Wednesday Gearday: How to Apply Sony Creative Styles in Lightroom

Published: September 10, 2014

Q: I really like Creative Styles on my Sony A7 but in Lightroom they only show up on my Jpeg – not my RAWs. Is there any to apply Creative Styles to my RAWs in Lightroom? — Ailene C.

A: Actually it’s easier than you think. Camera profiles are one of the often-overlooked hidden features in the Lightroom Develop module and Adobe Camera Raw. By default it’s set to Adobe Standard – but the pulldown menu of the current version of Lightroom allows you to apply many of the Sony Creative Styles to RAW images shot with Sony cameras.

The default Lightroom Camera Profile is Adobe Standard:

Lightroom Adobe Standard Color Profile
Adobe Standard Profile

But you can easily change the Camera Profile to match many of the Sony Creative Styles:

Camera Clear Profile
Camera Deep Profile
Camera Landscape Profile
Camera Light Profile
Camera Neutral Profile
Camera Portrait Profile
Camera Standard Profile
Camera Vivid Profile

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24 thoughts on “Wednesday Gearday: How to Apply Sony Creative Styles in Lightroom”

  1. Thank you Brian, never throughout this would be that easy. I always wondered why LR uses its own standard conversion, instead of reading the file’s metadata. Is there a way to default to the creative style used in camera?

    1. Every RAW conversion software has it own way of doing things. Sony camera adjustments are used in Sony Image Data Converter but they do not match with adjustment used in Lightroom/Camera Raw, Capture One, DxO or other software. These camera profiles are emulations of the adjustments contained in Creative Styles. If there’s one style that you fine you always use, you could set Lightroom to apply it upon import but there is no way that I know of to auto select that.

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  3. Personally I find that LR color interpretation is way too yellowish. What is curious is that things have changed when I updated from version 5.2 to version 5.4 : before the last update I found the Adobe standard style the most yellowish, but I could always choose one of the Sony styles to get nicer colors. Since 5.4 all the styles (save camera neutral) are way too yellowish particularly the light and portrait styles. I thought that my color calibrator could be the culprit, but then why is the Adobe standard style now less yellowish than the Sony style ?

  4. Can I ask what is the point or the benefit of using the creative styles? I use a sonyA77 and had mentioned this function to a friend and he asked what is the point. Surely you can import with a preset that would give the same effect to the image. Is it better to do it in camera with a creative style or is it just the same as shooting plain raw and adding a preset in Lightroom?

    1. Absolutely Walter, you can always apply presets in Lightroom – but some Sony users really like Creative Styles for in camera Jpeg and Sony’s Image Data Converter is the only Raw Convertion software that reads Creative Styles applied to RAWs.

      The Creative Style that I find most useful “in-camera” is B&W – it’s great to be able to visualize the scene in black and white in real time. Since Creative Styles are non-destructive when shooting Raw, I’ll sometimes use that preset when shooting tennis as the ball tend to really “pop” in B&W. Ironically there is no B&W camera profile – but Lightroom has much better ones.

      1. Tarwin Stroh-Spijer

        My problem too … why not include the B&W one …. dammit now I’ll have to make it myself 🙁 I’m too lazy ..

  5. Thank you for the prompt reply Brian. I have just come onto my laptop to try the different creative styles but they are not showing. Is it a file I should download? I use the A77 mark 1.
    I use lightroom 5 with the latest updates.
    Thank you.

    1. Hello again Walter. I don’t see the A77 on the list of supported cameras. While the A77 is hardly what I’d call an “old” model – since the A77II was only released this year. Adobe began writing these with the new releases this year. If it’s a feature you’d find useful, you should contact Adobe Support for Lightroom and that as a Feature Request. It could be added if enough people make the request.

  6. Hey Brian,

    Thank you for the information, I kind of found what I was looking for.
    I really like the specific contrast and feeling of my A6000 creative style: Black and White (set to 0/0 no changes to it), and I was trying to easily achieve the same look on Lightroom 5.

    I had a look at the Camera Calibration: Profiles you mention, and I didn’t find one that is labeled the same, and while turning the images black and white and going through, there’s 2 that are pretty close, but are not the same as the default black and white one, (I know this because I shot the photos in RAW & Jpeg, so I can put them side by side and double check.

    Still, for anyone out there looking for the same, if you turn the photo Black and White on LR, and then apply the Camera Calibration: Profile – Camera Vivid, or – Camera Landscape, you should be able to achieve a pretty close look and contrast as the default one applied by the camera to JPEGs through the before mentioned.


    1. Yes, Black and White is one of the Sony Camera Profiles Lightroom does not include. I’m fairly certain that’s because Adobe feels their profiles are better – and I’d have to agree. There is an entire list of Lightroom Black & White presets already loaded into the Presets Panel. You can adjust any of them to your taste and Save them with the changes as a User Preset.

  7. So, I am in a quandary. I use LR6 (and 5 before it, not CC), and I always get the Creative Styles in my RAW files. I do import through the Sony’s PlayMemories application, though. Do you have any idea how I got these presets to automatically load?

      1. It is the computter application, not the phone app. My RAWs get imported with LR adjustments already made to mimic the Creative Style. I cannot explain how it happens, as I have no idea.

          1. It’s the Play Memories Home software. It handles all of my importing for my a7 and a7II. And I get the Creative Styles already modified in Lightroom. I have a screenshot of it. It has been a discussion over at FredMiranda. I cannot figure out how I got Sony files to import into LR with the creative style already adjusted in LR.

  8. Brian, I have my a7rii jpeg settings set to ‘0’ or neutral; I shoot in RAW mode. Recently, when photographing the blue hour with friends of mine, their lcds on Canon 5DMKiii and an Olympus (the top-line model) looked a whole lot better than mine did on my LCD. The Canon user had tweaked his jpeg settings, so I get why his looked richer, but the olympus user had not done anything to his jpeg settings and his looked a lot more like the scene. Mine looked a less blue and flat. When imported into LRoom, the first preview looked great – but then when LR built it’s own from the raw metadata, it went flat and dull again. I tried all the presets in the profile list but none really brought it back to what that first view was on import. very puzzled why they are showing up so flat. Daylight pics seem to be OK, although there’s still that shift from first jpeg to LR preview. I had trouble getting the rich blue of twilight without a lot of tweaking. I tried to choose a preset in the Profiles, but none really gave me what I saw in the field. Is there something else I’m not aware of that would make my twilight images look so flat and unsaturated on the LCD? Any light you can shed here would be most appreciated. I hadn’t had this issue with my first a7Rii, but that one went swimming in an alpine lake, and alas, was totalled and replaced with current one. there seems to be a noticeable difference that has me puzzled. DRO is off, by the way.

    1. Quite simply, some of the other camera manufacturers “cook” their RAWs more than Sony does.

      I prefer “uncooked” so I can season to my own taste. It’s always easier to add contrast and clip shadow detail than it is to put it that detail back.

      I use ‘Standard’ as my profile (‘Neutral’ is designed to be flatter), but if you prefer the Canon/Fuji look you may want to try ‘Vibrant’.

      You can also adjust Contrast & Satuation for each Creative Style in camera by pressing the right side of the control wheel while the Creative Style is selected, but this will only affect JPEG. Adobe applies their own profile to Sony Raw files.

      1. Thanks, Brian – I typically don’t want mine to be ‘cooked’ either, but noticed that the Sony files were in fact a lot flatter, so I’m retooling my workflow to handle that.

        By “Standard’ do you mean Adobe Standard or Camera Standard? Many thanks.

  9. I am using Light CC Cloud based, and i don’t see the profiles, Adobe standard or Camera Portrait etc. I see only Artistic, Modern Vintage and BnW now. If so, do i need to import them separately ?

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