Lightroom/Camera Raw: Why can we not assign a default profile treatment for our raw images now?

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Why can we not assign a default profile treatment for our RAW images now? As far as I can remember, images used to always open with Adobe Standard whereas now, they're all set to Adobe Colour. What's the point in shooting RAW when the program we use to edit these has already applied unwanted changes to the image!? If we wanted premade changes made to our images, wouldn't we shoot in jpeg mode?
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Trevor Lucy

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Tom Mickow

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Sorry Trevor, but I'm not completely understanding your point/question.

RAW is raw - it's what the sensor sees, without any processing done.  You can't "view" an unprocessed RAW file.  Whenever you're looking at an image created from a RAW file, some processing has been applied to it.

Adobe Standard is the old profile that was applied by default when you imported images into LR.  The current default is (the much improved, in my opinion) Adobe Color profile.  Regardless of the name though, they're both applying changes to the RAW file.  Adobe Standard simply applied a different set of changes than Adobe Color.

If you prefer to use another profile as a starting point, you can do that by changing the default settings for the Develop module or by saving a preset and applying it on import.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> What's the point in shooting RAW when the program we use to edit these has already applied unwanted changes to the image!? If we wanted premade changes made to our images, wouldn't we shoot in jpeg mode?

As Mr. Mickow notes, you have to have some profile to view the data at all, but it's also true that very few people want to start with an image as utterly flat as possible, so some enhancement is generally applied, ranging from a modest tone curve to a vivid profile that strongly affects color and tone. Most people like the small boost from the default profiles used by software from Adobe, Capture One, etc, and will argue about which software has the "best" default profile, but none offer the flattest, least pleasing view of the raw data.

Adobe has chosen a base, barely modified, but generally pleasing profile as their default. You can choose whatever profile you like that you can get your hands on as your default to use when opening LR/CR. It certainly doesn't have to be the one Adobe thought would generally open any raw image with only slight, but pleasing, modifications, yet still leave a lot of room in the sliders for you to adjust the settings.

But you can also google how to make your own profiles. Jim Welninski demonstrated in his recent Advanced B&W course a raw profile he made for his camera that essentially removed the tone curve—and he discussed why sometimes he chose to start with such an ugly flat image. As he pointed out, though, making this profile is specific to the camera. It's not a profile that can be generally applied successfully to all makes and models.

Since Adobe has chosen to expose profiles to us, it's now up to you to decide if it's worth it to you to learn to create your own, or if you'd rather, as most people would, accept a more generic profile as merely a starting point. Profiles are a fascinating study. I'm still in the "use one someone else made" camp, but I'm intrigued by what Welninski showed in his course and think such a dreadfully lifeless profile might be worth creating at least for those times when you want maximum control over tonality. I'll keep checking in to his blog to see if he keeps his promise to "maybe" write up how he created this profile for his camera.
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Max Wendt, Employee

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Adobe Neutral was made for the purpose of starting at (pretty close to) "zero."
It's not truly unprocessed for the reasons you stated, but it gets you close enough to be useful.
It is not a Favorite by default, but you can find it in the Adobe Raw group in the profile browser. It may suit your needs well enough to keep you from having to make your own. :)
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Cristen Gillespie

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My own default has been Nikon's Camera Neutral, and boy is it a pleasing profile compared to what Welninski demonstrated. Make that everyone's profile from their manufacturer and 99.9% of the people out there would send their camera back saying it was "broken." LOL

In the meantime, thanks to that wonderful Profile Browser we have in CR, I can easily compare Adobe Neutral to Camera Neutral, and I think I'll switch for now to Adobe Neutral. It IS even flatter.  And less pleasing. <BG> Still has miles to go to rival Welninski's for truly ugly, but it makes a good start for those of us who don't want a head start.  Thanks for spurring me on to compare the two.
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David Converse

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I use the old Camera Neutral if its available (can't apply it to my old Sony A100/700/850 images for some reason.) I'll have to try Adobe Neutral if its an improvement.

For tethered product shooting, I have a custom ColorChecker profile.
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DP HOME

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"...Adobe Neutral was made for the purpose of starting at (pretty close to) "zero."..." - what "zero" is Adobe does not tell... actually if you remove all types of camera profiles from your filesystes for a given camera model then ACR/LR will resort to use hardcoded (matrix) profiles in the code... that can be called "zero" in Adobe's realm... an alternative will be to take a dcp profile for a given camera model, gut all LUTs and try to use matrices only... what DNG standard calls for ? only "color matrices" (for a dual illuminant) to be present...tags 50721 & 50722
(Edited)
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Just Shot Me

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You CAN.
Set the profile you want for that camera. Go to the Develop menu item, in the Develop module, and select Set Default settings. Click the Update to current settings button.

Not that everything you have set in each section will be applied to images from that one camera. If you have multiple camera you have to do this again.
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eartho, Champion

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Adobe Color is an updated version of Adobe Standard...
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DP HOME

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not exactly.... "Adobe Standard" is DCP profile... "Adobe Color" is an "enhanced" preset-profile applied "on top" of "Adobe Standard"
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Max Wendt, Employee

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Adobe Color may not be a DCP, but it is a profile; it has a color table. You are correct that the Adobe Color color table is applied "on top" of the Adobe Standard color table; that facilitates having just one Adobe Color profile and letting Adobe Standard do all the work to get each camera's colors to a common point. But Adobe Color is not just "Adobe Standard plus some preset slider values."

It doesn't replace Adobe Standard, but it is the updated default.
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DP HOME

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> Adobe Color may not be a DCP, but it is a profile; it has a color table

it does of course, then you can call any LUT (1-2-3 D table) a profile ... Adobe Color can't operate separately from DCP profile (referenced in it) ... that makes it just an "enhanced" preset... PS: while I never wrote "Adobe Standard plus some preset slider values" there are no major difference... neither guide "color transform" (quotes intentional) from raw DNs to some formal color space - that part is what makes something a camera profile - the rest is just postprocessing
(Edited)
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Max Wendt, Employee

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There's really not much point in splitting hairs like this, but... "enhanced profiles" differ significantly in their application and processing from presets, and functionally act as profiles. The fact that they piggyback on a DCP is an implementation detail, as described above.

They are not presets.
(Edited)
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DP HOME

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"...What's the point in shooting RAW when the program we use to edit these has already applied unwanted changes to the image!?..." - any raw converter applies something to the data when you "open" your raw file... some of them like RPP might be set to apply bare minimum (like skip demosaicking or not applying any "camera profile", etc.... now if you simply want to have a certain set of adjustments to be applied automatically and want to call this "wanted changes" then save your defaults - RTFM and selected "Adobe Standard" dcp profile vs whatever you have now... 
(Edited)