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View Full Version : Colour "Color" Space Setting Help Required Please



Roosta
02-02-2011, 10:22am
Can any boby help with a truth or myth. When you change the colour space in the camera from SRGB to ADOBE RGB, does that allow more colour saturation to be used/absorbed? I was made/or have understood it right/wrong that when set in Adobe RGB, the camera senor is able to use a greater colour area to apply to the saving image. From my Canon manual "http://media.the-digital-picture.com/Owners-Manuals/Canon-EOS-50D-Manual.pdf"

Could somebody put it into simple english/laymans terms. Why have the two settings in the camera then? I think I understand the principle to a colour computor monitor, Amount of different colour in a specific colour space, as in 2000 reds rather than 200 in SRGB? Is this right and does that reflect dirrectly to the way the sensor interupts the image and saves it ???

:confused013

junqbox
02-02-2011, 10:43am
The different colour arrays (sRGB, AdobeRGB & ProPhoto) represent how many different colours can be achieved in each setting. ProPhoto has the broadest range, particularly in the yellow area, but it is unlikely you will be able to find someone who print the images out in that array, hence you colours will be 'clipped' and end up looking flat. AdobeRGB is between the two and some pro-labs can handle this array and print your images without any 'clipping' thus giving you what you see on screen. sRGB is the 'smallest' array and is likely to give you no troubles with having your images printed, as it is the most commonly used.
If you are only ever going to use your images on screen, there is less impact of what you see on your monitor and what others will see, although ProPhoto can still be a risk if you're intending to use it for global viewing, eg- commercial websites, etc.

This link will help you get a better understanding and has illustrations of where the differences are-
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/prophoto-rgb.shtml

Patagonia
02-02-2011, 10:50am
Thanks for the explanation but it gives me another doubt, If you set the camera in Adobe RGB, do all pp in that format and convert it in software (LR, PS, other) to sRGB only before sending to print, would it give better result than working from sRGB from the start?

regards

junqbox
02-02-2011, 10:59am
Ultimately, if all of your images are only ever going to be 'displayed' (printed or otherwise) in a particular array, then that would be the main one to work in. I tend to shoot AdobeRGB, because there may be some clipping of the array after conversion to sRGB for printing, sometimes it's not enough to be a problem. As there are also occassions when I might have it printed in AdobeRGB, and there's no point in short changing myself.
It would be a similar scenario to to only taking all of your images as lo-res JPEGs, which will restrict your ability to PP or print in a broader range of sizes.

Roosta
02-02-2011, 11:03am
I would like to thank Richard Hill for putting me onto Arthur Kings links which explained it perfectly. I just wish I new how to attach Arthur's links? I'll try this

http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...read.php?75348

http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...read.php?71700

http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...read.php?43124

Big Pix
02-02-2011, 11:06am
Thanks for the explanation but it gives me another doubt, If you set the camera in Adobe RGB, do all pp in that format and convert it in software (LR, PS, other) to sRGB only before sending to print, would it give better result than working from sRGB from the start?

regards

........ do all your shooting and PP in Adobe 1998....... do not convert to sRGB for printing as most printer driver's will sort that out........

Richard Hall
02-02-2011, 3:33pm
Working in and shooting in a colour space are two different things altogether. RAW files have no colour space assigned to them as such. When you import them into your post-processing software is when you start working with an image in a designated colour space. So if you're shooting in RAW and set a working colour space in your camera it makes absolutely no difference to the RAW files. Setting a colour space in camera only affects images shot in JPG.

I still can't understand why you'd work in a colour space such as AdobeRGB (or ProRGB) if your monitor isn't capable of displaying the gamut of that particular colour space!

Roosta
02-02-2011, 4:01pm
Working in and shooting in a colour space are two different things altogether. RAW files have no colour space assigned to them as such. When you import them into your post-processing software is when you start working with an image in a designated colour space. So if you're shooting in RAW and set a working colour space in your camera it makes absolutely no difference to the RAW files. Setting a colour space in camera only affects images shot in JPG.

I still can't understand why you'd work in a colour space such as AdobeRGB (or ProRGB) if your monitor isn't capable of displaying the gamut of that particular colour space!

Hay Richard, So then if you have the camera settings at Max File size for Raw + what ever in Jpeg/Jpg say Medium and the colour space on the camera set to ARGB, does that affect the jpg/jpeg and the Jpg/jpeg embeded in the RAW file as Arthur was mentioning (I did't release the RAW had an enbeded image) and then if your monitor is ARGB capable, that would be the best settings, if not it make no sense to use ARGB and to stick with SRGB on a standard commercial laptop or home monitor.??? Added to that if i use ARGB and use CS5 PS and save it in ARGB, then I can print in the larger gamit colour scale? Is that right? Think I'm confusing myself.

So for me, if my laptop which i'll presume dosen't have ADOBERGB capable res/colour it's pointless to set camera to Argb. Late model IE7 BLah Blah.

JM Tran
02-02-2011, 4:04pm
dont forget to use ARGB or anything effectively one has to calibrate their monitors effectively first!

Roosta
02-02-2011, 5:04pm
dont forget to use ARGB or anything effectively one has to calibrate their monitors effectively first!

That could lead me to ask another question then. If I was to ask, Are those "Spider" monitor calibraters worth it. Once you've set the monitor with then, what do you use it for? Allowing your monitor is capable of seeing/displaying full gamit Argb.

I understand JM, that if my monitor can't use the gamit of ARGB it won't display the full colour array to.

Richard Hall
02-02-2011, 5:11pm
Hay Richard, So then if you have the camera settings at Max File size for Raw + what ever in Jpeg/Jpg say Medium and the colour space on the camera set to ARGB, does that affect the jpg/jpeg and the Jpg/jpeg embeded in the RAW file as Arthur was mentioning (I did't release the RAW had an enbeded image) and then if your monitor is ARGB capable, that would be the best settings, if not it make no sense to use ARGB and to stick with SRGB on a standard commercial laptop or home monitor.??? Added to that if i use ARGB and use CS5 PS and save it in ARGB, then I can print in the larger gamit colour scale? Is that right? Think I'm confusing myself.

So for me, if my laptop which i'll presume dosen't have ADOBERGB capable res/colour it's pointless to set camera to Argb. Late model IE7 BLah Blah.

That's correct! The colour space setting in-camera only affects the embedded JPG (what you see on the camera's LCD and often as thumbnails in applications) in the RAW file and the separate JPG if you're also shooting in JPG+RAW.

As to what's best to work in, I guess that's up to the individual and your needs. You'd have to keep in mind what output devices (monitors/printers) and their associated colour space requirements/capabilities are and work those requirements into your workflow.

Neither my monitor nor printer can output the full AdobeRGB colour space, so I work entirely in the sRGB colour space, this makes most sense to me as most of my images are output for web display anyway.

kiwi
02-02-2011, 5:44pm
yes, because it will adjust the colour temperature, brightness and contrast

everytime ive run a spyder calibration over a monitor, even a laptop, im amazed at the difference it makes

Roosta
02-02-2011, 6:16pm
Thanks again Richard, I actualy read something quite different in a "quality DSLR mag" that has left me thinking not to believe everything I read thats put out be so called experts. So thanks for the clarification.

PhoTomD
02-02-2011, 6:17pm
Hey Roosta :) I have spyder and if we meet sometime I can calibrate your monitor....for a bundy and coke can that is or a nice cold beer LOL :) Here I urge you to buy a decent monitor at least 21'', calibrate it and use in post production.
I've learned the colour space the hard way unfortunately. but....simply use sRGB if your images will be shown only on web sites. None of the current LCD monitors (if I'm correct) can show adobeRGB as its gamut is very limited by the emitted spectrum of the backlight. So.
sRGB is absolutely fine for web
Use adobeRBG if you are about to print you photos.
use ProPhoto if you are about to have some high quality printing. Never printed anything in high q so don't know details.

My cam is capturing adobeRGB always. Then a backup copy of the RAW file is made and I usually work on a copy with Spyder calibrated colour space unless I want to print the result.

Not sure if that helps but I hope it does ;)

Roosta
02-02-2011, 6:19pm
yes, because it will adjust the colour temperature, brightness and contrast

everytime ive run a spyder calibration over a monitor, even a laptop, im amazed at the difference it makes

Thanks mate, have heard different things, Have you used it on a laptop? And did you find the same results as with the monitor?

At this stage, the wife and I only have laptops, will be getting a "Decent" PC soon, just not sure on monitor, Alot of talk on the Dell U2410.

Roosta
02-02-2011, 6:25pm
Thanks Tom, B & C not a problem, may even join you in one whilst the spyder does it's thing. Might have some time free on Tuesday 15th, will be away in Denmark (South West) weekend of the 11-13. Taking a Canon 300mm F4 L and a Canon 10-22mm with me, should hopefully get some good shots.

PhoTomD
02-02-2011, 7:17pm
Then B&C it is :) Text me if you want to meet somewhere and have fun in Denmark! BTW not same result on big LCD's and small laptops. If you haven't done any calibration on your laptop before you will take some decent time to get used to its colours after calibration.

and by a MAC lol! not a PC:lol::lol:

kiwi
02-02-2011, 7:20pm
It does work on a laptop within limitations of the laptop.

Roosta
02-02-2011, 7:21pm
Yeah, was thinking of getting a Mac for home. Not sure tho yet. Shall do. Cheers.

Roosta
02-02-2011, 7:22pm
It does work on a laptop within limitations of the laptop.

Cheers Kiwi.

arthurking83
02-02-2011, 8:59pm
I wanna spend my 2 bobs worth here too! :p

Best colourspace to shoot in camera is the one you work with the most.
Shooting raw and setting coloursapce is ultimately futile, unless your software is set to use the colour space set in camera(that's how I set up my software).
I shoot sRGB, because the vast majority of my images go to the interweb, and sRGB is the default colourspace for that purpose.
Yes!!.. aRGB is better, but then you have to convert, reconvert and all manner of similar PITA process steps.
This system is dependent on a few other aspects of your software too tho.
First of all, Adobe software doesn't directly handle and save your raw images, unless you convert them to something like DNG(or maybe PSD or whatever).
I don't use Adobe software, and my Nikon specific software handles, edits and saves the original raw file.
So, if I use Adobe, I should in effect set the working colour space to the highest possible as I edit, as I'm most likely going to work on the raw file(indirectly) and then most likely save in some bitmap file type, where colourspace is finally determined on the edited file.
So doing that, it's definitely best recommended to use the highest quality colour space, and then convert downwards if needed.
With Nikon software on Nikon raw files(NEF), after editing the file, it stays in the NEF format(hence always in raw) and the colour space is of no consequence at all. I can convert to <whatever> in a whim or for a given purpose, and that also means upwards in quality, say from sRGB to ProPhoto, without any loss of quality or colour. The file is always in the raw format, until conversion to a bitmap format(jpg/tiff/etc).

So, in camera colour space setting is only really there for use when shooting in raster/bitmap file types such as tiff or jpg.
Many photographers shoot in that manner, so it makes sense to have that feature available.
If the camera was only capable of shooting in the raw format, then having a colour space setting is a waste of firmware space. The raw converter on the computer handles that data set, and can make any changes at the operator sees fit(to the raw file).

There is one caveat on colour space and raw files, and that's the thumbnail.
Setting the colour space in camera, also determines that setting for the embedded thumbnail for the raw file. Once set, it's set, and is limited to the conversion processes that affects all bitmap images.
What that means: if you shoot in sRGB and then convert the raw file to aRGB or ProPhotoRGB, you will see some strangeness in the embedded jpg file with respect to colour.
Once again, I did this(for testing purposes only of course! :D), and the anomalies are much more obvious on the sRGB->ProPhoto raw files, compared to the sRGB-> aRGB raw files.
AND this only applies to the thumbnail image, when viewing the raw file via the embedded thumbnail in your image viewer.
That I know of, Lightroom doesn't display the raw file in a preview mode using the embedded preview image, but some image software do.
Programs like FSViewer, IDImager, and ViewNX do, and when I change the raw file from sRGB to anything higher in quality, I can see that the preview image has been affected. Note this is only the thumbnail image in the raw file that is affected.
This is convoluted to explain, but I'll try.
In ViewNX2, on a raw file I changed from sRGB to ProPhoto, I can see that the thumbnail image in the thumbnail strip is definitely pale/grey/lacking colour and so forth, but when I click the thumbnail image, the display of the raw file is correct(and hence different to the thumbnail). So the thumbnail has been affected by the extrapolation from sRGB to ProPhoto(but the raw file is good).
The same image in FSViewer, I see the same paleness to the thumbnail image, and I click on the thumbnail and the display of the 'raw' file is the same pale dull flat greyness, and you'd be tempted to delete it. This is because I have FSViewer set to display the raw file via the embedded jpg image, and not the raw file directly (Why??.. speed!!! :th3:)
I have the same set up for IDImager(which is my catalog software). This way the software doesn't have to render each raw file as you navigate around the folder, makes for very fast navigation when there are lots of raw images.
It's easy and trivial to reset the raw file back to sRGB if this is an issue, or to set the software to view raw files directly, and not via the embedded preview image.
Just something to note.

So, ultimately the colour space is only important when you convert the raw file to a bitmap image.. and you'll probably have your software configured to do this seamlessly for you as you work, edit and then save anyhow.
So if you upload a lot to the web, and if you edit the raw files directly, then forget the colour space in camera.
In 200K images I've only just taken the plunge and printed an image at a high quality printing facility(btw, Prism Digital Imaging just down the road from me), and this is the only file that I've ever converted to aRGB(from sRGB), as they asked for aRGB TIFF file for best quality.
No problems in doing so, other than.. the expected 'shift in colour' you may sometimes get in the green channel. The aRGB colour space is basically only richer in green colour data, so if there is vivid greens in your image, you may see a shift in conversion from sRGB to wider gamut colour spaces. In fact you should see more wild shifting if converting to ProPhoto RGB as the gamut is so much wider than sRGB.

(NOTE, where I said I converted a raw file from sRGB->ProPhoto, I was referring to the Kodak ProPhoto colour space which is set at Gamma 1.8.... hence the flat lifeless grey dull result. This was only for testing, to see what it was all about.)

Have never tried the Windows specific ProPhoto colour space, and for the reasons Richard(Hall) gave!! Why would you risk over editing an image and not being able to see, in a WYSIWYG manner, the out of gamut colour losses. On an sRGB monitor, if you push your editing steps to extremes and your working in the higher colour space, your monitor may not be able to display the true colour of the file, ie. as the software 'understands it'.

If you want the highest colour space gamut achievable in your images, then forget about colour spaces, and concentrate on shooting, editing and saving your raw images, in a raw format.

kiwi
02-02-2011, 9:02pm
Shoot jpeg

Roosta
03-02-2011, 9:02am
Shoot jpeg

I think I will set to Lrg RAW and Med/Lrg Jpeg, Mental Note, Must get bigger/faster card.

Roosta
03-02-2011, 9:05am
I wanna spend my 2 bobs worth here too! :p

Best colourspace to shoot in camera is the one you work with the most.
Shooting raw and setting coloursapce is ultimately futile, unless your software is set to use the colour space set in camera(that's how I set up my software).
I shoot sRGB, because the vast majority of my images go to the interweb, and sRGB is the default colourspace for that purpose.
Yes!!.. aRGB is better, but then you have to convert, reconvert and all manner of similar PITA process steps.
This system is dependent on a few other aspects of your software too tho.
First of all, Adobe software doesn't directly handle and save your raw images, unless you convert them to something like DNG(or maybe PSD or whatever).
I don't use Adobe software, and my Nikon specific software handles, edits and saves the original raw file.
So, if I use Adobe, I should in effect set the working colour space to the highest possible as I edit, as I'm most likely going to work on the raw file(indirectly) and then most likely save in some bitmap file type, where colourspace is finally determined on the edited file.
So doing that, it's definitely best recommended to use the highest quality colour space, and then convert downwards if needed.
With Nikon software on Nikon raw files(NEF), after editing the file, it stays in the NEF format(hence always in raw) and the colour space is of no consequence at all. I can convert to <whatever> in a whim or for a given purpose, and that also means upwards in quality, say from sRGB to ProPhoto, without any loss of quality or colour. The file is always in the raw format, until conversion to a bitmap format(jpg/tiff/etc).

So, in camera colour space setting is only really there for use when shooting in raster/bitmap file types such as tiff or jpg.
Many photographers shoot in that manner, so it makes sense to have that feature available.
If the camera was only capable of shooting in the raw format, then having a colour space setting is a waste of firmware space. The raw converter on the computer handles that data set, and can make any changes at the operator sees fit(to the raw file).

There is one caveat on colour space and raw files, and that's the thumbnail.
Setting the colour space in camera, also determines that setting for the embedded thumbnail for the raw file. Once set, it's set, and is limited to the conversion processes that affects all bitmap images.
What that means: if you shoot in sRGB and then convert the raw file to aRGB or ProPhotoRGB, you will see some strangeness in the embedded jpg file with respect to colour.
Once again, I did this(for testing purposes only of course! :D), and the anomalies are much more obvious on the sRGB->ProPhoto raw files, compared to the sRGB-> aRGB raw files.
AND this only applies to the thumbnail image, when viewing the raw file via the embedded thumbnail in your image viewer.
That I know of, Lightroom doesn't display the raw file in a preview mode using the embedded preview image, but some image software do.
Programs like FSViewer, IDImager, and ViewNX do, and when I change the raw file from sRGB to anything higher in quality, I can see that the preview image has been affected. Note this is only the thumbnail image in the raw file that is affected.
This is convoluted to explain, but I'll try.
In ViewNX2, on a raw file I changed from sRGB to ProPhoto, I can see that the thumbnail image in the thumbnail strip is definitely pale/grey/lacking colour and so forth, but when I click the thumbnail image, the display of the raw file is correct(and hence different to the thumbnail). So the thumbnail has been affected by the extrapolation from sRGB to ProPhoto(but the raw file is good).
The same image in FSViewer, I see the same paleness to the thumbnail image, and I click on the thumbnail and the display of the 'raw' file is the same pale dull flat greyness, and you'd be tempted to delete it. This is because I have FSViewer set to display the raw file via the embedded jpg image, and not the raw file directly (Why??.. speed!!! :th3:)
I have the same set up for IDImager(which is my catalog software). This way the software doesn't have to render each raw file as you navigate around the folder, makes for very fast navigation when there are lots of raw images.
It's easy and trivial to reset the raw file back to sRGB if this is an issue, or to set the software to view raw files directly, and not via the embedded preview image.
Just something to note.

So, ultimately the colour space is only important when you convert the raw file to a bitmap image.. and you'll probably have your software configured to do this seamlessly for you as you work, edit and then save anyhow.
So if you upload a lot to the web, and if you edit the raw files directly, then forget the colour space in camera.
In 200K images I've only just taken the plunge and printed an image at a high quality printing facility(btw, Prism Digital Imaging just down the road from me), and this is the only file that I've ever converted to aRGB(from sRGB), as they asked for aRGB TIFF file for best quality.
No problems in doing so, other than.. the expected 'shift in colour' you may sometimes get in the green channel. The aRGB colour space is basically only richer in green colour data, so if there is vivid greens in your image, you may see a shift in conversion from sRGB to wider gamut colour spaces. In fact you should see more wild shifting if converting to ProPhoto RGB as the gamut is so much wider than sRGB.

(NOTE, where I said I converted a raw file from sRGB->ProPhoto, I was referring to the Kodak ProPhoto colour space which is set at Gamma 1.8.... hence the flat lifeless grey dull result. This was only for testing, to see what it was all about.)

Have never tried the Windows specific ProPhoto colour space, and for the reasons Richard(Hall) gave!! Why would you risk over editing an image and not being able to see, in a WYSIWYG manner, the out of gamut colour losses. On an sRGB monitor, if you push your editing steps to extremes and your working in the higher colour space, your monitor may not be able to display the true colour of the file, ie. as the software 'understands it'.

If you want the highest colour space gamut achievable in your images, then forget about colour spaces, and concentrate on shooting, editing and saving your raw images, in a raw format.

Thanks again Arthur for all that information, can't get much more clearer than that.

Moral of the story, "Use what you got" More is not always better.

Kym
30-05-2011, 6:14pm
Bump - for nuoz2

ricktas
31-05-2011, 11:38am
Colour Spaces and colour management are a huge area of digital imaging that is often overlooked, or breezed over. It can be very complex if you delve into it deeply.

In the meantime have a read of this PDF (http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/color_managed_raw_workflow.pdf) produced for Adobe that gives you a lot more information than this thread could ever hope to do

PhoTomD
31-05-2011, 1:03pm
Big thanks Rick!!

Longshots
01-06-2011, 10:03pm
Monitors need regular calibrating. The max time span recommended between calibrations (as per Eye One) is 4 weeks, and even the very best screens need regular calibrations. Dont fool yourself into thinking that you only need to do it once.

And as for those so called experts - choose the right ones.