Extract from Adobe Lightroom 2 – The Missing FAQ
When the first preview appears, it looks just like it did on the camera, and then that disappears and it applies other settings. How do I turn that off?
The initial preview you’re seeing is the JPEG preview embedded in the file by the camera. That JPEG preview has the manufacturer’s own processing applied in-camera, just as if you’d set your camera to shoot a JPEG rather than a raw file format.
A raw file is not a photo file like a JPEG or a TIFF. You can’t look at it – there’s nothing to see. You need some software to process it into a photo.
The camera manufacturer’s don’t share their processing secrets, so each raw converter creates its own interpretation of the sensor’s data. There is no right or wrong – it’s just different.
So how do you get your file in Lightroom to look like that original camera JPEG preview?
In version 1, your best option was to shoot a series of files as Raw+JPEG, and import all of those files into Lightroom. Try to adjust each raw file to look like the matching JPEG file. Your aim is to find your ideal default settings for your raw files. Having found your ideal settings, save them as a Develop preset for easy application to your photos, and or update Lightroom’s default settings to use your new preferred settings.
However it gets better than that… Adobe have been listening to the user’s cries, and have created a new profiling system, the public beta for which was released at the same time as Lightroom 2.0, and which went final with 2.2.
This new DNG Profile Editor allows the creation of much more detailed profiles than have ever been available to ACR and Lightroom before.
Whilst most users will never worry about creating their own profiles, Adobe have created ready-made profiles to emulate the most popular in-camera JPEG rendering for many Pro-level SLR’s, and contrary to the way the name makes it sound, these profiles can be used on proprietary raw files as well as DNG files.
The new camera emulation profiles are installed along with Lightroom 2.2, so if you haven’t updated yet, do so! You’ll find the new profiles in the Calibration panel in the Develop module.
Over the next couple of days, I’ll post up the instructions on how to get rid of any beta profiles that you had installed, how to create a preset with the new profiles, and how to change the defaults to one of the other profiles, so watch this space!