By popular demand: Nikon Z7 and D850 JPEG picture controls and ACR profiles

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I’m giving in to the large number of people asking me for Z7 and D850 Adobe Camera Raw profiles that are compatible with Workflow III. Now available is a supplementary pack that includes these profiles, as well as a bonus: what are arguably the best SOOC JPEG profiles available at the moment for the Z7 and D850. I’ve been looking at ways to make my own workflow more efficient for the majority of cases where I don’t need perfect files, so I can spend more time shooting (or doing other things) rather than being stuck behind a computer. Inspired by the results from the PEN F, I spent some time using Nikon’s byzantine picture control management software to make a set of curves that plays nice under the majority of situations. The monochrome picture controls were calibrated specifically for velvety rich shadows and smooth highlight rolloff; I think of it as ‘Acros Plus’ with a light orange filter; for some odd reason getting monochrome right was much more difficult than color – I put it down to the sensitivity of Nikon’s curve implementation.

Included in this pack are:

  1. Nikon Z7 ACR flat color profile, for use with Workflow III and PS
  2. Nikon Z7 ACR flat monochrome profile, for use with Workflow III and PS
  3. Nikon D850 ACR flat color profile, for use with Workflow III and PS
  4. Nikon Z7 monochrome picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  5. Nikon Z7 high contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  6. Nikon Z7 low contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  7. Nikon D850 monochrome picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  8. Nikon D850 high contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)
  9. Nikon D850 low contrast color picture control (SOOC JPEG)

The profile/picture control pack is available to purchase here for $60.

All sample images in this post were shot with the Z7 and one of the three picture controls; PS was only used for batch resizing. More samples and notes after the jump. Expect an email from me after purchasing, within half a day at worst in case I’m not at the computer.

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Important notes:

  • How much is your time worth? If you spend several hours less in post processing, it’s paid for itself…
  • Z6 users: the Z7 profiles and picture controls apply for you, too – they are not 100% optimised for the Z6 (I don’t have one to do the long term testing/tuning)  but they have been evaluated by my colleague and he reports the results look quite close to what you’d get from the Z7, barring inherent sensor differences.
  • ACR profiles:
    • The Z7 ACR profiles include vignette compensation for the 24-70 S that should be zeroed out if you are using another lens.
    • ACR profiles go here: (Mac) /Users/[yourname]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw; (Windows 7 and above) C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles; (earlier Windows) C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles
      you might need to load them manually the first time from last tab in the upper right of your ACR panel to get them to show; after this, the ‘three line =‘ menu in the upper right corner of the same tab allows you to set them as camera raw defaults, to be automatically pre-applied when you open ACR.
  • Picture controls, and usage notes:
    • The D850 and Z7 picture controls are as close as I can make them to being cross-consistent: if you shoot with both cameras, you can match picture controls and get interchangeable results. The cameras however require different settings to get the same output, and the picture controls are not interchangeable.
    • The NIKON folder for picture controls need to be copied to the root directory of the memory card, then use SHOOTING MENU > MANAGE PICTURE CONTROLS to load them from your memory card.
    • All picture controls are designed to work with ACTIVE D LIGHTING set to LOW; VIGNETTE CONTROL on NORMAL, and HIGH ISO NOISE REDUCTION on LOW or OFF. These settings are not embedded in the picture controls.
    • You need to select the picture controls to apply them
    • White balance is critical as you can’t change it afterwards
    • When using picture controls for SOOC JPEG, use the histogram to expose for your final intent; do NOT ETTR. I have compensated for this with the curve to some degree to still yield an decent RAW file; if you ETTR with the picture controls, your JPEG will be too bright. -MT

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  1. Craig Carlson says:

    Ming, I’m considering buying Nikon’s Z6…Do you think these would work similarly with the Z6 as they do with the Z7? Thanks, Craig

    • I’m told they also work satisfactorily (I have a couple of Z6 owners using the profiles too, but have not tested or verified it extensively myself).

  2. Ming Hello!
    Two questions:
    1. Will there be profiles for Nikon D850 also work in RAW?
    2. Do I understand correctly that low contrast color picture control is particularly well suited for portraits, including RAW?

    Thanks a lot!

    • 1. Picture controls work for camera JPEGs and the preview image. The RAW file has the JPEG settings tagged (and will be applied) if opened in Nikon software; but this produces an identical result to the camera JPEG. For ACR, there is a neutral profile included in the pack – this provides a good starting point for further editing in PS.

      2. Please see the first comment re. RAW vs JPEG for camera profiles. But yes, it’ll work just fine for portraits (actually they all will, depending on your lighting and creative intent etc.)

  3. Ming, Sorry if this sounds a little daft but will the ACR profiles work with Lightroom Classic CC?

    • Not daft at all. No, they won’t (not designed for it – there are some PS specific adjustments).

      • Ming, Giles, I am quite surprised by Ming’s answer to Giles. I had the same question as Giles’s and tried the profiles on both ACR and LR Classic and I find that the profiles give exactly the same results in both SW. What I have done to check it is the following:
        I have edited several pictures with Ming’s profiles in both SW:
        – I have checked all settings in both SW and they are exactly the same (can’t find any setting in ACR which is not applied in LR Classic)
        – I could not see any visible difference in tonalities or hues with pictures opened in the two SW
        – to make sure, I exported a JPEG (highest quality) with both SW and opened them with Preview (on a MAC) and checked with 2 tools. Firstly I used MAC Digital Color Meter to check different parts of the image and found very exactly the same values (measured as RGB or Lab). Secondly, I used the Preview histogram on both JPEGs and found that they are exactly the same.
        Maybe I am wrong here, but my feeling is that your ACR profiles give exactly the same result with ACR and LR Classic. This makes sense, I believe, as both applications are using exactly the the RAW processing and all settings are the same (to my knowledge).
        Ming, could you eventually let us know which settings you believe you made with ACR which is not captured by LR?
        (As a side note, for using Ming’s profiles in LR Classic, I just used the .xmp files and not any conversion or translation to the .lrtemplate format; my understanding is that Adobe is now abandoning this old LR format and using .xmp for both LR and ACR, which helps a lot).

        A final note, Ming, your profiles are really great, thank you!

        • Thanks Jerome. I should have clarified this a bit: LR only allows for one curve. The profiles get you to a flat/neutral starting point, which then requires a second curve to finish to final output. It doesn’t look the same if only one curve is applied; the shoulder and toe for shadow/highlight rolloff respectively don’t quite look the same. But I agree that the starting point is definitely the same after conversion. I suppose this could be gotten around by exporting a finished file from LR then running another set of adjustments, but that seems a bit of a faff compared to just using PS all the way to begin with…:P

  4. Ming I just purchased the profile but I do not see where I can download them? This for Nikon z7 and D850

    • Sorry for the delay, they’re sent manually via email. Was away from the computer most of today for family stuff, have just sent them. Please also note your email server was rejecting my messages so I’m not sure it went through…

  5. Can you use any of these for D750?

  6. Sean Hardie says:

    I’m a happy purchaser, excellent (and transparent) results with the usual tweaking. Thanks Ming! You’ve saved me more than a few hours trying to make my own (and probably inferior) presets.

  7. Your black and white is incredibly aesthetically pleasing and convincing for a film camera fan.

  8. Truth in advertising requires a disclaimer: “Skill not included.”

  9. Wonderful! I just bought them, but don’t see where I can download them to use them. Where is that please?

    • Sorry, should have stated it’s a manual email (which I just sent you) 🙂

      • For some reason when (Windows 7 PC) I go the USER/(Your Name)/Library…. there is no LIBRARY. Any ideas how I can install them? Whatever you posted the other day and removed work just fine. I got those, but am having trouble here.

        • Sorry – Mac instructions.

          For windows: C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles or C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles

          • For windows: C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles/Settings

            And in Settings, I pasted in the new profiles and they DID NOT appear when I looked at them in Camera Wall. What I had to do was REMOVE all the profiles and THEN install the new ones (and whatever old ones I had) and then it worked. FYI.

  10. That’s very seriously great contribution to our community . Very benevolent of you Ming .
    It’s these selfless services that will give you the spiritual nourishment to evolve into a great human everyday .
    Thanks for this New Year Gift ..
    All the best for everything , Ming

  11. Awesome Ming! Do your Z7 profiles apply to the Z6 as well? Thanks.

    • Picture controls: They’ll load (you can’t load the D850 profiles and vice versa though) but I’m not sure the tonal response is quite the same – haven’t done extended testing on this yet.
      ACR: yes, you should be good here.

      • Does “yet” means you are considering Z6 specific profiles? That would be awesome! 🙂

        • Not at the moment – it really does take hundreds to thousands of frames shot under a wide variety of conditions to tune a profile; I don’t have a specific need for the Z6, so I don’t even have one to shoot with (makes no sense to buy one). Sorry!


  1. […] and meetings; post processed with Monochrome Masterclass workflow and the ACR profiles from the Nikon Z7 profile pack. I wish there was an Amazon or B&H referral link for the car, but sadly not! Thank you to BMW […]

  2. […] Images shot with a Nikon Z7 and 24-70, and post processed with The Monochrome Masterclass workflow. There are also one or two camera JPEGs in there, and I now have a very similar SOOC picture control pack available here. […]

  3. […] My ACR profiles and custom JPEG Picture Controls for this camera (and the D850) are available here. […]

  4. […] My ACR profiles and custom JPEG Picture Controls for this camera (and the D850) are available here. […]

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