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Demystifying the Camera Calibration Panel in Lightroom


The Camera Calibration Panel in Lightroom is often left untouched, owing to its position in the panel stack and uncertainty over its functions. This 15-minute video from Anthony Morganti explains the panel’s features in detail.

The Camera Calibration panel is split into a few sections, starting from the bottom: RGB Primaries, Shadow Tint, Camera Profile, and Process.

The RGB Primaries section tweaks the overall color mix in your image. Each camera manufacturer has a different profile calibrated for that camera’s make and model. These values can differ dramatically between manufacturers, which is why you may hear people say that a certain manufacturer’s images have “better skin tones”, for example.

Changing these values differs from changing the values in the HSL panel because they affect the overall definition of red, green, or blue. Changing blues in the HSL panel will target areas of the image that appear blue, whereas changing blues in the Camera Calibration panel will affect all pixels that contain blue in their mix.

The Shadow Tint is a little more straightforward: this will just change the color cast that shadows have, with green and magenta canceling each other out.

The Camera Profile options match the profiles that are available on your camera. When you select a ‘scene’ or profile mode on your camera, this changes the way the image is processed to JPG. If you’re shooting RAW, the options in-camera have no effect on the final RAW image (although they will be visible in the JPG preview). This panel gives you the opportunity to apply a profile of your choice in post.

Finally, the Process section will change the entire process engine that Lightroom uses. Adobe has changed this three times in Lightroom’s lifetime, which is why there are currently three options. Changing this will affect everything, including the sliders available in the basic panel. It’s recommended to leave this at the setting marked with (Current).

(via Anthony Morganti via Fstoppers)

P.S For a detailed write-up on Profiles and why they’re important, check out our earlier post on the topic here.