How to Use Your ColorChecker Passport in Capture One

For the longest time, I've been trying to move away from using Lightroom and instead use Capture One all the time. Even with the latest update, Capture One is still much faster and more effective for editing, especially when it comes to the high-resolution files I normally work with. The only thing that prevented me from switching over completely was the lack of support for the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

Recently I came to know of Lumariver, which is a fantastic piece of software that allows you to use your ColorChecker Passport in Capture One. The process does take a little longer than it does when creating profiles in Lightroom; however, the results are significantly better. The ability to select specific curves in Capture One really impacts the end results. The profiles you create in Lumariver are ICC profiles, which are more widely accepted and flexible compared to the profiles you create in Lightroom. This allows you to use these profiles in Photoshop as well as Capture One. 

Looking at the images above, you can see a huge difference between the image created in Lightroom vs the image created in Capture One. The colors in the Capture One image are much more accurate and more pleasing to look at. Even with both images having the white balance set to 7500, they look vastly different. The sky at blue hour looks much more accurate and the skin tones don't have those odd greenish tones in the Capture One image. Also, the colors in the bokeh on the right of the frame are more distinct and can be differentiated more effectively. 

Check out the full video to see how to create these ICC profiles.

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Usman Dawood's picture

The process you use to create the calibrated colours is what impacts it the most. Capture One allows you to control the curve and remove most of the baked in colours that your camera puts in. Lightroom doesn’t allow you to do any of that.

Also your statement is wrong because you’re framing the whole thing in the wrong way. Every software will either be more accurate or less accurate and Capture One due to the process is more accurate in this regard.

Nothing will be perfect and all software will interpret colours relatively differently. Calibrated does not mean perfect by any means.

Jen Photographs's picture

> Also your statement is wrong because you’re framing the whole thing in the wrong way.

It sounds like you're blaming Alexander for not understanding what you wrote/said in your video. If people don't understand what you're saying/writing, the problem isn't with them. It's how you're delivering the content. You need to refine it to be clearer.

> Every software will either be more accurate or less accurate ...

That makes no sense.

Usman Dawood's picture

I didn’t blame him for anything read my comment again. I disagreed with his comment which I’m allowed to do lol.

You’re making a whole bunch of assumptions too.

Also you already confirmed you haven’t watched my video so how are you making effective conclusions?

Watch the video which is the basis of the article and then we can talk until then this is a pointless exchange.

Also software is either more or less accurate but never perfect relatively speaking. Why does that not make sense?

Usman Dawood's picture

Can any camera produce that?

As I said it’s either more or less accurate but not perfect.

Profiles can help get you much closer to accurate colours that’s why people use the colourchecker passports and calibrate their screens. That doesn’t mean that the profiles they create and the calibrated screens they use are perfectly accurate.

Once again you’re framing this discussion the wrong way.

Usman Dawood's picture

The tools I used were the canon 5DSR, Sigma lens, colour checker passport, lightroom and C1.

C1 with the correct profile brought out the blue in the sky but Lightroom didn’t. Different raw processors will create different results a quick search will confirm how results will differ between them.

Viktor Wågman's picture

different software will give you different results even when you calibrate a screen.. its the same with when you do a profile with your camrea different software different results...

Jen Photographs's picture

This article is a little confusing and makes me ask more questions than it answers. it'd be helpful if you explained what exactly a color checker does for a photographer. What process are you referring to? Installing? Calibrating? What? And why does it take longer? And I was under the impression that LR can be set to use ICC profile, so why is Luminar's profile feature superior?

Also, I'm not clear on which image is LR vs Capture One. It'd be helpful if you captioned/labeled your images.

For what it's worth, on my monitor, both images' WB seems off. The left's sky and the guy's skin both are gray, while the right image has a magenta tint, and the black scarf isn't as black. It might be my monitor, though; it's definitely not calibrated.

Usman Dawood's picture

My video assumes that you have an understanding of what the colour checker passport is and how it works. That’s why I didn’t discuss everything around that otherwise it would have been a much longer video.

In regards to white balance, that was more to taste as opposed to it being completely accurate. The white balance can be adjusted however so not a major issue. The ultimate point is that you have better control and more effective results from capture one than you do from Lightroom.

Jen Photographs's picture

I didn't watch the video because the captions butchered it and was difficult to follow. Further, you shouldn't assume that people will always watch the video. Your articles will be more effective if you take the time to flesh them out. As is, it's lazy writing.

> white balance, that was more to taste as opposed to it being completely accurate

That wasn't the point of using the color checker, though. If you're editing for aesthetics, it's hard for readers to gauge whether the product you're recommending is effective at its job or not.

Usman Dawood's picture

White balance can be adjusted easily when shooting RAW. The same white balance was used for both images but generated vastly different results.

I did caption the images although upon checking it seems only one of the images has been captioned properly.

The article was about the video. The video is the point and the basis of the article. This article is not a full article without the video and if you haven’t watched the video then of course it’s going leave you with more questions than answers.

Usman Dawood's picture

That was a mistake cause the actual JPEG I used in Lightroom was one I made earlier and that had the same white balance with 0 on the tint.

Pete Whittaker's picture

Thank you. I too am tired of these "articles" that amount to "Look I made a video!".

Viktor Wågman's picture

just googel color checker and you will know how to use it.. not that hard!..

Daniel Sanchez's picture

Why did you go through that process and then need to change the white balance and tint? That would defeat the purpose, no? It'll change all the colors, no?

jonas y's picture

Thank you Usman, this is very useful for me due to the different lens and camera combos.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

I use Capture One for shoiting tethered. Rock solid.

I do believe a image should be set to correct color balance before exporting for processing in that lovely piece of software.

I would like to point out the fact that it is not a good idea to use the Kelvin scale in Capture One Less you use a Phase One camera.
According to them the Kelvin value indicated will be off with a diferent margin according to the camera you are using. A a7r2 raw file shows up in CO 600 Kelvin wrong on 5300 Kelvin file. It will show closer to 6000 even if the camera is set to 5300. In Lightroom it will be correct.

According to Capture One support you should set the color temperature with a grey card. I suppose that is clever anyway but enjoy that Lightroom seems to cope with that. They mostly likly make profiles for each camera. I think so should Capture One, specially on Sony cameras since they have a edition for Sony shooters. I think Capture One should have + - and not Kelvin valu if there are not a profile or whatever for that camera.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

So what makes you think C1Pro does not make profiles for Sony cameras? Adobe profiles for sony has never been that good.

I set my cameras to 5500k all the time, C1pro is showing it as 5500 or close to it, so not sure what you mean by C1Pro being off and LR correct.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

Well I asked them through there support and what I wrote is what they told me. I was using a A7r2 and since I do measure Kelvin in studio I found the numbers in Capture One off as previously I wrote here.
It may be wrong term to call it a profile but what else I could call it I do not know.
This is only in respect of color temperature.
But if you set color temperature in camera and find the same value in CO Kelvin slider I suppose you are good. You are always good if you accept the value given I suppose.
So nothing wrong before you start setting color temperature by numbers, like meter Kelvin and then puting that value in Kelvin slider inside CO.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Considering I used a C700 and measured it and that C1Pro is still close enough id say the profile is close enough, certainly better than ACR ever been for my Sony files.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

5500 in Capture One and Lightroom does not necessarily match one the same raw file, due to the lack of accurate values in Capture One, depending on camera.
Your color meter value will be wrong in Capture One, with certain cameras, like A7r2.
I consider that a flaw in Capture One. I also have a color meter and it is measured values.

Edward Hubert's picture

Not sure I would consider it a flaw of sorts. My understanding is that each program reads the WB from the file and interprets that measurement as determined by the programs number for WB. Hence the different numbers for the same file in each program. I believe C1 is closer to the value or closer to the actual color rendered.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

Capture One is a great price of software and for skilled people most likely the better option. I would suggest taking there advice and use a grey card if you want accurate colors.

Bjarne Solvik's picture


It is important to understand a few things here... first is that the Kelvin settings in Cameras are not exact when it comes to color temperature - the best way to set white balance will always be using a grey card in one shot and balancing with a eyedropper tool in Capture One. Secondly the reason that you see a different number in Capture One is that Capture One uses a fixed scale for color across hundreds of cameras. Therefore we translate the camera color value in to Capture One's color scale. For some cameras this wil be close to the same number, for others it might be a bit different.

Best regards,
Phase One Technical Support

Robert DiVito's picture

Thanks for the article Usman. Helpful in that I find the process a lot more convoluted in C1 as opposed to LR.
I don't think your comment about C1's ability to dial out the "baked in" colour profile is relevant in this instance. Every camera manufacturer needs to have a starting point in rendering colour. For instance, beyond Adobe Standard, my Nikon has five additional colour profiles while my Fuji has ten. When I create a custom profile this is taking a specific camera, a specific lens, with specific light and calibrating a set of captured values against a set of known values. This profile remaps every RGB value to match the control set regardless of what the "baked in" profile is. Therefore it is irrelevant what RGB values you start the process with.

Usman Dawood's picture

In all honesty, I don't know much about the baked in stuff or what C1 is doing when it's supposedly removing it. I simply went with the information I was given so I personally can't comment on that. You might be right I just don't know.

What I do know however is that although it is a longer process to complete in C1 the results are significantly better and worth the extra few steps. I don't actually use the CCP anymore and instead, I now use the SG digital. I simply have a bunch of ICC profiles created for each camera and lens combination I use. I only use the CCP for white balancing now.

Bert Balcaen's picture

Dear Usman,

Thx for this really great info.
Just had 1 question. Before you export the 2 tiff files and go to LumaRiver to create ICC profile do you need to white balance in C1 the shot of the color target? On what patch do you suggest if white balancing is needed?

Thx for the update.

Usman Dawood's picture

You don’t have to white balance before youmprofile because the actual image you apply the profiles to will still be a RAW in C1. Correcting white balance is a good thing I just didn’t want my image to be so warm in this test I didn’t like the white balance from the grey card for this individual test.

But WB is relatively easy to fix and adjust.

Bert Balcaen's picture

Thx Usman, very helpful!

Christoph .'s picture

Unfortunate to see all this negativity on a really solid video.

As someone who has been perennially displeased with Adobe's profiles and how they render colour compared to Nikon's own software/in-camera (to the point of reverting to NX-D), this is really perfect content. While C1's standard profiles are getting better, they're still not perfect.

I did find lumariver profiler a while ago (looking at their HDR software approach for interiors) and I have their site open in my jungle of open tabs of things to get on to, a really concise video on something so crucial and timesaving from another working professional is just perfect.

Just a shame that people who likely spend hours tweaking images on stock profiles/in LR to try and undo Adobe's terrible rendering cannot see the value in this content. Thank you!

A quick question: how often would you see fit to create new ICC's? I shoot a lot of interiors and would love to try this but I might not use this approach if I would need to create a profile for the different colour casts of each room or house.

Usman Dawood's picture

Thank you so much that’s really nice of you to say, I really appreciate it.

Personally I no longer need to create profiles because I use the larger SG digital and once you create profiles for your common lens and camera combinations they’re more than sufficient.

Having said that I will still create the odd profile here and there using my CCP depending on what and where I’m shooting.

Bruce McLaughlin's picture

"Just a shame that people who likely spend hours tweaking images on stock profiles/in LR to try and undo Adobe's terrible rendering cannot see the value in this content."

I use Lumariver to create camera profiles in LR. It is a big help.

Edward Hubert's picture

Great information! The only question I have is, do you see a big difference in the created icc profile and the one C1 has stored? Again great information.

Usman Dawood's picture

I haven’t done a detailed side by side so nothing conclusive but so far the created ICC has definitely been better.

Thank you for the comment :-).

Edward Hubert's picture

Thank you sir for the reply. If you do find a difference of any significance can you post here? Just would like to know since I would only use the software to create the icc profile. If I don’t have to spend the money then I’ll save it.

Bruce McLaughlin's picture

1. “All RAW files have some adjustments done by the camera.” This is not quite true. In order to open a RAW file, the software must do some interpretation. The software can follow the instructions that the camera puts in text area of the RAW file, or ignore them and follow their own recipe. Going Linear and removing added color removes Capture One’s interpretation and allows Lumariver to add it’s own color and tonality later on.

2. The Repro edition of Lumariver is for making prints (reproduction).

3. Selecting color temperature in Lumariver: you skipped a step in exporting from Capture One. You should select the same color temperature in Capture One before exporting your TIFF files.

4. Adjusting the tone curve in Capture One after applying the new profile: There are settings in Lumariver to add the tone curve you want before exporting the profile.

5. Comparing with Lightroom: It's important to mention that Lumariver can make Camera Profiles for Lightroom. That is how I use Lumariver. It is a huge step up from stock profiles, or from using any other software to make camera profiles for Lightroom.

Capture One plus Lumariver may be better than Lightroom without Lumariver, but I wonder if it is significantly better than Lightroom with Lumariver. In your comparison, did you use Lumariver to make Camera Profiles for Lightroom?

6. For people who want more info, the Lumariver user manual is very good.

Chun-ying Leung's picture

As far as I know, Phase One was making ICC for cameras with the whole dynamic range for cameras with numerous colour patches. I wonder if it is a perfect way to work with just 24 colour reference from the Checker with just normal light but not a High CRI and even lighting environment? I suggest handling the raw with its own gamut within the raw like "color editor" in Capture One or "HSL" slider in LR while not touching the ICC since gamut clipping and banding may happen

Deleted Account's picture

I have my doubts about this process. First of all, you need to buy extra software. But Let’s put that aside for now.
You need to create an icc profile, load that into C1, and then make some adjustments to exposure contrast and white balance to “kinda make it look right”? You might as well not bother and go straight for the “kinda make it look right” approach.
As for lightroom, why wasn’t the image calibrated using the xrite plugin in lightroom to show us the effect?
Also, comparing two differently calibrated images that rely on different camera calibration profiles (icc profiles) in software that can use only one profile at the time (applicable to all software), simply cannot give you a compare. The only way to do that is by having both software open and do a screen compare directly.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe C1 produces better results, I just don’t believe this process works.

Why not just create the profile with the xrite software and load that into C1?