When I view ARWs in Lightroom, I sometimes find the white balance of the embedded preview JPEG to be perfect, so I'd like to apply it to the RAW. How do that I do that in LR or other (free) software?

Here's an example. First, the original ARW file. And here's the preview JPEG, which accurately captured the color of the sunlight on the door:

enter image description here

(This is a screenshot of FastRawViewer, set to display the preview JPEG. I couldn't figure out how to tell FastRawViewer to save it as a JPEG, so I took a screenshot.)

In Lightroom, the photo has an orangish look — a warmer white balance:

enter image description here

So I changed the Color Calibration profile from "Adobe Standard" to "Camera Standard", which helped, but it still has too warm a white balance:

enter image description here

I then tried Sony's Image Data Converter, with the white balance set to "Camera Setting", assuming that it will be truer to the camera (Sony NEX-5R), but it was worse:

enter image description here

I'd like to apply the white balance in the JPEG to the RAW file. Is that possible in Lightroom, or with other free Mac software?

It would have helped if I'd shot RAW+JPEG, but I didn't, so I'm looking for a way to apply the white balance from the embedded JPEG to the RAW.

  • In Lr the effect of the white balance depends somewhat on a dcp profile you've chosen in Lr. Without an example of a raw file where you can see the issue it is difficult to see what is wrong, and by how much the white balance is off. Or even if it is white balance that is an issue.
    – Iliah Borg
    Jul 26, 2015 at 15:19
  • I updated the question with this information. Thanks. Jul 26, 2015 at 15:41
  • 1
    In Lr, you can switch from Adobe Standard to Camera Standard dcp (Camera Calibration), it will help a little. More accurate way to address the issue is to create a custom dcp profile. The culprit is not white balance, but the dcp profile. Adobe way of calculating white balance is very dependent on the dcp profile.
    – Iliah Borg
    Jul 26, 2015 at 16:04
  • @IliahBorg - care to make that an answer? :) Jul 26, 2015 at 16:52
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    @James Snell : But it is not an answer, as the procedure of creating an accurate dcp file is quite complicated and involves skills and equipment not generally available. For all practical purposes, the answer is "no" for a general case; and especially if we demand a very close match for a scene lit by anything relatively far from daylight/flash. There are some more and less well-behaved canned dcp, and click white balance tool usually results in acceptable match.
    – Iliah Borg
    Jul 26, 2015 at 17:42

3 Answers 3


I've done this many times with Lightroom.

Since "use camera white balance" is different from what your program shows, I would open (view) the "preview JPEG" and then use gcolor2 on linux or colorcop on windows to analyze the color values. Use the dropper to select what you perceive to be the best color. Copy those numbers to a textpad.

I would use that information to adjust the image in whatever program you are in whether it is lightroom, photoshop, ufraw, or gimp.

This would synchronize the the jpeg, that you see with your eyes, to what the program should be showing.

For the long term, I would consider icc, icm, color profiles and a monitor calibrating apparatus.

Since you are on a mac, here are some color picker program options: https://bjango.com/mac/skalacolor/ http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Technical/OtherTuts/MacColorPicker/MacColorPicker.html

You can start with "use camera white balance" "daylight" or "Neutral" as starting points. Then go to "custom white balance" to make the adjustments.

Nikon and Canon still have color and contrast values in their RAW files. Fuji has pure RAW files.


If I'm not mistaken RAW is unprocessed. Therefore any balancing, sharpening, or noise reduction is not applied to it unlike a JPEG. You'll have to adjust the white balance in post production. Most editing programs will have it listed under white balance, cast, or temperature.

  • 1
    But that doesn't answer the question of how to do this editing such that the edited RAW file has the same white balance as the JPEG created by the camera. Aug 26, 2015 at 19:13
  • The white balance of the JPEG might be in the EXIF data of the photo. Aug 26, 2015 at 19:15
  • This brings me back to the problem I mentioned earlier, which is that I don't have a tool that can export the preview JPEG as a separate file. Do you know of one that runs on the Mac, with a GUI, and free? Aug 28, 2015 at 1:02

Okay you want to view Raw photos.



Probably the first link is what you want.

  • The first link appears to be video viewing software - how is it relative to this question? Isn't the point to be able to adjust WB in Lightroom?
    – MikeW
    Oct 7, 2015 at 21:56
  • Sorry wrong link. I thought sony-raw was about dslr. This link discusses converting to dng for a more universal usage. photographyconcentrate.com/2-useful-sony-nex-lightroom-tips
    – mark
    Oct 9, 2015 at 18:05
  • This list shows all raw formats supported by all adobe products helpx.adobe.com/camera-raw/kb/… Fastrawviewer is dcraw based which claims to open all arw files. She wanted an external viewer outside of Lightroom to preview her jpeg photos. Fastrawviewer should be the answer.
    – mark
    Oct 9, 2015 at 18:11
  • I don't want to view raw photos — I want to develop them to match the in-camera JPEG. Please read the question carefully. Oct 15, 2015 at 1:43

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