Video – Lightroom Camera Calibration

Happy Friday. This week we’re going to take a look at the Camera Calibration panel. There’s a few different things you can do here from customizing color based on your camera to using a color target. Also, there’s a couple of things I mentioned in the video. First, here’s the link to the article from Eric Chan if you want to delve into this topic more. It’s uses an older version of Camera Raw but a lot of the information is still relevant. Also, here’s a link to the X-rite ColorChecker Passport that I mentioned as well. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the "Save As" option]

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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21 Comments

  1. Matt:

    This is fantastic! I’ve tried on several occasions to use Adobe’s DNG Profile Editor with only marginal success. The X-Rite software however, is a revelation…and sooo much simpler. A few minutes, a new profile and a very positive impact!

    Thanks again for all you do for us…I don’t post often but I truly appreciate it!

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  2. It not only works, but works well, and very fast. Integration and automation within LR is outstanding. Do keep in mind that once a camera profile is developed and listed in LR’s right column, all images – still – have to be color balanced. It does NOT replace colorbalance. If you already own a (genuine) calibrated color chart of any size or type, the file used to profile building can be downloaded from X-Rite and it is free.
    In PhotoShop the creation of a profile build requires several manual steps but the results are the same. The new profile thereafter appears in both PS and LR. One caveat: it is only applicable to raw files… not jpegs.

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    • Ed Okie says: “… the file used to profile building can be downloaded from X-Rite…”

      Do you have a specific URL/address for this? I checked the X-Rite site, but couldn’t find the calibration software. Have been using Adobe’s DNG Profile Editor, and had reasonable success with it – this just looks so much easier…

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  3. Yes, you still have to color balance. You can use the color patches on the passport to balance your photograph to a neutral or warm color. I believe you can balance to a cool, but I have never tried it.

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  4. Hi Matt,

    Any chance of a working out a discount with X-Rite ?

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  5. Matt,

    Any chance of getting us loyal blog readers a discount code for the X Rite Color Checker Passport product ? Thanks !

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  6. With the X-Rite Passport, do you need to set up a new profile for each job? I am mainly a wedding and Bar Mitzvah photographer doing some family portraits. Would I need to set a new profile for indoor and outdoor images from the wedding? Would I need to create a new profile if shooting a family portrait at two different outdoor locations on the same day?

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  7. How do you handle the white balance of the shot taken of the color checker? Does it matter since it will be RAW/DNG?

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  8. I’m not sure I understand the idea behind the chart – Is this a one shot deal, or on every shoot do you bust out a color chart and take a test shot? Does the light source and/or quality of light change how the chart is rendered by ACR? Does anyone use this for shooting in the field, or is it more a controlled light studio tool?

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  9. Hi Matt,

    A very good presentation.

    I have been considering the X-Rite Color Checker. I have a question–do you still use the Nikon camera profiles? I really like those profiles. Can you use both in some way, or do you give up the Nikon profiles if you use the Color Checker?

    Thanks for any guidance.

    Cheers,

    Jim

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  10. I’ve been using the Passport checker for a while, it had a big effect on the Nikon files.
    I have it set up so that the calibration for each camera is applied automatically when I import. But when I have portraits, I like to add +10 to the Red Hue slider to improve the skin tones.
    I would like to create a portrait preset, that simulates the Profile PictureStyle in my camera, is it possible to apply a preset, or syn settings so that you keep the camera profile, but change the slider settings settings in the Calibration Tab. When I try to do this the camera profile changes back to the Adobe one so I gain no productivity.

    Cheers,
    John

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  11. I love the x-rite color checker but I can see the potential to get overwhelmed with profiles. How often do you make a new profile or do you just create a few basic profiles to cover your most common light sources?

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  12. I love the x-rite color checker but can see the potential to become overwhelmed in profiles. How often do you make a new profile? Do you just create a few basic profiles for your most common light sources?

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  13. I’ve been using this system ever since it’s been available and I encourage everyone who shoots Raw to try it out.
    Just to clarify though; it’s a calibration between the light source and the camera.
    So, when you photograph under a different type of light source then you will need to use a unique profile. I photograph a few venues regularly and I’ve got a set of calibrations for their oddball light sources. Trust me, if you have to shoot under mercury vapour lights, you will love what the color checker calibration will do for your skin tones (all colour tones actually). So, fluorescents, ecobulbs, stage lighting, sports venues all need a different calibration.
    Also, somewhat confusing is the ‘must be a DNG file’ requirement. This is only for the calibration file. The resulting calibration preset will be perfect when applied to your original (non DNG) camera raw files.
    Cheers,
    Adrian

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  14. Thanks, I’ve been using the Adobe Profile editor and while it as been fine, I’m liking the slightly different color balance from the the passport product. I would like to try opening a passport profile in the adobe profile editor to see if I could adjust the profile a bit.
    Sort of solving John A’s problem of wanting to add +10 red….

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  15. On a typical shoot for me I encounter numerous light source changes (from 8-10 different changes). Creating a custom calibration for each one would render great results, but would also resort in an pretty unmanageable list of profiles after just a few shoots. Is there a way delete profiles after you have processed files to keep the calibration panel manageable?

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