Age old digital camera question: SRGB or Adobe RGB

Started Aug 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,955
Re: Age old digital camera question: SRGB or Adobe RGB

DigitalPhilosopher wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Some are adamant that you should edit in the color space of the output. Others just as firm that you should edit in a larger space and convert for output.

If you edit in the color space of the output, then what you see is what you get, provided the monitor is calibrated and the space remains the same throughout the process (that's the whole idea of a color space). If you edit in a space and then convert it into something else, the editing program essentially throws away information you are not aware of.

I don't think this is right. It really doesn't matter what you use for your working space.

When you say "provided ... the space remains the same throughout the process (that's the whole idea of a color space)" I don't know what you mean.  The whole point of colour management is that the colour space doesn't have to remain the same throughout the process.  Colour management ensures that the colour space is converted as and when necessary.

Consider Lightroom for example.  Images can be stored in any colour space (or as raw).  Images are converted to ProPhoto RGB with linear tone response curve (TRC) for editing, to ProPhoto RGB with sRGB's TRC for the histogram display, to Adobe RGB for previews, to the monitor's colour space for display, to the printer's colour space for printing, and to any colour space you specify for export.  All those conversions don't hurt Lightroom!

I don't see why someone should follow this path. It's like editing in 16-bit while you're aware you'll have to convert to an 8-bit jpeg afterwards. Some information will have to be thrown away, and at least I prefer to be in control of what's happening, rather than allowing the program to do that.

Now I really do disagree with this! Editing in 16 bit is more accurate. You get rounding errors on every calculation the editor makes, and those errors are substantially lower if you use 16 bits.

In many cases the extra errors of 8 bits are small, but why take the chance? You're much more in control if you do that conversion at the end. Even if you shoot jpeg, where the image has already been crunched down to 8 bits, processing in 16 bits is more accurate.

In any case, the Adobe RGB space offers more flexible greens. The whole trouble would not be worth it for portrait or urban photos anyway.

Provided you have a wide-gamut monitor (colour managed) and a printer capable of printing wider than sRGB greens then I do agree with that.  However, I don't explicitly use Adobe RGB - I use raw and process in ProPhoto RGB.

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