Tip: Resetting ACR/LR defaults for Nikon Z raw imports

Started Feb 13, 2019 | Discussions thread
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Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 8,311
Tip: Resetting ACR/LR defaults for Nikon Z raw imports

Since the Z's release there's been multiple threads about how Adobe is applying default raw processing settings for Z raw files. Starting with the Z, Nikon is now embedding default raw processing settings in the raw metadata, which Adobe is using as the defaults during imports into ACR/Lightroom. IMO the default settings Nikon chose are a bit extreme for my tastes so I override them during import. I created this thread to give others a quick how-to on doing the same.


First, here are the default raw processing settings for a Z7 raw with a 20G f/1.8 lens. Notice the extreme contrast and sharpening settings:

Default Z7 + 20G f/1.8 raw processing settings

There are two methods to override these settings automatically during import. The first is to create a new camera-model specific default setting. To do this, import a sample Z raw into LR, change all the settings to your desired defaults in the develop panel, then hold down <Alt> (<Option> on Mac) and press the "Reset" button underneath the right develop panel. The button will change to "Set Default..." as you hold down <Alt>. Clicking on it will produce the following dialog:

LR dialog when changing the default settings for a camera model

Click "Update to Current Settings" to accept.

Note you can choose to make those defaults specific to ISOs and even to camera serial numbers. To do so, go into preferences and select the Presets tab prior to changing the default settings:

LR Device Default Preferences

The second method is to create a preset. Again, import a sample Z raw into LR and change all the settings to your desired defaults in the develop panel. Then click the + button on the Presets panel on the left side:

LR Create Preset

You'll be presented with a dialog where you can name the preset. With that done you can now specify that preset for your next import by clicking on Develop Settings in the "Apply During Import" tab of the import dialog and selecting the preset you created:

LR Specifying Preset on Import

The specified preset will be applied to this import, and will become the default preset for all future imports (until you change it).


You can create presets in ACR just as you can in Lightroom, or, if you already created the preset in Lightroom you can use that preset since ACR shares presets with LR. Here's the preset panel in ACR showing the preset I created in LR:

ACR Preset Panel

Also, like in LR, ACR lets you specify raw processing defaults. To do this, import a sample Z raw, change all the settings to your desired defaults, then switch to the Preset panel tab, click the menu bar, then click "Save New Camera Raw Defaults".

ACR Save New Camera Raw Defaults

As in LR, you can make these default settings specific to the ISO of an image or the camera's serial number:

ACR Device Default Preferences

Nikon Z7
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