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Quality of Camera profiles measured (D700)

Feb 3, 2011 6:38 AM

After never-ending debate about quality of Camera profiles, I decided to try to measure how good these profiles realy are. For that purpose, I made a kind of custom raw file for D700, with a kind of test chart inside it. It was not physical test chart, photographed by the camera, but generated by the program.


I developped this chart with NX2 using standard profile, and with ACR using Camera Standard profiles version 1, 2 and 3. In case of NX2, I turned off all corrections (except standard profile). In case of ACR, I used default settings for each of those profiles and no noise reduction. Also, I developped this raw using ACR with my version of Standard profile, which was generated by modified code I used for calibrating Canon compacts that are not supported by ACR. Color space used was Adobe RGB, 16 bit.


After that, I made graphical interpretation of degree of mismatch between result from NX2 and ACR. Results are shown in attached picture. First picture from the top is a part of a test chart, as developped by NX2. Remaining pictures show the difference between that picture and pictures developped by ACR with these profiles, multiplied by 10 to emphasise the differences. Each pixel is calculated according to the formula


Red = 10 * Abs(Red_NX2 - Red_ACR)
Green = 10 * Abs(Green_NX2 - Green_ACR)
Blue = 10 * Abs(Blue_NX2 - Blue_ACR)


So, intensity of each color in those "delta pictures" shows the error for that color. For total match, this picture would be totaly black


So, it is visible that v2 beta profile (3rd picture from the top) was actually worse then the first version of this profile (2nd picture from the top). But, things improved considerably with v3 beta profile (4th picture). Anyway, there is still some room for improvement, as shown with last picture which is the best I could get with my code at the moment. On real life pictures it is very hard to see any difference between those two profiles


My profile for D700 (Standard only) can be downloaded here


This is not official release from Adobe, so take it as is. Default settings for this profile (that will match the result from NX2) are the same as for v3 beta, except that blacks should be 0 (default value for blacks is 5 for Camera standard v1, v2, v3)



  • Noel Carboni
    23,514 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Feb 3, 2011 9:19 AM   in reply to Vit Novak

    I really like what you're doing here.  I'm one who feels there should be at least one profile that provides an exact match to what the camera makers put out, and it seems to me you've accomplished just that.  Bravo!


    What does it take to make a Camera Raw profile for any given camera that matches so well?  Do you just need to feed your software a raw file and an already converted reference image (e.g., by the camera maker's software) with all the colors in it?



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    Feb 4, 2011 5:07 AM   in reply to Vit Novak

    Thanks for the profile, Vit.  Unfortunately, this profile seems to clip more blacks for me than the Adobe v3 profile with blacks = 0.  Any ideas?

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    Feb 6, 2011 1:26 PM   in reply to Vit Novak

    Hi Vit, thank you for pursuing this and sharing your results. Nice work!


    Out of curiosity, what did you do for the V == 0 case? Did you sample many dark (low V) points, then apply some (weighted) averaging to estimate the appropriate values for the bottom plane of the HSV cylinder?



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    Feb 7, 2011 12:20 PM   in reply to Vit Novak

    Thanks for your work! I know few people who love to do pixel peeping and this profile would be of a good use to explain that LR is capable of everything!)

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