Update: I’ve changed the title of this article for those who are jumping to conclusions without reading the body. Lightroom has always supported RAW files for Lumix cameras as well as lens profile corrections. That’s not what this is about. Read on.
Three years ago I dove into the mirrorless world and started shooting full-time with the Lumix GH4, leaving my full frame Nikons aside. Ever since then, I’ve been saying that the only things I miss from Nikon are the speedlight controls and the camera color profiles in Lightroom. Well, this year the Nissin speedlight system has answered our needs for speedlights on mirrorless cameras, but my Lumix cameras were still not supported in Lightroom’s Camera Calibration Tab. Now, I’m not talking about the RAW files or the lens profiles–those have been well supported all along, often before the cameras were available to purchase. I’m talking about the Camera Calibration Tab where you can select the same kind of color and contrast profiles you can choose from on your camera. (Here’s another article all about the Camera Calibration Tab)
You Should Do This to Every Photo
The default setting for Lightroom is to import your photos and automatically apply the Adobe Standard profile to the RAW image. This is necessary because otherwise the RAW image would be basically unviewable and it would look nothing like the photo on your camera. Using Adobe Standard, your picture looks kinda like it did on the camera, but probably more red and more contrasty. For most cameras, the Lightroom team has also made profiles that are very very similar to those in your camera–like Standard, Neutral, Landscape, Faithful, etc. If you have a Fuji camera, there are a whole lot of options that emulate the film emulations built into the camera. This little drop down is your best friend and should be your first stop for every photograph. In fact, I’ve made an import preset that automatically sets every picture to Camera Neutral during import. (Here’s an article and video about how to make Import Presets)
This little drop down gives you a great starting point for all your photographs. I leave my camera set to Natural all the time because it’s the least contrasty and saturated setting so I know if my pictures look pretty good on the back of the camera, then I can certainly make them look great on the computer.
Click to see each profile on a photo straight from camera:
“Hey, Maniac, Is This Really That Big A Deal?”
I am a maniac about this and it’s a big enough deal that one of my primary reasons for buying the Lumix GH5 is that it was supported in Lightroom right from the start. (GH5 review) Using the Camera Profiles makes my workflow so much faster and makes my pictures look so much better. Now all the Lumix cameras I’ve owned are supported, and I’m having a great time going back and updating them with better finishing. If you’re a Lumix user, this is awesome. If you’ve never used this section of Lightroom before (which is many of you), then you’re going to love it, too.
Lightroom CC 2015.12 probably has some other cool stuff (like more profiles for Nikon Black and Whites profiles–now I’m lusting after those!), but I’m so blown away by this announcement that I can’t even be bothered with support for things like the Canon 6D MkII. If you’d like to see the full rundown, the announcement is here. If you’d like to update, go to the Creative Cloud App on your computer and install the update, or subscribe.
The Mirrorless Camera Maniac publishes each week–check them out right here.