How to simulate Canon color through camera raws?  Use Lightroom and PerfeFilm.

How to simulate Canon color through camera raws? Use Lightroom and PerfeFilm.

Simulate Canon Color in Lightroom 

Canon has been a favorite brand for professional photographers for a long time. In addition to camera settings that suit the needs of different groups of people, the quality of the lens is also one of the reasons why photographers love to use it. On top of the camera's performance, Canon's color can give people a fresh and cool style that no other camera's color system can achieve, including the general-purpose Neutral color mode, and the famous Canon Portrait mode. However, for Canon users, Lightroom does not have stable color profiles for simulating Canon's colors across all models. The Lightroom built-in Camera Matching profiles are often criticized for their inaccurate restoration of camera color, and Camera Matching simulation does not support other brands such as Nikon and Sony cameras to simulate the color of Canon as well. For Canon users, the another annoying thing is that the color mode of new cameras is often different from the previous model, which requires extra work to fine-tune the workflow every time you buy a new camera, causing troubles with retouching and inconsistency in the color system.

Simulate Canon Colors

Is there a way that can simulate Canon's native colors more accurately in Lightroom? The answer is: Yes, by using PerfeFilm profiles for Canon, you can accurately restore Canon colors in Lightroom, and enjoy the freedom and richness of Lightroom's photo processing. Users of other camera brands can also emulate the colors of Canon cameras with PerfeFilm. Whether you're hesitant to buy a new Canon camera or want to use Canon's native colors for retouching, you can do it with PerfeFilm.


Canon EOS 5D3 v.s. Nikon D850 with DPP4 / PerfeFilm 5D3 Portrait profiles 


Test Environment


  • In this article, we will use several Canon cameras for testing which are Canon EOS R6 and Canon 5D Mark III. Each camera will be compared with three different color conversions for side-by-side comparison, which are
  1. Canon camera + DPP4 (Digital Photo Professional 4) software conversion.
  2. Canon camera + PerfeFilm profile + Lightroom
  3. Different camera brands + PerfeFilm for cross-brand color comparison.



  • In order to make the camera's framing range, focal length and aperture consistent, we all use the 85mm lens for each camera respectively.
  • Canon EOS R6 + Canon EF 85mm/1.8f USM  v.s. Nikon Z7 II + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G
  • Canon EOS 5D MARK III + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G (adapted)  v.s. Nikon D850 + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G
  • Canon EOS 5D MARK III + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G (adapted)  v.s. Sony A7S2 + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G (adapted)


    Original lens v.s Sub-factory/adapted lens

    • There is one thing that must be considered in the test: the effect of lens tint. Photographers know that the color is different while using different lenses. Therefore, we tested both the original lens and sub-factory/adapted lens in different scenes. The Canon 5D3 test used an adapted Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G, making it the same lens as the comparative Nikon camera. In another test, we used Canon R6 + original Canon EF 85mm/1.8f USM v.s. Nikon Z7 II + original Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G lens for comparison to see the color restoration performance using each original lens. The results of the test found that the use of the respective original lenses can achieve a pretty nice color restoration with PerfeFilm profiles. It is recommended that you can use the original lenses while shooting with across-brands cameras directly using PerfeFilm.


    Basic settings

    • White balance is fixed in daylight mode, iso: 100, aperture shutter and exposure are the same. Color space : sRGB, Adobe RGB**All color modes are set to default.


    Canon Color Processing and Color Space

    • If you have a Canon camera, you can see the colors converted through the camera and DPP4 are rather consistent with the camera body. In order to keep the color conversion consistent, we use DPP4 + sRGB/aRGB color space as the standard for conversion.


    Lightroom Settings

    • All comparing cameras use the same PerfeFilm color profiles and presets. Each camera has different exposure and saturation even with the same basic settings due to CMOS differences and different color temperature calculations. For calibrating the mismatch of those fundamental differences, we only adjust the exposure, color temperature, and saturation to match colors in Lightroom, and not to adjust any single color settings.



    PerfeFilm Color Simulation for Canon Review

    The following are the tests of Canon EOS R6 and Canon 5D3 with three different color processing methods to see if PerfeFilm can achieve cross-brand and cross-camera restoration of Canon color. The comparison from left to right : Canon camera + DPP4, Canon camera + PerfeFilm profile, and other camera models + PerfeFilm profile.


    R6 Color Profile Review

    The Canon EOS R6 is a Canon mirrorless camera for both video and photography. In addition to its light-weight convenience and high ISO, its color mode is ideal for use as a basic color space for Canon's new generation of mirrorless cameras. Here, we use Canon EOS R6 v.s. Nikon Z7 II to see if the original Canon colors were well restored using the .CR3 raw file and if the Canon colors were well simulated on a cross-brand camera. PerfeFilm R6 profiles are available for purchase here.



     Canon EOS R6 v.s. Nikon Z7 II with DPP4 / PerfeFilm R6 Portrait profiles 

    In this comparison, the light source on the model is fluorescent light, the blurred nature outside the window is raining daylight with a low color temperature, and the camera WB was set to daylight mode. As you can see from the comparison, the Canon camera produces almost identical colors with PerfeFilm and original DPP4 for both fluorescent light and daylight, while the Nikon Z7 II uses PerfeFilm that is quite close to the Canon colors for skin tones except the green in the background of Nikon is slightly cooler/blue, but the difference is minimal. It can be said that PerfeFilm for Canon presents a very good color restoration on Nikon's camera.



     Canon EOS R6 v.s. Nikon Z7 II with DPP4 / PerfeFilm R6 Landscape profiles 

    The variegated foliage is a good subject for testing the accuracy of hues. We can use the same plant to test a wide range of colors of reds, peach, dark greens, and yellows, as well as gradations and contrasts between hues. From the test images, it appears that Canon R6 and Nikon Z7 II are almost identical in terms of accuracy, contrast, and color gradation. Note that each original lens of Canon & Nikon were used : Canon EF 85mm/1.8f USM and Nikon 85mm/1.8f G lenses. The color reproduction across brands is quite good with each original lens.



    Canon EOS R6 v.s. Nikon Z7 II with DPP4 / PerfeFilm R6 Standard profiles 

    Standard colors are a good choice for complex light sources or environments that require standard colors. In the test image, the color temperature on the face is 5500k, and the background is warm yellow light. In this comparison, we can also see a high degree of restoration of Standard color mode in Nikon Z7 II with no particular difference from the original R6 color.


    5D MARK III Color Profile Review

    The PerfeFilm 5D3 color profile can be purchased here



    Canon EOS 5D3 v.s. Sony A7S2 with DPP4 / PerfeFilm 5D3 Details profiles 

    Detail mode allows you to bring out the details and layers of an object in a higher contrast light source. From the comparison, the colors of green leaves, flowers, hair, and skin color are almost identical for both Sony A7S2 and Canon 5D3.



    Canon EOS 5D3 v.s. Nikon D850 with DPP4 / PerfeFilm 5D3 Portrait profiles 

    The Portrait mode of the Canon 5D series is arguably the most classic portrait color mode for DSLR cameras. As you can see from the comparison, the PerfeFilm 5D3 Portrait profile on the Nikon D850 can accurately restore the redness of the skin, the saturated red tones of the clothes and the yellow-green tones of the tree background.



    Canon EOS 5D3 v.s. Sony A7S2 with DPP4 / PerfeFilm 5D3 Portrait profiles 

    Canon Faithful color mode comes in handy for scenes that require a high degree of color fidelity. As we can see in the comparison, the saturated yellow and peach tones of the flowers are well restored in the gradient of the flowers, and the shades and tones of the background bokeh are perfectly simulated in both the Canon camera and the Sony A7S2 using the PerfeFilm profile.



    I won't go into the other color modes, but in our testing of the PerfeFilm color profiles for Canon did restore the color of the Canon color very well, and it was also possible to get very close color simulations with other cameras. If you're interested in comparing, you can download the PerfeFilm free demo to play around with it, or support us by purchasing the bundles. If you're interested in testing PerfeFilm for Lightroom, you're welcome to share your test article or video with and we'll share it with you on our blog post if we think it's good.

    Recommended PerfeFilm profiles for Canon + PerfeFilm Tones presets

    PerfeFilm's official and demo versions come with useful PerfeFilm Tones that allow you to quickly transform your photos into Fashion, Soft, Film, Landscape, Documentary ... etc. Here are some of the presets that can be used with the PerfeFilm for Canon profiles perfectly. More information on PerfeFilm Tones

    5D3 Neutral mode

    The most recommended color for portraits is Neutral, which can express neutral skin tones and correct makeup colors without being too pink or too "real" like Portrait or Faithful mode.

    5D3 Neutral + Landscape Tone

    Neutral tones can be used in highly saturated scenes with the PerfeFilm Landscape tone to bring out the color saturation of the landscape, while taking into account the softness of the portrait's skin tones.


    5D3 Portrait + Film Tone

    Portrait mode is ideal for street portraits and portraits of young girls, and with Film Tone you can present a high-contrast yet soft-skinned portrait style.


    R6 Portrait + HDR Tone

    High-key portrait style: If you want to take portraits in a high-contrast environment, you can use the Portrait + HDR (High Dynamic Range) style and increase the exposure. This is a high-key portrait style that brings out details in both shadows and highlights.


    R6 MonoChrome + Film Tone 

    Canon's black and white style is more likely to be too "digital". With the help of PerfeFilm Film Tone allows the digital B&W colors to have a more traditional B&W negative look.


    R6 Neutral + HDR Tone

    Neutral color mode again! Canon Neutral color mode is really good for portraits, and with HDR Tone, it can make the dull skin tones brighter.


    Share your raw files and be seen 

    If you have photos to share and like PerfeFilm to promote your website, feel free to upload your raw files by participating in our PerfeFilm Raw File Project.


    About Author


     Arron Hsiao

    Taiwan artist & photographer, founder of Love photography, travel & music. You can support him through his photography & art NFT:   Personal Website:  IG@ArronHsiao

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