Age old digital camera question: SRGB or Adobe RGB

Started Aug 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,866
Re: Age old digital camera question: SRGB or Adobe RGB

DigitalPhilosopher wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

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.

That's not my understanding of color spaces . I do admit however our disagreement might be due to different methodologies. For instance, I really want to see the changes I'm doing as they happen - and this is the reason I don't edit on 16-bit if I plan to save as 8-bit. I really don't want to be surprised by any conversions.

I would use soft proofing for that. Otherwise you won't see the exact colours of the target colour space unless your monitor exactly matches that colour space, which is unlikely.

To simplify things, let's assume the Adobe RGB space can "hold" 100 liters of green variations, while the sRGB only 70. If you edit on Adobe RGB and then you have to save as sRGB, Photoshop (or whatever other program) will have to throw away 30 liters. True or not?

Yes, but IMHO better to do the calculations in the wider colour space, to avoid unintentional clipping before the final conversion to the narrower colour space.

The same with the 8-bit versus 16-bit. What's the point of editing something that will no longer look the same once you hit the 'save' button?

I don't think that's right.

Consider this analogy.  Suppose you are doing financial calculations, and at the end you are going to round off to the nearest $.  You still want to do calculations to the nearest cent - or even fraction of a cent.  If you do all calculations in $$s and ignore any fractions, you may get rounding errors in calculations that may mean the end result isn't even accurate to the nearest $.

Same thing with image processing.  You may want the end result accurate only to one part in 256 (8 bits) but you may not get even that accuracy unless you do intermediate calculations to a higher precision.

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