If you find you are making a lot of the same adjustments to your raw photos after import, or perhaps you have a favorite Camera Profile that you want to be your regular starting point, then it is time to update your default settings to suit your tastes! Don’t worry as you can always go back to the Adobe defaults or even customize yours again in the future. Here’s how:
1. Start with a unprocessed raw file that is well exposed and not in need of too much work.
2. Adjust the settings you want to be applied to all newly imported photos from that particular camera. Good candidates might be your preferred camera profile, sharpening, noise reduction, tone curve or clarity settings. Remember, you are just wanting to create a new (preferred) starting point. You can always change settings later as needed.
3. Go to Develop > Set Default Settings (or hold the Alt/Option key and the Reset button will change to Set Default).
4. Click the Update to Current Settings button. Notice that the specific camera model affected is displayed in the Set Default Develop Settings dialog box. Also, take note of the Restore Adobe Default Settings button if you ever want to go back to how it used to be.
These new default settings will only be applied to newly imported photos from that camera model after you make this change. Create a Develop preset with the same settings if you want to apply those changes to previously imported photos. Repeat the process for other cameras that you use.
Advanced tip: If you have multiple bodies of the same camera model that you want to behave differently, or if you want to make settings specific to a given ISO setting, head over to the Presets tab on the Preferences dialog and check the boxes next to Make defaults specific to camera serial number or Make defaults specific to camera ISO setting.
Rob writes the “Under the Loupe” column for Photoshop User Magazine, and is the author of many photography related books.