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1. A More Sensible InterfaceLightroom has a new Profile browser. You can find it in Develop mode under the Basics panel. With presets, you have to hover over each one to preview the effect. Profiles do it better. They show a thumbnail preview, so you know how it looks without hovering. If you want to hover, you still can.
2. Make Your Profiles Lighter or StrongerIt's finally here! You can make your profiles lighter or stronger with the "Amount" slider.
3. Separate Color Grading From Your RetouchingPresets can, and often overwrite your develop settings. Imagine retouching a whole catalog only to redo it after using a poorly-made preset. Presets were a big headache for photographers. Profiles don't touch your settings. But it's a double-edged sword because it also means you can't fine-tune the profiles. I say it's worth it for the better workflow.
4. Lightroom Profiles Are FasterLightroom presets are inefficient. Every setting was another calculation for your CPU to process. Some are GPU accelerated, but not all. Lightroom profiles remap color. It's fast even on old computers. I tried it on my old phone (Lightroom CC for Android), and it was fast. This is important as more people are editing on their phones. Right now there's not a lot of good Lightroom profiles. Most developers are still sticking with presets. But keep an eye out!
5. Lightroom Profiles Give You Better 3D Color GradingGet ready to see better color grading from photographers. Photographers are not limited by Lightroom anymore. They can use profiles created in other software. I've created many profiles using Photoshop, DaVinci Resolve, and my custom scripts. This lets me achieve effects such as skin tone protection, vibrancy masking, and more. I'm happy about this change. The image below shows a comparison between orange and teal with Lightroom settings and VOXCOLOR orange and teal. The presets have a flat look.
Bonus: LUTs vs. Lightroom ProfilesIn 2018, we're starting to see LUT-compatibility in other software. LUTs stand for lookup tables, or in simple terms, they're color grading files. Lightroom profiles work like presets, but let you combine it with LUTs. How do Lightroom profiles stack up with LUTs? Lightroom Profile Pros:
- It works with Lightroom (duh)
- It lets you combine LUTs with Lightroom adjustments (ex. Clarity, Dehaze, Sharpening, etc.)
- LUTs are universal. Profiles only work in Lightroom.
- Profiles take more steps to create.
- Developers can still rely on develop settings instead of LUTs. This means slower performance.
- The marketplace has more LUTs than profiles (Will this change in 2019?)