Camera Colour Profiles

Olympus EM5, Olympus 12-40mm. ISO200, f/2.8, 1/2500″

Over the past few months, I’ve been contacted with increasing regularity by people looking for Camera Colour Profiles. In case you’re not familiar, these are the profiles that allow Lightroom to convert RAW files into colour images with accurate colour. Although Lightroom comes with a default colour profile (Adobe Standard), this can be improved upon.

Once you create and install a custom colour profile to Lightroom, you can select it when processing RAW files. The option is found under the Camera Calibration tab at the bottom of the interface in the Develop Module. Here you will find a dropdown list with all the available profiles installed to your computer that relate to the RAW file being processed.

A common problem people seem to experience is that the profile they installed isn’t available in the dropdown list. This can often be explained by one of the following:

  • It’s not a RAW file that’s been selected for editing. When a RAW file is converted to an image, the colour profile information is embedded in the image. If you see the words “Embedded” in the dropdown and this can’t be changed, you’re not working on a RAW file.
  • You don’t see the installed profile in the dropdown list. Only the profiles that match the RAW file are displayed. If the RAW file was taken using a Canon 5DMKII, it only displays profiles for that camera. The profiles are specific to the camera model and version.
  • The profiles aren’t installed in the correct location. I have produced a You Tube tutorial showing how to install the profiles to both Mac and Windows computers.

I share a number of camera colour profiles on my Lenscraft Website (Olympus EM5 MKI, Olympus EM5 MKI Infrared, Panasonic GX1, Panasonic GX1 Infrared, Panasonic GM1, Sony RX10 MKI, Sony RX100MKI, Panasonic LX5). If you own one of these cameras, you can install and use these profiles as they may give you an edge over the default “Adobe Standard” profile. If you don’t have one of these cameras you will either need to search the web or create your own.

If you’re interested in creating your own, I suggest the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport which is the system I use. The downside to this is the price; if you only have one or two cameras, it may not be worth your while. If you are a member of a camera club, it may be worth the club buying the ColorChecker and the members sharing it.

I would also like to make an offer. If anyone has, or does create colour profiles for other cameras, would you be willing to share them? If you are, please contact me via Lenscraft and I will add them to the library on my website along with a note of thanks and a link to your website (if you have one). This arrangement would hopefully benefit everyone.

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