Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

Started Jul 26, 2012 | Discussions
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

Starting with D3000 (I think) Nikon introduced "Picture Control" settings on their DSLRs, replacing the previous "Optimize Image" way of adjusting saturation, contrast, sharpness, etc. ( http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/microsite/picturecontrol/ )

Lightroom seems to only offer the "picture control" options in the camera calibration section and does not "recognize" the old way of setting image parameters.

In Lightroom, images taken with my pre-"picture control" camera are much different then if opened with View NX or Capture NX. They are so much off, in fact, that I have had to replace the smooth interface of LR with the clunkiness that is Capture NX. I would love to be able to use LR and have images look as close as possible to CNX or VNX but just could not tweak the colors to get close.

So, my question is:

Are images taken with newer cameras closer in Lightroom to what they are in VNX or CNX or is there still a big difference?

Howard Moftich Veteran Member • Posts: 9,926
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

yes. the V4 camera profiles as shipped w/ LR4 (and I think the final version of LR3.x) are really really good and close to CNX output.

Jim Hess Veteran Member • Posts: 5,438
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

If you are shooting raw images then Lightroom will not read those cameras settings. That isn't the way Lightroom is designed. Of course, they will always look different when viewed using Nikon's Software because it will read all of those settings. If you want those settings included in your pictures in Lightroom then you will have to shoot JPEG.

The reason Lightroom will not read those settings on your camera or any other camera is because they are put in nonstandard places in the camera data. And Lightroom will not read those settings because they are different for every camera manufacturer. If you are looking for software that will read those settings then you'll have to purchase software from Nikon.

The profiles that were mentioned are designed to match the corresponding camera settings, but the new picture styles I don't think will ever be supported.

OP (unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

That's a bummer... for me.
I have LR4 (trial) and they my images look no better than they did in LR3.
I guess it is the "picture control" thing.

Thanks.

OP (unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

Jim Hess wrote:

The profiles that were mentioned are designed to match the corresponding camera settings, but the new picture styles I don't think will ever be supported.

Jim, what does this mean?

Jim Hess Veteran Member • Posts: 5,438
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

I knew I didn't explain that very well. In your camera settings, you have choices for landscape, portrait, vivid, standard and several other calibration settings. Lightroom provides profiles designed to match those settings since it cannot read them from the camera. They are available in the calibration panel in Develop. They are only available for raw images. That picture styles or settings are something entirely different.

OP (unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

Jim Hess wrote:

I knew I didn't explain that very well. In your camera settings, you have choices for landscape, portrait, vivid, standard and several other calibration settings. Lightroom provides profiles designed to match those settings since it cannot read them from the camera. They are available in the calibration panel in Develop. They are only available for raw images. That picture styles or settings are something entirely different.

Ah, yes, I understand all that. My question was about how LR handles two different generations of Nikon cameras and it looks like they are handled differently.

richardplondon
richardplondon Forum Pro • Posts: 11,006
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

whiggy wrote:

Are images taken with newer cameras closer in Lightroom to what they are in VNX or CNX or is there still a big difference?

There is a fundamental difference. Software which is specific to a given camera manufacturer, is written in such a way as to be able to read in whatever image mode settings were active in that camera when that particular shot is taken.

Software which is specific to NO single camera manufacturer, reverse engineers their Raw format sufficiently well to open the images up within a GENERIC conversion. But it cannot alter what it does automatically image-by-image, according to how the camera is set up.

Lightroom, for example, can be used to open Raw images from many different camera makes side by side, and they will all conform to a similar fairly neutral look out of the box; and this is by design, as a starting point. You are not locked into one brand, and you are not channelled into relying on the particular camera settings offered by one brand. It is then a matter of editing - made more efficient through user presets etc - unless one takes the initiative and alters LR settings so as to produce a different look by default hereafter with that camera.

Such changing of LR defaults is the equivalent step, to initially setting up the camera defaults to taste and preference.

This is a modified generic LR conversion only. While particular camera colour profiles may be selected which attempt to simulate aspects of the in-camera modes, all the methods and parameters used to control the image are entirely to do with Lightroom; NONE of the brand proprietary in-camera parameters are offered.

RP

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Toermalijn
Toermalijn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,564
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

The difference between Lightroom and NX2 is that the latter takes camera settings into account and LR does not. It has only pre-set settings for raw. NX2 reads the adjusted settings of the raw file and will load them accordingly.

Most people still feel that for nef files, NX2 is still the best raw converter.

whiggy wrote:

That's a bummer... for me.
I have LR4 (trial) and they my images look no better than they did in LR3.
I guess it is the "picture control" thing.

Thanks.

OP (unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

I apologize if I led everyone onto the wrong path, it was not my intention. This thread was not supposed to be about the differences between LR and VNX or CNX. I am well aware of the differences. It was supposed to be about how LR handles older and newer Nikon DSLRs. E.g.,

Open RAW image taken with D7000 in LR4 = image look not the same as JPEG out of D7000 but acceptably close (arguably)

Open RAW image taken with D40 in LR4 = image look not the same as JPEG out of D40 and is way off (more than D7000 is off from its JPEGs)

Jim Hess Veteran Member • Posts: 5,438
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

So the way to overcome that is to take time to get Lightroom set up properly in the first place. Take one of your images into Lightroom and make all the adjustments that you need to make in order to get it to look the way it should. That includes the camera profile, white balance, any exposure adjustment, anything you need to do to "fix" it. Then, save those settings as the default settings for that camera. From that time forward those settings will be applied whenever you import images into Lightroom. If you have special situations that don't work with those settings you can create presets that you can apply. Lightroom is very versatile. But to be most effective with the program you really do need to configure it for your camera and your style of shooting. Once you do that you'll find that your editing time decreases significantly.

OP (unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: Lightroom and Pre-"Picture Control" Nikon DSLRs

I found a solution that works for me. I do not do any extensive PP on any on my images and my main gripe with the LR's interpretation of the NEFs was the skin tone (too gray, not looking alive) and the overall cold look of the images. I tried what Jim suggested (before I even started this thread) of tweaking an image to my satisfaction and saving it as the default setting for that camera but it would work ok for one image and not for another.

The closest I could get LR4 to display NEFs as they would be displayed in VNX2 or CNX2 was to turn the "Camera Calibration" section in LR4 completely off. This makes the images look almost the same as in VNX2/CNX2 and in some cases some parts are even better (reds are not blown out as much and the highlights overall are less blown out). I am so happy now to be able to use LR4 and keep the "JPEG straight OOC" look as the starting point for PP.

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