Why does Lightroom's "Auto" feature always change the exposure?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 15,919
Adobe's Hidden Baseline Exposure Compensation

LongTimeNikonUser wrote:

I use center-weighted auto exposure on my D3. The results look fine. I use Adobe Lightroom for post. If I click on the AUTO button (LR Classic 9.4), the exposure is always changed. Now I don't know what to trust, the Nikon's metering or Adobe's adjustments.

Adobe software has what's called a 'hidden baseline exposure compensation', which is different for every model of camera, and may also vary with ISO. The purpose for this adjustment, presumably, is to take into account variations between cameras, particularly the amount of highlight headroom, and so making them look and act more like each other.

This article describes the issue and also shows how to determine your camera's hidden compensation:


There is one change, however. Adobe software used to name the various versions of Calibration Processes by year, and so while the article describes Process 2010, nowadays that is called Process Version 2. Instead of switching back to Process 2012 (or Version 3), just go back to the highest version in your software. The various versions are described by Adobe here:


 Mark Scott Abeln's gear list:Mark Scott Abeln's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +2 more
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