srgb vs adobe 1998

Started Aug 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,386
Re: sRGB vs Adobe RGB 1998

Olaf Ulrich wrote:

Godfrey wrote:

Adobe RGB applied to JPEGs nets a little more edit ability ...

No, it doesn't. Instead, the edit ability remains exactly the same. There are 8 bits per channel either way.

Doesn't matter. Adobe RGB (1998) has a larger gamut than sRGB, so you can make more edits to a JPEG captured in Adobe RGB without clipping than you can with sRGB. That's why you have a little bit more editability. It's not a huge difference, but it's still an advantage and an increased range.

You're not "applying Adobe RGB to JPEG" when you set this as an in-camera JPEG option. You're converting the raw data the camera captures to an RGB channel image with an Adobe RGB colorspace model, then using the JPEG compression algorithm to output the final image.

Beyond that, because sRGB has a smaller gamut than Adobe RGB which is also completely enclosed by the Adobe RGB gamut, you can losslessly convert an sRGB colorspace image to Adobe RGB colorspace. Converting an Adobe RGB colorspace to sRGB is never lossless because some downsampling interpolation is required, but done correctly the conversion losses can be minimal and it maximizes the rendering quality for most computer displays since sRGB colorspace was designed to model the imaging capabilities of the 8-bit computer display.

(Adobe RGB (1998) was designed to model the imaging capabilities of a CMYK web press, which has a larger gamut with a softer contrast curve than a computer display, thus the difference between the two colorspace models and the reason for their existence. Neither are optimal or capable of expressing the full range of color gamut achievable with a modern 12- to 16-bit image capture sensor: that requires a 16bit per component quantization space and ProPhoto RGB colorspace.)

I strongly recommend working with raw files (DNG format natively from the M9) in Lightroom and exporting finished work to the appropriately required format and colorspace. It's how you can get the best quality from the Leica M9, and indeed from any camera.

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