Simulate Sony Color in Lightroom
Sony cameras have an edge in video and the professional high-resolution mirrorless market, from the high-resolution A7R series, the video-oriented A7S series, to the flagship A7 and Alpha1 series, Sony has not missed a beat in terms of professionalism and portability. However, for Sony users, Lightroom does not have stable color profiles for simulating Sony color. The Lightroom built-in Camera Matching profiles are often criticized for their inaccurate restoration of camera color. We can see the difference between the original Sony colors and the Lightroom Camera Matching in the following :
Sony A7S3, Left: Sony Image Edge Desktop PT, Right: Lightroom PT Camera Matching
RAW FILE Source: DPReview
As we can see, on the left: the skin tone is more natural with the official Sony Image Edge Desktop conversion, while on the right: the camera that comes with Lightroom Camera Matching is reddish and the skin looks like it has unhealthy red spots.
Sony Alpha one, Left: Sony Image Edge Desktop PT, Right: Lightroom PT Camera Matching
Here you can also see that compared to Sony's native Image Edge photo on the left, Lightroom Camera Matching color has a dull, less natural red tint.
Note: A Camera Matching profile is a color profile that Lightroom uses to simulate the official colors of a particular camera, and can be used with an imported raw file. Most of Sony's new cameras are supported, but not for cross-brand and cross-camera use.
Simulate Sony Colors
Is there a way that can simulate Sony's native colors more accurately in Lightroom? The answer is: Yes, by using PerfeFilm profiles for Sony, you can accurately restore Sony 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 Sony cameras with PerfeFilm. Whether you're hesitant to buy a Sony camera or want to use Sony's native colors for retouching, you can do it with PerfeFilm.
Sony Alpha one v.s. Nikon D850 with Sony Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm Alpha one PT profiles
- In this article, we will use several Sony cameras for testing which are Sony Alpha one, A7R4, and A7S3. Each camera will be compared with three different color conversions for side-by-side comparison, which are
Sony camera + Sony Image Edge Desktop software conversion.
Sony camera + PerfeFilm profile + Lightroom
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 official 85mm lens for each camera respectively.
Sony Alpha 1 + Zeiss Batis 85mm/f1.8 v.s. Nikon D850 + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G
A7R4 + Zeiss Batis 85mm/f1.8 v.s. Nikon D750 + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G
A7S3 + Zeiss Batis 85mm/f1.8 v.s. Nikon D5 + Nikon 85mm/f1.8 G
- White balance is fixed in daylight mode, iso: 100, aperture shutter and exposure are the same. Color space : Adobe RGB. **All color modes are set to default.
Sony Color Processing and Color Space
- If you have a Sony camera, you can test it to see that the colors are different while setting different color spaces such as sRGB and aRGB. The colors converted through the camera and the desktop conversion software Image Edge Desktop are also different. In order to keep the color conversion consistent, we use Image Edge Desktop + aRGB color space as the standard for conversion.
- 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 Sony Review
The following is the tests of the Sony A7S3, Alpha One, and A7R4 with three different color processing methods to see if PerfeFilm can achieve cross-brand and cross-camera restoration of Sony color. The comparison from left to right : Sony camera + Image Edge Desktop, Sony camera + PerfeFilm profile, and other camera models + PerfeFilm profile.
Alpha One Color Profile Review
Sony Alpha One is Sony's flagship model, with a resolution of 50 megapixels and a color mode that can be used as the standard for Sony cameras, making it ideal for use as a basic color space. You can buy PerfeFilm Alpha1 Color Profiles here.
Sony Alpha one v.s. Nikon D850 with Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm Alpha one FL profiles
Sony Alpha one v.s. Nikon D850 with Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm Alpha one VV2 profiles
VV2 color conversion is almost the same with PerfeFilm and Sony native software. In the case of Nikon D850 using PerfeFilm profiles, the skin color, red color of the clothes and green color of the leaves are almost identical.
A7R4 color profile review
Compared to the Alpha One, the A7R4's colors are much more diverse. In addition to the standard colors such as portrait, black and white, vivid, neutral, etc., there are also some colors such as dark, light, sunset, night scene, autumn leaves, etc. which are more suitable for specific scenes. What is the difference? Let's take a look:
Different color modes of A7R4
Compared to the traditional Sony colors, the A7R4 profile has new Autumn Leaves, Sunset, Deep, Night Scene and other new colors available. PerfeFilm A7R4 profiles are available for purchase here.
Sony A7R4 v.s. Nikon D750 with Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm A7R4 Deep profiles
A7R4 Deep is my favorite color mode in Sony's new color mode. In addition to the saturated and deep colors, it also does a good job on skin tones. As you can see in this comparison, the Nikon D750 + PerfeFilm Deep mode has almost the same high saturation colors: peach, green, and red as the original Sony colors, except for a slight difference in the blue clothing color.
Sony A7R4 v.s. Nikon D750 with Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm A7R4 Portrait profiles
The A7R4 Portrait color using Image Edge, PerfeFilm and D750 + PerfeFilm has a very high degree of color restoration from skin tones to pink clothes and green tones.
A7S3 Color Profile Review
A7S3 uses the same color mode as the Alpha one, but there are differences in color conversion. Here is a comparison of the A7S3 original color by Image Edge, the A7S3 + PerfeFilm Profile, and the Nikon D5 + PerfeFilm Profile. PerfeFilm A7S3 color profiles are available for purchase here.
Sony A7S3 v.s. Nikon D5 with Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm A7S3 NT profiles
Sony A7S3 v.s. Nikon D5 with Image Edge Desktop / PerfeFilm A7S3 PT profiles
Some people think that Sony's Portrait mode is not as good as other brands, but I personally think it is quite acceptable in terms of skin color. In contrast, the Nikon D5 + PerfeFilm A7S3 PT profile is consistent with Sony A7S3 in terms of skin color, hair color, and green and red tones in the background, except for the slightly higher saturation.
Recommended PerfeFilm profiles for Sony + 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 Sony profiles perfectly. More information on PerfeFilm Tones
Alpha One FL color mode
Alpha One FL mode gives portraits a bright and transparent feel, and I would recommend FL mode more than PT (portrait) for high key portraits.
Alpha One VV2 + Fashion Tone
Alpha One VV2 will also give the photo a bright color feel, and PerfeFilm Fashion Tone will enhance the contrast in the shadow, giving a high saturation of fashion tones.
Alpha One Landscape + Landscape Tone
Alpha One Landscape provides a high saturation visual impact on the landscape. With the addition of PerfeFilm Landscape style allows shadows and highlights to be more prominent and the color to be more saturated and defined.
A7R4 Deep + Fashion Tone
As mentioned in the A7R4 profile review section, Deep color is excellent for its saturation and skin tones. In portrait photography, you can apply a fashion tone to enhance the highlight of the face and make the face contour more clear.
Fashion Tone Comparison
A7R4 Clear + Landscape Tone
The A7R4 Clear is unexpectedly a good choice for landscape photography; the A7R4 Clear gives the landscape a clear and airy atmosphere, and the PerfeFilm Landscape Tone gives it a clean, chilly feeling of the nature.
A7S3 VV Color Mode
VV is one of my favorite color modes in Sony's color system. It can be used for landscape photography to bring out a lively color tone. It can be used with Documentary and Landscape tone presets.
A7S3 PT color mode
Sony's PT mode is said to be suitable for portraits, but the skin tones are rather dull and dark. We recommend using it in conjunction with PerfeFilm Soft tones for brighter skin color.
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