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Neil. E.

Colour Accuracy Lightroom vs Capture One

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Neil. E.

I have a slightly unusual question that people on here may have some good experience of. I'm an artist, an abstract painter who paints in wild vibrant colours and also dabble in a bit of photography as a bit of an aside. One thing that is really important to me is that I use Lightroom as a catalogue for my artwork so use it in perhaps a strange way where half of my images are actually paintings not photos. I try to get the archive as accurate as possible to the real thing as a record, admittedly with no specific output requirements other than current publicity etc...mostly web...but want it to be good enough for possibly printing or other use in the future unknown.  After years of using my Fuji XE1 and the last standalone Lightroom 6, I've got to the point where I'm happy with the colour accuracy I get with Lightroom as the raw converter. I don't use any fancy technical colour checkers but being intensely familiar with the specific pigments in the actual paint, I find that I can achieve acceptable colour accuracy by eye on my iMac screen.

My specific dilemma is that I would like to upgrade my camera body to maybe XE3/XT30/XT3 generation but realise that I would have to move to the license CC Lightroom version (which as a broke artist I am loathe to do). I Know there is another work around of using Iridient X DNG to import, but in the meantime have been exploring a trial of Capture One 20, and can compare colour accuracy side by side. I think I could get my head around switching and can see the improvement in detail in Capture One. Ironically I can often see the Lightroom 'Painterly effect' details in my photos of actual paintings, often set off by the repeated pattern of the canvas weave, so am maybe far down the rabbit-hole.  I have noticed though that the default colour profiles in Capture One (no Fuji colours available for 1st gen Fuji just 2 generic profiles)  lead to colours that aren't quite right to my eye, the general look seems to be over saturated, particularly in the blues, a touch more contrasty maybe - with intensive fiddling I can get the overall colour accuracy close but still get aspects of false colour...but Lightroom is better straight off the bat just using the Fuji Provia Profile.  I've noticed this difference in normal landscape photography too where Lightroom looks more natural and Capture One looks good but possibly a bit too enhanced, something thats subjectively acceptable for a photo but not a record of artwork where the colour accuracy is paramount. 

One aspect I'm not able to verify, which some of you may have experience with is that I read somewhere that Capture One improved it's conversion algorithms for the later Fuji cameras, and that not everyone was happy with results for 1st Gen X-Trans...maybe this is what I'm seeing. Has anyone any observations with colour accuracy on the later Fuji's in Capture One vs Lightroom, especially as if you have a later body then I believe you have access to more options in the Fuji native colour profiles. It's a tricky one to verify as if I go out and get a XT30 body then I won't be able to open the Raw file in my version of Lightroom to compare.

Thanks in advance if anyone can share any experience on this, any views greatly appreciated,  or maybe there's some general consensus that I'm not aware of between the two. 

 

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Neil. E.

To simplify my question, which I admit is problematic in having so many variables:

Has anyone with a newer generation Fuji body noticed that the Fuji colour profiles in Capture One closely resemble the rendition of for instance the Provia profile in Lightroom? - or is there in fact a marked difference between the two programs?

Its apparent there was a difference in the way Capture One interprets files from the earlier 16Meg Fuji's vs newer models - I can only see 2 basic colour profile options for my XE1 body, where later bodies would show a full range of 'In Camera' Fuji colour options, so it's a question of the colour accuracy of these later profiles that I can't see at the moment.

 I'm in the fairly unusual situation of being able to pluck a small painting from the studio and put it on the wall behind my monitor to directly compare the captured results vs the actual source, which in photography I suppose is quite unique...and up to now have been happy enough with how the Lightroom Provia profile renders colour.

I should add that I aim to minimise manipulating the file as much as possible,  as it would get too complicated in altering the specific colour relationships...I suppose the answer is to have some fancy colour picking device to generate a custom ICC colour profile but this is probably beyond my capabilities.

If anyone has any experience of anything like this it would be greatly appreciated. 

 

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MrSteveVee

Using the Capture One Express (free version for Fuji), I can see that the software has better support for the film simulation curves for the later camera's than the earlier. It has all of the film simulation curves for my XT3 but none of the curves for my old X-Pro1.

One option you can try with your version of Lightroom is to download the Adobe RAW to DNG converter (Also a free product) you can then convert your XT30 RAW files to DNG and your older version of Lightroom will then process them quite happily. So as long as you can put up with the slight inconvenience of converting your RAW to DNG you can continue to use lightroom for the XT30.

Steve


 

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