I’ve been using Lightroom 2.6 to do my conversions. It’s pretty quick, and I love the gradient filter tool. But, I have been experiencing less than desirable results lately, specifically with my LX3. The pictures had either a green or magenta cast to the shadows, and reds were very difficult to get right. I searched the Internet for a camera calibration profile that matched my camera and came up empty. Adobe’s RAW conversion software recognizes the camera and corrects for lens distortion, but it misses the color.
I found someone sharing his camera calibration settings for the LX3. They’re not for every situation, but they are a great starting place. The settings are:
I added -6 to the shadow tint setting.
Now I’m applying this to all my LX3 RAW conversions first before making individual adjustments in Lightroom.
But what about Lightroom? Is it still my first choice for quickly correcting a group of images? I decided to compare it again to RAW Developer and to the new Lightroom 3 beta.
Armed with the camera’s Jpegs as an example of what the camera felt the pictures should look like, and my memories of the mornings visit to the car show, I set out to establish a RAW conversion work flow that would provide consistent, accurate results, that I could be happy with. I made 2 runs through my pictures with Lightroom 2, Then I did them all again with RAW Developer and then Lightroom 3.0 Beta. I also have the light version of Capture One but I didn’t include it in this test. Long story short I have found happiness in Lightroom 3.0. I was able to achieve pleasing color and sharpness from Lightroom 3. Lightroom 2.* gave me mixed results. I had a lot difficulty with the shadows. They also lacked sharpness. Raw Developer had excellent color at times and was sharper than the Lightroom 2.
All of the images in the car show gallery that are affected such as this example, were done in Lightroom 2.0. That’s where my presets are and since affected shots aren’t so much about accuracy, they’re “good enough”.
Lightroom 3.0 beta was the only converter that made it easy to get the shadows correct. It’s as if Adobe has been sabotaging my Lightroom 2.0. to drum up new business for LR 3.0. This image sold me on Lightroom 3.0.
The car is black. Yeah, there’s a hint of the blue sky in that black, as there should be. What Lightroom 2.0 and even Raw Developer (to a much lesser extent) did, was add either Magenta or green to those shadows. This shot rocks in comparison. I apologize for not saving all the examples for inclusion here. You’re just going to try LR 3.0 for yourself to see if it works for you.
Raw Developer created a finely detailed sharp image with excellent color. However, it doesn’t correct for distortion. I could do that correction in Photoshop, but that’s another step I don’t want to take. There is one image in the car show pictures that’s from RAW Developer. The color of the carpet was the most difficult to get right. I also really like how sharp the steering wheel is.