Age old digital camera question: SRGB or Adobe RGB

Started Aug 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,425

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.

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?

It depends on the rendering intent used. But you are correct, if you have colors outside of sRGB, when you convert a larger color space to sRGB, it's going to look different. I too edit in the color space I plan to use for the final output.

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 haven't seen converting from 16 to 8 bit have this same sort of change I see from going from a large color space to a small one. That said I don't see a problem with editing 8 bit images unless you are doing some pretty major color corrections.

All that said, I shoot and use sRGB OOC JPEGs 99% of the time. I try to get the in camera WB etc as good as I can. If for some reason I blow it and the file needs some major editing, I start from the RAW file but I still save it as sRGB (any color corrections are done) before importing into PS for the final editing.

Simple way to explain my workflow: small edits, I just work from the OOC JPEG captured as sRGB. If it need big changes to the color/WB/exposure/contrast etc., I start from the RAW to fix those issues, then import into PS for the final editing as the color space it will be output. If I have a really great image I want to print, I start with the RAW, do any color corrections and save as aRGB tiff, then import into PS for final editing, output as a Tiff and then print using Qimage.

It ends up being maybe 1% of my images ever require using RAW software, which saves a lot of time PPing my images. I sure don't feel like I am giving up any IQ not using an "Only RAW" workflow (heresy!). I've done it both ways and for my output, there just isn't much if any improvement in IQ but there is a lot more work. Last weekend I had an assignment to shoot an event and ended up with about 85 "keepers", of which 2 needed to be processed in RAW because of the huge dynamic range in the shot. I spent maybe an hour PP all of these for final delivery and the client loved them.

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