different manufacturers

So you think its easier (possible) to make MULTIPLE camera manufacturers products match when the same product model doesn’t? I don’t see how.
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Rob Cole

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Butch_M - You are probably right. This would probably be really hard for Adobe and take them a really long time. They should probably work on other things instead. Lee Jay probably agrees...

Andrew Rodney - You are probably right. This was probably a bad idea, I probably don't know what I'm talking about, and I'm probably asking all the wrong questions. - This is probably not even feasible, more less sensible...

Rob out.
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Photographe

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I think this scratches the surface of a very interesting topic. For example, does Adobe Standard match various cameras at base ISO and ideal lighting conditions (both a rarity in my shooting)? Too bad Rob is tuning out...
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Rob Cole

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You can contact me privately if you like.