enter image description hereI use Canon 1D X Mark II. When I open a file in raw format in Camera Raw, I notice that the color is so much different from that file opened in Canon Digital Professional 4 and in Photos (Window 10). The color in Photos and Canon Digital Professional 4 looks much familiar with the naked eyes while the color in Camera Raw is very much different. I use different computers to check but it still happens the same. I export that file to JPG by Canon Professional 4 and by Camera Raw, the color are also very much different.

I attached here the screen shot of the same file in different software.

Could you please help to explain! I often use Camera Raw but now very reluctant.

Many thanks

Tuan Anh

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


I don't use Canon but I do have a workflow through CameraRAW - so this may need refining by someone more familiar with Canon.

CameraRAW will by default show you only the RAW file, interpreted through Adobe's own profile, called Adobe Standard.

It may be 'standard' but it's nothing like your camera was showing you, or indeed the interpretation imposed by your own camera manufacturer's software. Canon/Nikon are the only people who actually know for certain how your photo was processed & can reproduce that immediately on-screen for you.

Adobe has to guess or reverse-engineer these profiles.
The simplest start-point is to switch to the Camera tab in CameraRAW & select a different profile...

enter image description here

I'm not certain where it gets these five Camera profiles - whether they're placed in the list because it knows which camera the picture came from, or if they are simply generic - but they do approximate the 5 automatic profiles on my own camera.

The next two profiles you see there are my own - made by using a ColorChecker Passport & Adobe's own software, DNG Converter & DNG Profile Editor

There is a convoluted but not actually difficult method by which you can use these to produce a profile calibrated exactly to your camera, which can automatically adjust to different lighting conditions - known as a Dual Illuminant profile.[1]
Once you have this, it will basically cover you for most circumstances, leaving you with far less manual tweaking as you go through CameraRAW.

I will leave the full method as a link, it's far too long to even précis here - PetaPixel - ColorChecker: How to Get Perfect Skin Colors With Every Camera but I will copy their list of 'what you need'

What you need

  • A computer with a hardware-calibrated screen, preferably a Mac (as Windows has a different color management)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and/or Adobe Photoshop with the newest Adobe Camera RAW plugin
  • Optional: The Adobe DNG Converter (when Lightroom doesn’t recognize your camera yet)
  • The Adobe DNG Profile Editor
  • The X-Rite DNG ProfileManager (free download if you buy the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport)
  • The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport or another ColorChecker chart
  • Optional: an external calibrated light meter so you can make sure you expose the ColorChecker evenly and perfect
  • A camera which shoots RAW
  • A location outside at noon, under a cloudy grey sky, for making the first calibration shot
  • A location inside with only a single yellowish (tungsten) light bulb, without daylight coming in, to make the second calibration shot

[1] The second DIY profile you see at the end of the list is a single illuminant profile for my studio work, under temperature-controlled lighting.

  • They do appear to, but do you know if they are camera model-specific, loaded individually based on the source data in the photo, or generic? I only have one camera, so have no comparison test I could make.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 4, 2018 at 9:22
  • One disadvantage of doing it this way with ACR (or any other third party application) is that you still are forced to apply the same profile to all of the images if they are imported together, whereas the camera maker's app will usually actually read and apply the in-camera settings for each image. For example, if I change "Picture Styles" (or contrast, or sharpening, etc) several times during a shoot I would need to go in and change each individually to match the in-camera settings for each different shot. Using DPP automatically applies the different in-camera settings for each frame.
    – Michael C
    Jan 4, 2018 at 16:18
  • @MichaelClark - I have to agree, & in fact probably half the time I will work through Nikon's ViewNX-i & save out TIFs, which carries the camera setup nicely into Photoshop, without relying on any sidecar file or ad-hoc post processing. Downside is the file size, 32MB NEF becomes a 150MB TIF.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 4, 2018 at 17:01

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