I'm a beginner in matters of digital photo processing (and photography for that record). I already know that the RAW file is a dump of raw sensor data with no processing whatsoever applied to it.

My question: How do I get Lightroom to start with settings close to what the in-camera processing does?

What I've tried:

Here are some test shots with my Canon EOS 650D:

RAW file:


JPG straight out of the camera:

JPG straight out of the camera

JPG by using the Canon Digital Photo Professional 11 software:

JPG by using the Canon Digital Photo Professional 11

JPG out of Lightroom without any processing:

JPG out of Lightroom without any processing

JPG out of Lightroom, applied camera profile:

JPG out of Lightroom, applied camera profile

JPG out of Lightroom, applied f-stoppers preset:

JPG out of Lightroom, applied f-stoppers preset

At the moment I export TIFF files out of the Canon software and process those with Lightroom and Photoshop, but I'd like to simplify the process a bit.

How do I create a Lightroom profile that resembles the in-camera processing as closely as possible? Any suggestions or pointers are most welcome. I'm more than happy to read a few books too.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have ALO turned on in camera (EXIF data == good!)? That's something which is read by both the camera and DPP, but I believe is ignored by Lightroom, which could explain the significant difference between the Canon and Lightroom images. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Jun 3, 2013 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I already know that the RAW file is a dump of raw sensor data with no processing whatsoever applied to it." That is not exactly true. Some noise reduction and other processing may be applied to the data collected on the sensor before it is assembled into a RAW file by the image processor. Different sensors in different cameras do it differently. That seems to be one (of several) reasons why the sensors (produced by Sony) in Nikon cameras score better at DxO mark than Canon sensors that ultimately produce much more similar image quality than the scores indicate... \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 3, 2013 at 22:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ ... Nikon processes more of the data on-chip (before the RAW file) while Canon saves it for after. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 3, 2013 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm as I pointed out above, my question wasn't covered in that answer. AJ Henderson has provided some much needed Canon-specific info below. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2013 at 6:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sony sensors (as used by Nikon and Pentax) may do more pre-RAW processing, but that isn't really part of the answer here, just a clarifying tangent. RAW files from these cameras are also processed differently by default by different software. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 4, 2013 at 11:12

2 Answers 2


The process that Canon uses in camera is proprietary and thus isn't going to be reproduced exactly by Lightroom. In general, when shooting RAW the idea is that the photographer wants to manually make adjustments, so looking like the in camera processing isn't really a goal of the software. The expectation is that the photographer knows what they want and will make better selections.

Canon DPP is made by Canon and while it may be limited in many ways. It does have access to the Canon proprietary information that is used for doing the best job on things like emulating the JPEG processing done in-camera or doing high quality noise reduction. Luckily, things like lens distortions are more publicly known, so things like lens and camera profile corrections for image artifacts are fairly reliable regardless of program.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, I believe the Canon software stays in my processing chain then, at least for now. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2013 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Janoszen - yeah, while I don't personally generally use it unless I need to de-noise, I know a lot of people on the site keep it in their workflow because of what it is capable of doing as a first pass. It definitely has value, even if it is limited what it can do. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Jun 3, 2013 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ DPP (now in version 4) has come a LONG way since 2013 and is now much more usable than it was at that time. And nothing gets as much out of Canon lenses as the Digital Lens Optimizer tool inside of DPP. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 15, 2016 at 6:08

It looks like all the in-camera processing has done is brightened the image and given it a little contrast boost. This is about the most basic adjustment you can make in Lightroom or any other raw processor, so it should be no problem to replicate it and save it as a preset.

However, bear in mind that every shot is different (unless you're in well controlled studio conditions), so you may find the preset isn't useful in every case. Thankfully, Lightroom is great at processing large numbers of similar shots; you can easily adjust one photo, then copy the settings and paste them on to other similar shots.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately that is not the case. There are quite a few differences in the finer details beyond the contrast and brightness adjustments. As discussed above, the Canon software will have to stay in my toolchain. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2013 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Janoszen: I disagree that it "has to stay" purely since it has the potential to be more faithful to the in-camera JPEG. As I wrote in this answer, I think it's more helpful to accept that the in-camera JPEG isn't necessarily "right". The "right" image is the one you're most happy with whether that is SOOC or as a result of post-processing using something like Lightroom. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor Boyd
    Jun 3, 2013 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ConorBoyd that is indeed true, as indicated above, I should have probably disabled the ALO and correct my exposure more carefully. I will experiment with this setup a bit more and develop something that works for me. For now the Canon software yields the best results for my personal taste, something that I can't so easily replicate in Lightroom at the moment. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2013 at 12:49

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