Using a Camera color profile (ICC) with PL


I have a question for the experts in color management :nerd_face:

I paid for a service to create an ICC color profile for my camera to use with DxO Photolab.
My question now is how do I best use it in my workflow ?
How is Photolab going to handle this profile with the presets ?

Usually when you open a picture PL will apply the Standard preset.
I did duplicate and edit this preset to add my new ICC color profile for my camera.
How does PL know it should first apply the ICC profile and only then make all the calculations for the Standard preset rendition ?
I hope you understand my point of view, the camera profile change values that will influence the rest of the process.
Does PL first read and apply this ICC camera profile ?

Having this profile really helps me having a great starting point to edit my pictures. Colors are much better, more natural.

My second question is: what is the difference between an ICC and a DCP color profile ?
Will I get some improvements using a DCP profile over an ICC profile for my camera colors ?

Hi Marc

“Improving” colour, contrast, brightness etc. is a difficult task before you define what your target is.

If your target is to have colours (etc.) that you like, then you’ll probably not need any special profiles. You’ll be able to get your colours (etc.) by shifting sliders alone.

If your target is to get things as close to what you see/saw in reality, things can get more complicated and I’m not sure if DPL is the right tool for this, even though DxO takes many efforts to correct lens and sensor issues. Correcting colour requires an editor to be able to read colour references, set colour spaces to work in and more - things that DPL can not do as of today.

Seeing wth our eyes is tricky too: Most of what we see is unsharp because we need to look around to bring things of interest into that area where our eye’s resolution is highest. Everything outside of that area is perceived with lower resolution. A similar thing happens when we look at high contrast nature (as opposed to the representation shown on a print or screen) because our eye’s “aperture” opens and closes as needed. There’s more but I want to return to more “technical” things.

Proposal to DxO for a new preset: Let’s call it “true”. This preset shall create a representation that is as close to the original as possible and will only be of use for reproduction of low contrast objects. The closest to this is done by setting colour representation to “neutral colour, realistic tonality (gamma 2.2)” and switching off automatic corrections like DxO Smart Lighting, DxO ClearView etc. If you like what you get with this brings us back to the beginning of this post…

Try this preset: A02 - Standard (1.8 KB)


Anders Torger (DCamProf/Lumariver Profile Designer) has some great write-ups on using custom colour profiles in various raw converters. Here’s a general description of how to create custom ICC/DCP profiles for DxO PhotoLab. Another great place to read on custom camera profiles is RawTherapee’s Rawpedia.

I’d say that the company which creates a camera ICC profile for you should tell you how to use it in your software – nobody else can guess whether that’s a general purpose profile (for daylight) or a reproduction profile, or if it’s completely linear (flat, no embedded gamma encoding) or maybe it’s intended to imitate the in-camera jpeg contrast, etc. etc.

The general difference between DCP and ICC camera profiles is that in theory the former is scene-referred, the latter is output-referred.


Thanks Marc for the original question and Sankos for the detailed explanation. Very useful.


Wow thank you for your detailed answers. I will read about and process a bit before coming back to you.
It looks like a much more complex and huge topic that I thought.

Oh I forgot to come back here to answer. I will do it today because I am dealing with camera profile again right now.

Totally right. Thank you again.
In fact the profile I have is to match better the colors from the scenary. When I shoot a nuance of blue, I will see the (nearly) same one on my (calibrated) monitor. I would say it is a general purpose to have a better rendition of the original colors of the shooted scene.
But it is not a 1:1 profile either because the person who make the profile has much more experience and then optimize it. I have to say, with the little I know, I am very happy with the result. For me it is a great starting point for the next edits.

In fact my main question was about PhotoLab’s workflow. If there was something to be aware and apply the profile in a certain step or time during the edition, but no, because all this is made automatically by PhotoLab’s internal workflow.
Now that I am more confident and read some discussion here these last years I understood and could answer my own question some time ago.

There is a piece of answer :point_right: here about PhotoLab colors space / workflow for exporting photos.
Another piece here about internal workflow :point_right: here.

And, sorry I can not find it right now, there is another post on the forum explaining PhotoLab’s internal workflow too. If I find it I will put a link here too.