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sRGB vs Adobe RGB, does it matter?

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15 comments

  • photo by FA
    I guess that also depends on your screen. Like I use iMac and it can't product 100% of Adobe RGB but can produce 100% sRGB. So I am using sRGB.
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  • Dave R
    FirstName wrote:
    I have always used Adobe RGB with my Canon 6D with Capture One Pro but I read an article from Ken Rockwell that asserts that sRGB is better. I'm positive that he has forgotten more than I know about color and shooting so I am going to experiment but I wonder if it really matters with COP. My colors look pretty darn good right now and I think that COP may be the reason. Does Phase One have a suggested color space?

    Are you shooting RAW or jpeg? If you are shooting RAW then what colour space you have set in the camera makes no difference to the result in Capture One.
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  • C-M-B
    The colour space you use depends on what you're using it for.
    Most displays are able to display sRGB well enough so that's what is used for displaying images online.

    AdobeRGB is often used for printing purposes but it's only reasonable if your screen is able to show it. So if your screen is able to cover 95% Adobe RGB you should definitely use AdobeRGB or an even wider color space such as Prophoto for editing images.

    Personally I edit my photos in ProPhoto and then convert them to whatever colorspace is needed. So for online use that's sRGB, for magazines mostly AdobeRGB (sometimes their own CMYK space) and for my archive it remains ProPhoto.
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  • FirstName
    Thank you for the replies. I shoot in RAW and I'm using an iMacPro for display which I believe has a wide gamut. I shoot in RAW to keep my options open when I bring the photos into COP, I hadn't considered that RAW probably doesn't lock you to a particular color gamut which is good for me.
    Photos that get used are eventually printed and that is the most demanding use but what Rockwell is saying is that sRGB is better than Adobe RGB.
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  • cdc
    If you shoot RAW to keep your options open then I would recommend to use Prophoto color space to do your editing in for the same reason, it is among the widest of color spaces and keeps your options open as well, so to speak. It is the default color space when you send a RAW file from C1 to photoshop.

    I suspect this Rockwell character claims sRGB is better than Adobe RGB because sRGB has been the most widely used and accepted color space for web use and printing, therefore if you use sRGB people on the other end will most likely see what you see, screen calibration differences aside.

    If color fidelity defines what "better" is then Adobe RGB is a step above sRGB, and Prophoto a step above Adobe RGB.
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  • FirstName
    I have switched my Process Recipe to prophoto. I was not aware of it before this conversation.
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  • cdc
    FirstName wrote:
    I have switched my Process Recipe to prophoto. I was not aware of it before this conversation.


    Be sure to set it to sRGB when processing for web use. Many browsers are color managed these days but sRGB is a safe bet.
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  • Peter.Brockhausen
    You haven't said, what your monitor is capable to display.
    And I assume that you use a calibrated and profiled monitor.

    It doesn't make sense to use a color space for editing, which your monitor is unable to display properly.

    When exporting images, use the color space which is best suited. And for web usage, srgb is -to my mind - still the best option for most people. For printing, it depends on you own equipment or your provider, which is the best option, AdobeRGB or CMYK or what ever.

    --peter
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  • FirstName
    Peter,
    My monitor is 27", 5120 × 2880, 60 Hertz refresh rate. It is 5K. I do not calibrate or profile it. The colors that I get on the web and in print are generally what I am expecting. My initial adjustments are always done in COP, it has some great tools but then I usually open them in Photoshop for final adjustments. I use the Color Sampler tool in Photoshop to take readings of my photos to make sure they conform to what I need as far as brightness and ink density for print. Photos begin and stay as RGB unless it will be printed. Conversion to CMYK for print is one of the final adjustments.
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  • photo by FA
    I use iMac 5K non pro version and calibrated my screen and the difference is night and day so I’d suggest you do the same. Also as far as I’m aware of, iMac screens are nearly 100% sRGB capable and pearly 100% Adobe RBH capable but not proPhoto capable so using proPhoto won’t give you a benefit.
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  • C-M-B
    There are no "ProPhoto-screens" as this is not a standard used to define monitors.

    I would encourage everyone who uses photography on an at least semi-professional manner to calibrate their display. It's a one-time investment to get a decent colori-meter (Spyder/xRite) but it's a very valuable tool - and even if your screen manufacturer doesn't tell you how much of sRGB or AdobeRGB it's able to deliver, your colorimeter will be able to.
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  • Pawel Szczupak
    FirstName wrote:
    Peter,
    My monitor is 27", 5120 × 2880, 60 Hertz refresh rate. It is 5K.

    It doesn't say if your monitor is capable of displaying AdobeRGB. Check in the documentation.
    Assuming it can, in CP1 you work in ProPhoto and only at the process stage you can select which profile should be embedded. Only at this stage you define which color space the picture should be viewed/printed in. Use sRGB for web as most users have sRGB monitors.


    Best regards,
    pawl_s
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  • Brian.Schmittgens
    cdc wrote:
    If you shoot RAW to keep your options open then I would recommend to use Prophoto color space to do your editing in for the same reason, it is among the widest of color spaces and keeps your options open as well, so to speak. It is the default color space when you send a RAW file from C1 to photoshop.

    I suspect this Rockwell character claims sRGB is better than Adobe RGB because sRGB has been the most widely used and accepted color space for web use and printing, therefore if you use sRGB people on the other end will most likely see what you see, screen calibration differences aside.

    If color fidelity defines what "better" is then Adobe RGB is a step above sRGB, and Prophoto a step above Adobe RGB.


    When using Prophoto, do you notice a drop-off in quality when you convert to sRGB for web? I work in Adobe RGB, and when I save as sRGB, I can notice a difference. If 95% of my work is going to the web, do you think there's much of a benefit to working in Prophoto?
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  • NNN636678804758222751
    If clients are using images mostly online (headshots) and only occasionally marketing material (ex: realtors) is RGB the best option?
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  • cdc
    NNN636678804758222751 wrote:
    If clients are using images mostly online (headshots) and only occasionally marketing material (ex: realtors) is RGB the best option?


    Delivering your files to clients in sRGB is the best option, unless they are doing further retouching or specifically request a different color space.
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