Lightroom Profile and Presets is meant to explain the main differences between those two concepts. To use this informations you should at least use lightroom version 7.3
With the update in April 2018 Adobe changed a lot arround the profiles. But profiles are different to the presets in handling and results and they offer a lot more opportunities in image processing. In older versions of Adobe Lightroom every imported image got the ” “Adobe Standard” profile. Adohbe changed this behaviour and applies “Adobe Color” to every image by default, which makes color a little bit more brilliant. But there are more changes to this system and besides of an ambiguous naming the new profiles are much more capable.
I did a small video to explain the main differences between presets and profiles.
Camera profiles were moved from the calibration panel up to the basic development section. In earlier version you could generate your own camera profile with tools like the X-Rite Colorchecker. These profiles were done for most neutral color representations and even more special for skin tone in portrait and wedding photography.
But now there is a profile browser implmented and so called camera aware profiles. The camera profiles include now the different settings and profiles you’ll find in your camera settings, either calloed profiles or picture style. They include the most common used settings like for landscape, natural style or portrait. And the number of profiles and the names now differ for the camera you used to capture the image.
The new camera aware profile should get the same results wehn you apply such a profile to a raw file just as if you shoot JPEG with the the same profile in your camera. This sounds very interesting so i did a couple of test shots both in JPEG with the different profiles/picture styles and processed and exported the raw image with the corresponding profile in Lightroom and compared the results.
The differences between the JPEG image directly out of the camera and the one exported with Lightroom using the camera profile with the same name aren’t big. And here is another example with the picture style Vidid form the Lumix G81.
Here the differences are more noticable but they are acceptable too me. And here we can see that there is no reason to fear raw image processing.
Besides the camera profiles there are a lot of so called creative profiles to apply changes to the images more towards an artistic setup and of course they are very much a matter of personal taste.
Maybe you just play arround with the creative profiles and find a set which like the most and to see whats possible.
Presets on the other hand do have the same impact on an image, just change the image completely wiht just one mouse click.
Maybe an extreme example, but it shows the capabilites.
But there is one essential difference between a profile and a preset. If you apply a preset to an image you can see the settings in the development module. Doing the same with a profile will result in the effect but all rulers in the development module are set to zero. So with this difference you might as well look at a profile as a start fur further processing while applying a preset should be more or less the final result.
With the new profiles Adobe comes very close to the results of a JPEG captured directly with the camera. But since the profiles don’T change the development of an image in a classical sense they open up more opportunities.
What do think about the profiles do you use them or do yout stick to JPEG ooc?