by Jing Wen
I’m sure you know how people like to say how they prefer their photos taken with their Nikons because they don’t like the way Canon cameras render colors or something like that. Well these color profiles are supposed to let you switch between the different camera color profiles right inside Photoshop and Lightroom.
There’s a whole range of available profiles, from old Canon cameras like the 30D to the 5D Mark II; Nikon cameras like the D3; Leica M cameras and even the less well-known Polaroid X530. Not only does it provide the main color profiles but you also get all the picture styles inside the cameras, such as vivid/landscape/portrait/etc.
Since I have a Canon 5D Mark II, I’ll be doing the comparisons with other camera profiles. Below is the Canon 5D Mark II Standard image, straight out of camera with no further processing. This will be the base image to which I will apply the other camera color profiles.
Sampling Cross Color Profiles
Canon 30D Landscape profile. The colors definitely become more vibrant, with the blue in the sky deepning and the various shades on the houses becoming more saturated. There is a slight lightening of the greens as well.
Nikon D3 Landscape profile. When this profile is applied, we see that the greenery instantly becomes much darker, losing detail. This goes the same for the rest of the image, with the sky becoming a darker shade of blue and all the buildings as well.
Leica M9 profile. This profile doesn’t change much except it becomes a shade lighter and there is a very slight magenta cast to the greens.
Velvia Touch profile. This is more of a film profile, that of the classic Fuji Velvia emulsion. It doesn’t seem to work very well for this photo, possibly because Velvia worked best under certain light conditions. It has darkness resembling the D3 Landscape profile but the skies are more brilliantly saturated.
Vivid Landscape 1 profile. Not so much vividness but more of saturation, to the point of darkness. Once again very much like the D3 Landscape profile.
Velvia Touch Punchy B&W profile. Great B&W conversion for clouds because it really raises the contrast a lot after boosting the vibrance of the colors. However that means any dark areas in your photos like the trees and ground in mine are totally wiped out in darkness.
Vivid Landscape Deep Saturated Skies profile. Very similar to the Vivid Landscape 1 profile but with even more deep darkening to the skies, making it moody and dramatic.
Comparison with Canon 5D Mark II profile
We can see that the 5D Mark II’s profile tends to be the lightest one while the rest tend to change the saturation of the image, typically darkening it and in other cases adding more color to it. As the images are still RAW files, there should be enough dynamic range to perform recovery of the shadows but that’s beyond the scope of this review.
Applying these profiles provides subtle changes to the images, unlike other Photoshop actions or Lightroom presets, which tend to have dramatic changes. Sometimes you’re spoiled for choice with so many options available, including the color profiles beyond camera models such as Velvia Touch profile and similar.
I think the PSKiss Cross Camera Color Profiles are mainly for people who had to switch from one system to another and really desire the look of their previous system. Another group of users who might benefit are those who like the look of the in-camera profiles and want to apply them to their RAW files since Adobe Camera Raw’s presets don’t exactly match the look of those profiles.