Adobe has recently released a substantial update to Camera RAW and Lightroom in the form of “Profiles.” These profiles determine how the software renders color during initial RAW conversion. In this article, we will compare the new profiles from Adobe with Capture One’s color rendering.
Adobe now has 6 profiles to choose from:
- Adobe Color
- Adobe Neutral
- Adobe Vivid
- Adobe Portrait
- Adobe Landscape
- Adobe Standard (still in, but no longer the default)
Before we compare the two, it’s essential to make a distinction: Adobe Profiles and Camera Matching are not the same thing. Camera Matching Profiles attempt to match the camera manufacturer’s color appearance under specific settings, while Adobe Profiles are how they interpret the color data of a photograph.
When it comes to color rendering, Capture One is often touted as king. Within Capture One, color rendering can be adjusted via the “Color Panel” using “Curves” found within the “Base Characteristics” pane’s submenu. Capture One also has 6 variations to choose from as follows:
- Film Extra Shadow
- Film High Contrast
- Film Standard
- Linear Response
The intent of this article is not to go into the science of how color is interpreted and rendered between Adobe and Capture One’s engines, but more so to compare the aesthetic difference between the two as demonstrated below:
Here you can preview the same image with all 6 of the C1 Curves renders:
Now compare Adobe’s new Profiles.
Which do you find looks better?
While I think the difference is pretty dramatic, I find that for this particular image, that the Adobe profiles are more accurate and true to reality, while Capture One seems to have more saturation to the colors, which can look slightly unnatural. There are other factors to consider when it comes to color rendering, such as the specific camera and lighting setup, so results may vary.
The samples above had no retouching performed apart from changing the Adobe Profile or the Capture One Curves. One thing to note, however, is that the Capture One files were twice the size of Adobe’s after export. At this time, the cause for that increase in file size remains to be seen.
Which profiles do you prefer: Adobe Profiles or Capture One Curves? Let us know in the comments below.