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Canon USERS! - Picture Style
Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 05.21.16
->> Ok Canon users , dont know if this has really been discussed in a thread before and I am know its going to be mostly preference to each shooter, Here goes, What picture style setting do you use? Neutral, faithful, portrait, standard, landscape, etc. or do you use a custom? Reason point being , I am working with some shooters who shoot Nikon and we are trying to get our color to match and this seems to be the way to do it. BTW we found Faithful and Neutral to be the best match.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:29 PM on 05.21.16
->> While I'm a Nikon shooter, I'm also a former Canon user, and I teach photo courses including the matching of color profiles between cameras. You left out one important piece of information -- are your images being shot in camera as JPG or RAW?

Before I get into both, while both makers use the same profile names (neutral, standard, portrait, landscape, etc.) they are not interchangeable because each maker used different algorithms when creating them. Also, a "standard" shot photo from a 1D-C, 1D-X Mark II, 5D Mark III and so on will be different because they use different chips and processors the same as the photos from a Nikon D810 will be different from a D5, D4S and so on. There can even be variations between two bodies of the same brand and model.

If shooting JPG in camera then you're basically stuck to the color profile the processor burned into the file. However, between all the choices neutral will be the closest match between Canon and Nikon, and between the various models of each.

If shooting RAW, then what camera profile is set doesn't matter because they can be changed in Camera Raw. For example, if one person shoots standard, another landscape, another portrait and another vibrant, they can all be changed to neutral in CR without any loss. But you still have the differences between Canon's neutral and Nikon's.

There is a solution, however, to have all cameras achieve a VERY close match regardless of brand and model. To do so, all the photographers have to create color profiles for their cameras. Just as you can calibrate your monitor and create profiles for all the various papers for your printer, one can calibrate cameras for consistent results with superior color renditions regardless of brand and model. Calibrating one's camera also greatly reduces post work as nearly all the color balances and tonal ranges are taken care of automatically.

To calibrate cameras you use X-Rite's ColorChecker Passport.

For maximum effectiveness, you use its gray card to do a custom color balance under the scene's lighting and make a RAW frame of the color chart. Open the image file in either Photoshop or Lightroom Camera Raw and convert the file to a DNG file. Then open the DNG file using the CCP software whereupon it creates a calibrated color profile for that camera under that lighting, and you name it. Then when a memory card comes in from that camera you apply the saved profile to the photos in Camera Raw. When applied the pictures come alive with perfect color -- the same perfect color whether it was shot with a Nikon or Canon -- because you're using the CCP chart as the common standard.

Your reaction to this is probably that is a LOT of work. It is in a way, but the results are well worth it. A few years ago I was shooting pre-March Madness games in Vegas where I made profiles for my cameras under the arena lighting. It took me about 15 minutes. Then when the action started I was able to produce much higher quality imagery shooting RAW in half the time than those shooting JPG in camera and then having to tweak color and toning in post. The chief photographer of a big university saw my workflow, used my CC Passport to calibrate his cameras for the rest of the games and switched his school's system over to it upon his return.

In your case with different photographers, simply name their camera profiles with their names and a generic lighting descriptive, such as: John-5DIII-daylight, John-5DIII-shade, Mary-1DS-daylight, Tom-D810-daylight, Tom-D810-arena, etc.

While this might be time consuming for you to initiate the workflow, another option (if not on deadline) is to have each photographer apply their camera's calibrated profile to their images before turning them in. You'll get two files for each picture -- the CR2/NEF RAW and a XMP that contains the corrected profile. Then when you open the files in Camera Raw they'll already be calibrated.

Send me an email to and I'll send you some before/after examples.
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Simon Wheeler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ithaca | NY | USA | Posted: 5:23 PM on 05.21.16
->> Doug just gave everybody more than they deserved for their annual $25 cost of their Sportsshooter membership right there. Thank you.
Now have to find the time and energy to do it.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 7:07 PM on 05.21.16
->> Simon...

Thanks for the kind words, but the setup is not that grueling and results in a much faster workflow once in place. For example, create a profile for your camera in daylight, cloudy, shade, etc. You can then use the appropriate profile for later shoots.

And if you're doing repetitive shoots at the same venue(s) such as basketball arenas, night football, convention center, etc., then look at Kelvin number in the upper right area of Camera Raw and write it down after doing the profiles. Then when you go back to the arena all you do is set your camera's color balance to the Kelvin temperature and start shooting. And then apply the previously done profile during post. You'll get consistent great results every time by taking the time and energy to do the setup(s) just once.
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 7:29 PM on 05.21.16
->> That post needs to be at the top of the New and Noteworthy column. And ditto on Simon.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 8:45 PM on 05.21.16
->> Doug, could you conceivably just do this at every shoot, first thing, as well, kind of like setting a custom white balance? For instance, you take the calibration photo, shoot the assignment, and when you get to your computer you go through setting the custom profile from the first photo which you then apply to the rest?
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 9:00 PM on 05.21.16
->> D. Strickland...

Absolutely! And in fact, doing it at every shoot is the way to go for best quality control. Also daylight color temp changes depending upon the time of year and altitude. Summer daylight is different than winter; and high altitude daylight is different than sea level; desert daylight is different than forest. When I'm doing a multi-day and/or multi-venue shoot I do a Passport frame with each change and then make calibrated profiles when I'm processing the images later.

The pre-made profiles for later shooting use are a great time saver though for repeat venues. I have profiles for the various stadium and arenas in my area, one for my Bogan studio strobes, one for my Nikon flashes, etc. One night stadium is 3940K, an arena is 3350k + 3 green and so on. And when there is something different from a norm, I'll do a new profile for just that shoot. For example, if I set up my studio strobes in locale that has say red walls, I'll do a profile to counter/neutralize the stray colored wall bounce off light.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 11:15 PM on 05.21.16
->> DANG , Doug that was a great explanation. I am shooting jpeg, so can I do the same thing shooting jpeg as you are shooting raw? I am definitely
have to try the method of doing this. I would love to get more vibrate and excellent color to make all the photos POP!
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:19 PM on 05.22.16
->> Marvin...

NO. Applying a profile to JPG is like trying to apply an Epson paper profile to a photo already printed on Kodak paper or trying to make a cake less salty after it has already come out of the oven.

Think of a camera set to produce JPG files in-camera as being an easy-bake oven that produces finished images based on pre-set recipes -- standard, neutral, landscape, vibrant, etc. -- versus RAW which is the base ingredients of the recipe where you chose portions in Camera Raw by increasing and decreasing the ingredients (curves, highlights, hue, clarity, etc.) before cooking it by clicking the Open button. What the ColorChecker Passport does is it gives you the best ingredients (vibrancy, correctness, etc.) to work with.

Everything you do to a pre-cooked JPG out of the camera is nothing more than the icing on a cake where you try to cover up and correct what was made based on a camera tech's idea of "good enough" to appease amateurs which may not be yours. RAW allows you to be the chef versus opening a box cake mix where you only have to add water and a couple eggs.

With that said, you may be able to apply a CCP profile to a JPG but I've never tried it nor even thought of it until now. Instead of just opening the JPG file in Photoshop, choose Open As in the File menu and open the JPG in the Camera Raw screen where you might be able to apply the profile there. But you're still going to have to photograph CCP's color chart in RAW, convert it to DNG in CR and then use that file to create the profile with the CCP software. However, as the old adage goes: garbage in, garbage out. The profile correction will only apply to the pixel information that was kept to create the JPG image file. Again, I've never tried this; I don't know if it will even work. But if it does, you're not going to get anywhere near the quality control of shooting the original images in RAW and applying the profile to them.

The color space of a sRGB file has fewer colors than a RGB file which has less than a ProPhoto file. Boxes of crayons come in different amounts with more and more colors to choose from. Think of a sRGB photo as a box of 24 crayons, a RGB box as having 48 crayons, a ProPhoto file as being 64 crayons and a RAW file having every crayon color available. Which box is going to give you the best color rendition options? The RAW. While the ColorChecker Passport will make sure all the colors in your RAW box are of the right hue and saturation, it cannot create more colors from the sRGB box. And when you shoot in JPG, the camera is throwing away crayons it doesn't think are needed to reduce the file size -- crayons you can't get back.

Here is another thing to consider -- a BIG thing. When shooting RAW you can batch apply a calibrated camera profile to three, 10, 30, 50 photos at a time in Camera Raw with a single click which takes just a few seconds before you're off and running with individual tweaking. When opening JPG photos in Camera Raw you can only do it ONE photo at a time. So if you have a dozen images you're going to have to open in CR, apply, tweak, open in PS a dozen times. You're going to being pulling your hair out after just six repetitions because it is so time consuming. By the time you do one JPG profile application I can do a hundred.
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Michael Coons, Photographer
Camarillo | CA | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 05.22.16
->> I have been using the Color Checker for years and it works well to match different camera bodies and manufactures. I have a daylight balanced profile set as default for all my cameras in camera raw. I can open raw files from different bodies at the same time and have a separate profile for each camera applied. Saves a lot of time.

The profiles only work for raw files and for Camera Raw in PS and Lightroom. Jpeg files use the embedded profile but the red, green and blue can be adjusted and set as a new default for each camera.

Doug, what do you mean about one photo at a time for processing jpegs in Camera Raw? Camera profiles or batch processing jpegs in CR?
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 3:26 PM on 05.22.16
->> Michael...
You can open multiple RAW files at time in Camera Raw and apply the calibrated profiles to any or all of them at once. To open a JPG in CR you have to go to File, Open As, and chose to open the photo in raw from the drop down menu. It does not allow you to open more than one JPG at a time -- or so I have found.

When dealing with different camera brands and models where you have created Passport profiles for each, if you open one type of camera files in Camera Raw it will read the camera make/model they were shot with and will offer you only the profiles made for that camera. For example, if Tom shot with a 5DmarkIII and Linda with a D4 and Gary with a 1D, and you load Linda's photos into CR then only D4 profiles will be displayed. If you load files made with different cameras, then the profiles for them will also be available. The problem with this is matching which profile goes with which file may become confusing. Thus for ease of mind load one camera batch at a time into CR.
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Michael Coons, Photographer
Camarillo | CA | USA | Posted: 5:23 PM on 05.22.16
->> Doug,

Have you changed the Photoshop setting under File Handling-> File Compatibility -> Camera Raw Preferences to "Automatically open all supported Jpegs?"

It will allow you to open all Jpegs in Camera Raw and batch process. I usually write my captions and crop the photos in Photo Mechanic first then CTRL(Command)+E from PM and batch open the jpeg files. On the Mac you can even work with Raw and Jpeg files at the same time in Camera Raw.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:43 AM on 05.23.16
->> Michael...

No I haven't. Mine is set to "Automatically open JPEGs with settings." Changing it never came to mind because I shoot RAW and have not needed to open JPG files in Camera Raw. But thanks anyway.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 11:33 AM on 06.02.16
->> Doug's post is right on. Now, to answer Marvin's question:

I shoot everything in neutral color style. And I shoot raw. Now, for sure, the RAW file has no changes based on the settings, but there is a side-car file from the EXIF information that tells the RAW converter how to display the image based on the settings reflected in the EXIF info. So, it reduces your post work slightly.

And Kudos to Doug for that very cool treatise on in-camera color calibration.
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Thread Title: Canon USERS! - Picture Style
Thread Started By: Marvin Gentry
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