4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2008 11:06 AM by MadManChan2000

    Can I benefit from an individual camera profile?

    Level 1
      I am not certain if I can benefit from a custom made profile.

      1) One important factor would be the variation in individual camera samples. Is there any information available just how much individual cameras vary in response curves? Of course I might still have to verify this for my own camera (a D3) but if I can expect that practically all Nikon D3 cameras vary barely significant and certainly irrelevant I would perhaps leave it that way. Of course this would only apply if the profile supplied by Adobe represents the true profile of each camera. The statement that the new profiles represent some colors like red in a better way seems to contradict this.

      2) The second factor to consider would be how good are "home-made" profiles. Previously I produced my own camera profile (a D200 at the time) for a number of conditions. I noticed very quickly that the only profiles that were worth using were two profiles with only one light-source each. This were flash and studio lights both with pretty constant controlled color temperature. Perfect control over light direction can reduce ill effects like glare of the color template surface.
      Other profiles like taken at outdoor-overcast did not give very convincing results. When I look in detail I find the illumination in outdoor settings variable and often not as homogeneous and perfect for profiling. Perhaps this changed now with the possibility to obtain two profiles at different color temperatures? I assume there will be an interpolation algorithm. Is that good enough or better than the camera neutral profile?

      3) What is the advantage of having different "styles" of profiles like "portrait" over using one neutral profile and using a set of "styles" done in PS or in ACR that can also easily be loaded.
        • 1. Re: Can I benefit from an individual camera profile?
          Yammer Level 4
          I used the Adobe Standard profile for my D300, and it was pretty good. I then ran the Chart calibration and a few of the colour points moved a little bit. The result was noticeable on skin and sky.

          So, to answer your question, yes, in my case it was definitely worth it. I've manually profiled both of my cameras and I'm very happy with the result - much happier than I ever was with calibration scripts in the past.
          • 2. Re: Can I benefit from an individual camera profile?
            MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

            1. I have no info on this. The camera manufacturers ought to know, but they don't tend to share this data. Third parties and individuals and obtain this data by carefully measuring thousands of cameras and analyzing the results. Clearly this is tough to accomplish. Therefore, no data.

            I'm not sure what you mean by a 'true' profile. In my book, there is no such thing. One can certainly characterize a sensor, but there are fundamental differences between how a camera 'sees' and how humans see (and how brains interpret) so where there are mismatches there's no single right answer on what to do.

            Reds are sometimes a good example of this. Sensors with excessive infrared response are going to have some tradeoff between skin reproduction (high IR reflectance) and deep saturated red materials. Clearly such cameras see quite differently than we do.

            2. Home-made profiles, either ones optimized by hand or ones obtained via the chart wizard, can be very good in terms of colorimetric accuracy. Whether or not they always produce the most visually pleasing results is another question. (These are definitely not the same thing.)

            3. The main technical advantage at this point is that the profiles allow much finer color adjustments than the controls available in CR/LR. (I am deliberately ignoring LR 2's local adjustments since they're a different concept.) Using the profile editor (or similar tool) you can tweak very specific colors, such as a narrow saturation range, compared to using HSL adjustments (or the older Calibration sliders) which would operate over an entire saturation range.

            But your point about 'profiles' vs 'looks' is a reasonable one.
            • 3. Re: Can I benefit from an individual camera profile?
              Level 1
              Keith and Eric thanks for the replies.

              I was under the impression that Adobe profiles so far were aimed to be more colorimetric "correct" while other software like Nikon's NX gave more pleasing results e.g. for skin tones. So perhaps now Adobe gives up and follows the more pleasing route in the standard profile. At least there is a choice.

              So to ask again is the "neutral" profile close to the colorimetric "correct" profile?
              • 4. Re: Can I benefit from an individual camera profile?
                MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee
                Please be more specific. When you say "neutral" do you actually mean "Camera Neutral beta 1" or are you referring to something else? If you mean the former, the answer is no. All of the Adobe-supplied profiles with the prefix "Camera" are Camera Matching profiles. The only purpose of the CM profiles is to attempt to match/approximate the color rendition provided by the camera maker in the maker's own software (in your case, that would be View/Capture NX). None of the Nikon Picture Controls are really colorimetrically correct. Hence it follows that the "Camera {STYLE} beta 1" profiles aren't colorimetrically correct, either. (But some folks really like them anyways, hence the reason for their existence.)