Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Nikon camera profiles

Eric Chan a while ago posted some new camera matching profiles for certain Nikon cameras. My D300 is one of those. These fix the highlight rendering issues I identified before. I beta tested them a while before they were posted and they are great. Below is an example where it really matters. This is a waterfall I photographed shortly after sunset last weekend. Development is completely standard, except for choosing the camera standard profiles. This image was taken in Eldorado Canyon State park. Click on the image to get a larger version. Focus on the highlight detail in the snowy bank just right of the middle

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 62 mm on Nikon 55-200 f4-5.6, f/16 2.5 sec - tripod.

The left image is the standard camera standard profile in Lightroom. The middle image is the v3 camera standard with -0.5 exposure compensation as required to get the correct rendering. The right one is the Capture NX rendering. You can see that the old profile washes out the highlights quite badly, while the new profile, similar to the CNX rendering gives a lot of detail in the highlights. You cannot correct the left image with highlight recovery or negative exposure compensation and get this detail back.

Of course, the bland, default rendering is not how I develop the image in the end but I just wanted to illustrate the effect of the new profiles.

EDIT. Here is a closeup of the v2 and v3 renderings in the highlight area. The effect is quite major as you can see.


  1. nice work ... it leaves me asking why oh why camera makers don't do more to sort this out themselves?

  2. To fulfill the image would be a grey wolf standing at the top of the fall but still great image thanks for sharing.

  3. Excuse me for my lame question, I'm new here, and new in camera profiles too :) You've mentioned Eric's profile, but could you tell me please the exact download place 'couse can't find it :) Also, is there any store for camera profiles? I use AdobeCameraRaw6.6 with NikonD5000 camera profile (modified at 05.04.2009)installed. Do you think is it possible to get newer and better profile? Is it possible that CameraRaw7 uses some improved profile for D5000? Thanks

  4. grimpix,

    the better profiles are built in to ACR and LR versions that came after my post here. They also were only for a few cameras that had issues. I don't believe the D5000 was one of them.

  5. Yep, I think so. In the meantime i got the link (no D5000 included) than i made some research. I have also tried to build my own profile with DNG profile creator, based on gretag macbeth chart image on dpreview shot by an D5000. Not a big deal. I also tried to apply some other cameras (and brands) profile to my workflow... The M8 Leica profile seems to be pretty OK, with subtle less contrast on Nikon D5000 RAWs. I will keep it, worth to include in my workflow for high contrast images. The interesting thing was, that while other brands give reasonable outgrowth, the Nikon profiles like D700 have abnormal output... Interesting :) Anyway i am looking for the ACR 7.1 :)

  6. The cameras where there were problems were the ones that were there when Lightroom/ACR first started having these camera profiles. It was impossible in that stage to take care of these highlight issues. Eric once said that they changed the way the profiles are applied in a later version of the ACR engine and that that is what necessitated the newer profiles. So it matters when they added support for your specific camera whether these were needed. None of the current ones included in the latest ACR/Lightroom versions still have that issue as far as I know.