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Post Production Tips

Process Version & Color Profile in Camera Calibration Panel in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on May 1st 2013


In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will go over the Process Version options and the Color Profile options in the Camera Calibration Panel in Lightroom 4.

The Process Version comes defaulted at Process Version 2012 in Lightroom 4, but you have the option to choose which Process Version you prefer to use when editing your images. Lightroom 3 presets can still be used in Lightroom 4, but Lightroom will convert back to Process Version 2010 since that is the Process Version used in Lightroom 3. In this article, we will discuss how the Process Version and Profile options in the Camera Calibration Panel in Lightroom 4 will affect our images when editing.

Watch the video or continue reading the article below!

Watch the Video

Camera Calibration Process

First, to expand and collapse the Camera Calibration Panel, press “Ctrl + 8.” This panel deals with setting up Color Profiles.


The most useful part of the Camera Calibration Panel is the Process Version, where we can choose which Process Version we want to use from the dropdown menu. Lightroom 4 uses Process Version 2012, so it is defaulted at Process Version 2012.


We can switch back to Lightroom 3’s Process Version by selecting “2010” from the dropdown menu. After we have selected Process Version 2010, the adjustments in the Basic Panel (press “Ctrl + 1”) have switched back to Lightroom 3’s Process Version 2010. In the Basic Panel, we now have Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks, Brightness and Contrast.


A common question people have is whether or not presets from Lightroom 3 will still work in Lightroom 4. The answer is yes! When you apply a Lightroom 3 preset in Lightroom 4, Lightroom will automatically switch from Process Version 2012 to Process Version 2010. When you switch to Process Version 2010 in Lightroom 4, a warning icon will appear at the bottom right, next to the panels. This warning icon indicates that the current processing technology is out of date.


When you click on the warning icon, the Update Process Version Dialogue Box will appear. Here, you have the choice of updating Process Version to one image or all of your images on the filmstrip in Lightroom. We recommend that you do not select “Update All Filmstrip Photos” because oftentimes, this conversion process will not give you the results you want. Therefore, update the images one by one if you choose to update the Process Version.


Be aware that when you switch from one Process Version to another, the color tones in your image will shift a bit. In our image below, we have switched from Process Version 2010 to Process Version 2012.


Camera Calibration Profile

The next option we have in the Camera Calibration Panel is the Profile. The Profile comes defaulted at Adobe Standard, but we have a few different Color Profiles for editing in Lightroom. Although the color tones of your image will shift when you select a Profile for your image, it will not actually change the Basic Panel adjustments of your image. Instead, only the Color Profile is adjusted.


We recommend that you leave the Profile at Adobe Standard since this is the most universal Color Profile when you print your images. When you change the Profile in the Camera Calibration Panel, these adjustments will look different and you may not get the best coloring out of those prints. Unless you completely understand how Color Profiling works, leave the Profile at Adobe Standard.

In our image below, we have switched from Adobe Standard to Camera Landscape, which is one of the Profile options. As you can see, the color tones of the image are different, depending on the Profile you selected from the menu.


Side Note:  Want Lightroom 4 to Run Faster?

In our speed test article HERE, you can see that there is one major benefit to switching back to Process Version 2010:  Speed!  For whatever reason, Lightroom 4 works just a tiny bit slower when using Process Version 2012.  Experiment for yourself, and decide which process version you want to use for your particular workflow.  Usually, even though Process version 2010 is faster it is still better to use Process Version 2012 because of how good it makes your images look!

Conclusion & Learn More!

We hope you enjoyed this article and video excerpt from the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD. Stay tuned for our next article and episode!

The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is a 14 hour video workshop turning any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop can be purchased by itself, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which also contains our award winning and industry standard Lightroom 4 Preset System, as well as the Lightroom 4 Workflow System.

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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