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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Alexander Petrenko's picture

So, calibrated colors look different in different software? Then it is not calibrated color...

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?

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Properly exposed red should be red (255/65535,0,0) in any software, on any calibrated screen. We are not talking about its beauty, efficiency or vibrancy, only correctness.

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.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

"Can any camera produce that?" - most probably. With a help of calibration and software.

In my opinion, ColorChecker - is precision tool, created not to please your eyes, but give closest to the truth representation of reality. If you want to be pleased - go with bold default colors of C1.

If on one photo you have blue sky and on another it is grey, there is some problem in tools you use.

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...

Alexander Petrenko's picture

That’s a fact, but it’s not how it should be.

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.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

WB doesn't seem the same as you have tint shift in C1 and no shift in LR.

C1 7500, -4.2
LR 7500, 0

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!..

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Would be glad to see some results of your use of colorchecker.

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.

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