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Good article on how to get accurate Sony colors in Lightroom

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by stephen431, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. stephen431

    stephen431 TalkEmount Regular

    112
    May 2, 2014
    http://photographylife.com/how-to-get-accurate-sony-colors-in-lightroom


    What I've found is that of the built in profiles, the neutral color profile seems to provide the best color match when comparing shots done as raw+jpeg files (YMMV).

    Also, I'd suggest that if you want to adopt the import template mentioned in the article, you'll also want to turn on Lens Profile Corrections.
     
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  2. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
  3. stephen431

    stephen431 TalkEmount Regular

    112
    May 2, 2014
    In re-reading my post title I see that it is misleading.
    It should be read as: accurate "Sony Colors" in Lightroom.

    This is not for producing the accurate colors that you will get shooting a color target and creating a calibrated color profile for you camera sensor in Lightroom. This is geared more toward individuals who are trying to more closely match the RAW file as rendered on their camera LCD/EVF (or JPEG output) using the Sony in-camera color profiles. Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Neutral, etc.
    You cannot (yet) load a custom color profile into Sony E mount cameras. You have to select one of Sony's "Creative Style" color profiles. I've had best results using Neutral for matching what I see on the camera to what is displayed on a calibrated screen in JPEG, and matching that RAW file to the JPEG. You cannot calibrate your camera EVF or LCD to fully match the colors of the physical scene, but you can try to make RAWs in Lightroom more closely match the colors you saw rendered on the EVF or LCD and use that as a baseline for starting your post processing.

    When you shoot RAW+JPEG, Sony applies the in-camera selected color profile to the JPEG, but if you then view the RAW file using Adobe Standard and compare with the JPEG (which has been locked into the Sony color profile in the camera), then colors of each will be different. The Adobe Standard color profile will likely more accurately render the colors of whatever was physically in front of the lens. However, if you are composing the photo through the EVF/LCD and composing the color of the scene through the EVF/LCD, it will likely help you to match the Sony in-camera color profile to its corresponding Lightroom color profile. Then it should render your RAW file to more closely match the shot displayed in-camera when you pressed the shutter.
    I hope that makes sense.

    A personal observation. I've noticed that individuals who first began shooting with optical viewfinders generally expect to see RAW files that have different colors from what was rendered on their camera screen, while individuals who first began shooting on cameras with electronic viewfinders (WYSIWYG) may not.

    It really depends on your post processing workflow in Lightroom and how much you prioritize accurate color rendition of a scene vs. the photographer's aesthetic choice in color processing.
     
  4. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    The idea of a raw file is that it's to be the unaffected information that comes off the sensor at the time of taking. (Of course some companies tweak the sensor data, because in their view EVERY photo needs that tweak for the image to be a true rendition of the scene.) Otherwise there's not a reason in the world to have an in-camera profile -- there's already one the manufacturer put in there.

    Profiles and Styles are two completely different things. Profiles are designed to normalise the data from the sensor in post processing. Sensors respond to scenes somewhat differently depending on the situation (dominant colors, saturation and ISO, for example). Profiles are designed to adjust for those variations. Styles, on the other hand, are just games to play with color, contrast, etc. ("Oooh, oooh, oooh, doesn't that look cool," sort of thing.)

    Every time you adjust the data from a raw file you lose information. If you adjust exposure, contrast, saturation, the response curve, you throw some of the raw information away -- gone forever. Raw files are there because you want EVERYTHING that sensor had to bring. The moment you fiddle with a raw file, it's not a raw file anymore. That's why styles only apply in jpegs.

    If you want color accuracy you shoot in raw and use a colour card. You can calibrate for a particular shot or situation or you can calibrate for the camera more generally (or even a particular camera). Or, in Lightroom you can use the camera calibration tools to see if the tool can correct in a helpful way.
     
  5. stephen431

    stephen431 TalkEmount Regular

    112
    May 2, 2014
    On your NEX7 and A7, you will find that there is not "one" in-camera profile for RAW. RAW is RAW. It's pure sensor data. What you see on your NEX7 or A7 screen after you press the shutter is not a stream of RAW data. It's a JPEG. It's a JPEG exported by the camera's RAW processor. The camera processor applies a color profile (called "Creative Style" by Sony) to the JPEG when it is generated from the RAW data in-camera. This JPEG is then written into the RAW file for use as a preview, thumbnail, etc. If you import your RAW files into Lightroom using the "Embedded & Sidecar", then this JPEG is what is displayed as the photo preview, but for all other settings (minimal, standard, 1:1) Lightroom will ignore this embedded preview and generate an all new preview image based on the RAW data and whatever import develop presets are active during the Lightroom import. How Lightroom reads this RAW file and translates the color from the pixel data is based on the color profile under Camera Calibration in the Develop module.

    Example: Your A7 is probably set to "standard" or "neutral". If you take a RAW+jpeg reference photo in Manual using the "standard" profile, and then take an identical photo using the "vivid" profile, the images on your EVF will be different and the jpegs will be different. Now, when you import both RAWs into Lightroom using the Adobe Standard color profile, both images will be identical. RAW data is data without any color profile applied until it is being developed in Lightroom.
    Neither of these RAW files will likely match their +jpeg files because those jpegs had Sony's color profiles added to them in-camera.

    Lightroom uses a non-destructive workflow. It does not change any information on the RAW file. You can change the color profiles, exposure, contrast, whatever without losing any RAW data (Unless you convert to DNG, and then also embed your edits into the file. Most people don't do this). You can fiddle in Lightroom all you want without damaging the original RAW. If you take that Sony ARW file and edit it in Lightroom, copy that ARW file from its folder, and import it into another program, it will be exactly as it was when it came out of the camera. No adjustments you've made in Lightroom will show up. Adjustments are kept only in Lightroom's catalog file. Not on the RAW file itself.

    I completely agree.

    This article isn't calibrating color accuracy for a color card. It's for those who import files into Lightroom and see that the colors of their Lightroom RAW images don't match the colors of the photo they thought they took when they looked through the EVF or at the LCD screen. Or they don't match the jpegs when they do RAW+jpeg. This is to help people get those to match up.
     
  6. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    It's a mistake to believe that there's such a thing as a "pure" raw file. To create a raw file, cameras do an analog to digital conversion; and there's nothing pure about that.

    Of course the engineers want raw files to be what customers expect, but those raw file are going to look the way they design them to look.

    It also appears that Sony compresses it's A7 raw files in ways that reduce the bit depth. Nothing pure about that.

    I understand non-destructive editing, but when I talk about fiddling a raw file in the context of an in-camera "profile," you know what I'm saying. If there's an in-camera "profile," information will be lost and it won't be a raw file as we think of them.

    Matching jpegs? I don't understand that. There are plenty of benefits to shooting jpegs. But photographers who want the benefits of raw should be thinking about the scene, not the jpeg of the scene.
     
  7. BruPri

    BruPri TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Aug 7, 2011
    The Sony jpg engine does a very good job of noise reduction/sharpening and a variety of color/process options. I believe the OP was simply sharing information that may help others process their ARW files in Lightroom to achieve a better starting point to begin adjusting from.
     
  8. stephen431

    stephen431 TalkEmount Regular

    112
    May 2, 2014
    I see what you're saying, but I think those are other, tangent discussions and way beyond the basic level of this article. They don't really have anything to do with what I'm talking about matching the color profiles in Lightroom.

    Actually no. Even if you changed the in-camera setting to B&W, you will still get the same RAW file data of a color photo.

    I now see what you're misunderstanding. We've been talking about 2 different things. This article should explain what I'm talking about better than I have. It's about Nikon, but it's the same gist.
    http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/accurate-camera-colour-within-lightroom/

    Here is another:
    http://howgreenisyourgarden.wordpre...ofiles-and-why-adobe-standard-is-a-liability/
    It basically explains what I'm talking about in this quote.
     
  9. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    I'm sure we've been takling at cross purposes part of the time.

    I try not to cite opinion pieces in regard to technical matters from non-technical sources. It's not an opinion poll.

    For example in the wildlifeinpixels article he advises: "So my recommendations are always the same – all in-camera ‘picture control’ type settings should be turned OFF; and those that can’t be turned off are set to LOW or NEUTRAL as applicable."

    As many do, he seems to believe that there's something neutral about that jpeg. There isn't.

    For my part in the NEX-7, I set the "creative scene" to portrait and then dial down the contrast. This allows me to see the scene better in the EVF. I only shoot raw, so it's no problem.