5D Mark IV - finally decided on PP software

Started Jan 6, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Jonathan Brady
Jonathan Brady Veteran Member • Posts: 6,720
5D Mark IV - finally decided on PP software

When I bought the 5D Mark IV, I decided it was time to revamp my PP workflow as LR 5.7 couldn't natively open the raw files and I sure as h*** wasn't going to convert every image to DNG and then open it in LR as that was just a cumbersome workflow.

I narrowed down my options to Capture One Pro (9 at the time, but I knew 10 was coming soon, and it did) and Adobe CC. I really like what C1 does to the files upon import, they look like a finished product (or REALLY close to it) as soon as they're opened whereas LR is more of a "raw" file that needs some work. I worked with Capture One Pro 9 for a solid 30 days (the extent of the free trial) and really got to know the software, processing two weddings and a family session with it during that time as well as shots of the family. I'd say I 80% loved it, 10% liked it, 10% didn't care for (mostly the catalog/session/file handling - it just wasn't intuitive TO ME - but also the oversaturation of reds/oranges which is an issue since I have a redhead wife and son and that meant LOTS of time trying to dial in the right color of their hair and skin).

Once my trial with C1 ended, I gave it a couple of weeks to see if C1 v10 came out, it did, and I trialed it too. Basically the same with a few upgrades for my purposes. Was it worth $250? That was the question...

During that time, Adobe CC went on sale for $90 for a year and I knew I probably wanted it just for PS, if nothing else. So I bought it.

Then I found an article that was INCREDIBLY helpful. It's Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro by Martin Evening and in it Martin Evening describes a process whereby you can create a preset to mimic Capture One's default processing to get a more finished looking image upon import. I tried this for myself yesterday and with a little personal tweaking, I LOVE IT! In fact, as soon as I saw the results, I uninstalled Capture One Pro 10 (trial) off my computer. It was THAT instant. I didn't follow Martin's recommendations to the letter, and added a few of my own. Here are my tweaks, in case anyone is interested...

  1. In the "Library" tab under the "Quick Develop" panel, expand the "white balance" drop down menu by clicking the triangle (if it's not already expanded) and under "Temperature", click the SINGLE ARROW pointing to the right ONE TIME. This will warm up ALL images imported into LR by about 500-ish degrees or so. I personally like warmer looking images but if it doesn't work for a particular image, you can always just adjust the color temperature in the develop panel later.
  2. In the "Develop" tab (you'll be here for the rest of the preset developing process), scroll to the bottom and under "Camera Calibration" > Profile - change that to "Camera Standard".
  3. Scroll back up to the top and under the "Basic" panel change Clarity +5 and Vibrance +10
  4. Tone Curve > Point Curve: Change to "Medium Contrast"
  5. Detail > Sharpening: Amount 55, Radius .9, Detail 15, Masking 50. Noise Reduction: Luminance 20 (leave everything else as default). I often do zero NR as downsizing eliminates most of the noise anyway but this is a more widely applicable setting)
  6. (optional - I didn't do this) Lens Corrections: Check either or both boxes for CA and Lens Profile
  7. Effects > Post-crop Vignetting: Amount -20 (not only do I not correct for vignetting, I typically add more

Those changes can then be saved as a preset by going to the Preset panel, clicking the "+" and then saving it as a "User Preset". Title it whatever you want. Then, when you import a raw file, just click this preset and all those changes are applied. You can apply it to a single image, or all of them, or however many you wish.

Here's an example of what it looks like...

My wife on the right

You can see that this image is basically finished on the right. Some minor tweaking to taste may be necessary (unless you just hate it, and then you should just stop reading now because these settings are NOT for you - lol).

Here's another example where these settings help quite a bit...

My son

For me though, this image is still too cool, and I also didn't nail the exposure very well so it still needs a little work. But, 6 sliders and about 15 seconds later and my image is finished. (Temp, exposure, contrast, shadows, whites, blacks).

This may all be mundane stuff to a HUGE majority of people reading this but honestly, I've been using LR for a couple of years now and never bothered with presets because apparently, I'm an idiot. LOL I wanted to share how easy this was and what a major difference it can make. I also wanted to show that with some subtle changes to the default LR values, it's easy and possible to get output that is much closer to Capture One and for me, I actually like it better as I'm not dealing with oversaturated hair and skin on my redhead wife & son.

Note: the article I linked to above has you create several presets so you can apply each change or group of changes individually. I absolutely see the value in that, but for me, I can't imagine that I'd apply any of these without the others and if I decide later I don't want a particular change, a simple slider change removes it.

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