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sRGB versus Adobe RGB...what is the difference?
Hi all,.

On my Canon 5D there is an option to shoot either in sRGB colorspace or Adobe RGB colorspace...Canon recommends sRGB if you do not ploan on post processeing, etc....

Please tell me basically what the difference is, what I should be using (as I do post process through PhotoShop) and I have been told that it matters what type of monitor you need depending on what color space you shoot in..

Please explain and help me decide on a new high end monitor:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=25737684.

I want to use the system-format that will yield me the best results on-screen and printed. Its about the art form for me, not techno-speak..

As always, thank you all in advance!.

Steve..

Comments (6)

Frankly, it does not matter what the difference is, if you will send these photos out to be printed, or will show them on another monitor, like on the web or email to relatives. Because the simple fact is, THEIR systems are sRGB. Your system may be tuned in a different way, but THEIRS is not..

SRGB has a more limited color space (which sounds bad on the surface), but is universal because this is what monitors and most programs and printers in fact do (makes sRGB sound very good)...

Comment #1

SoCalStev1 wrote:.

I want to use the system-format that will yield me the best resultson-screen and printed..

In that case, you should be shooting Raw, not JPEG. The camera's color space setting doesn't matter for Raw (except that it will change the file name from IMG_xxxx to _MG_xxxx)..

The sRGB and Adobe RGB settings are for JPEG photography. In broad terms, if sRGB isn't good enough, forget about the tiny advantage that Adobe RGB might give you and go straight to Raw. The ability to shoot Adobe RGB JPEG is primarily for those people who wish that they could shoot Raw but for some reason can'tusually because they need to take longer bursts...

Comment #2

Of course, you'll most likely be sending the files to others which will require them to be in JPEG format (and the sRGB) color space anyway. Your life will be much simpler if you simply use this format right from the camera..

Shooting in RAW allows you to do things that you can't do otherwise. However, it also forces you to do a lot of work (some of which can be automated), and takes up a lot of space (which is cheap) and time (which isn't) - all of which could be used for more shots..

There are many examples of folks teasing better images out of their systems using RAW and good PP technique. What percentage this is, and how much better they are is frequently debated. Personally, I think it's rare that a shot PP from RAW looks substantially better when printed or viewed on screen (in it's entirety, not at 100% zoom) then the same image PP from a JPEG. That's me - your eyes may be better..

Bottom line is that you'll need to decide what's best for you and your circumstances. I personally shoot RAW only in astrophotography. The rest of the time I use all that image processing hardware that I paid for in my camera..

Or, get a camera that does RAW + JPEG (and some stock in a memory card company  Then you don't have to decide...

Comment #3

TheMadTexan wrote:.

Of course, you'll most likely be sending the files to others whichwill require them to be in JPEG format (and the sRGB) color spaceanyway. Your life will be much simpler if you simply use this formatright from the camera..

Shooting in RAW allows you to do things that you can't do otherwise.However, it also forces you to do a lot of work (some of which can beautomated), and takes up a lot of space (which is cheap) and time(which isn't) - all of which could be used for more shots..

There are many examples of folks teasing better images out of theirsystems using RAW and good PP technique. What percentage this is,and how much better they are is frequently debated. Personally, Ithink it's rare that a shot PP from RAW looks substantially betterwhen printed or viewed on screen (in it's entirety, not at 100% zoom)then the same image PP from a JPEG. That's me - your eyes may bebetter..

Bottom line is that you'll need to decide what's best for you andyour circumstances. I personally shoot RAW only in astrophotography.The rest of the time I use all that image processing hardware that Ipaid for in my camera..

Or, get a camera that does RAW + JPEG (and some stock in a memorycard company  Then you don't have to decide..

I do shoot RAW + JPEG.....

Thanks for the information! I never understood it til now..

Still leaves me wondering what monitor I should buy.....

I do want the HIGHEST quality (but not at a $5,000.00 price tage...$1,500.00 is my limit for a high end 19-21" monitor..

Any suggestions?.

As always, thank you in advance,.

Steve..

Comment #4

Couldn't recomend a specific monitor. Sorry - don't follow computer hardware that closely any more..

I can recomend that whatever you buy, plan on spending the extra $100 to get a color calibration kit. At least then you'll know you're getting as much as you can out of your investment..

Just a guess, but I'm betting those in the know on such things could make a compelling case that a run of the mill monitor, properly calibrated, is better than a high end one running "out of the box" anyway...

Comment #5

SoCalStev1 wrote:.

Still leaves me wondering what monitor I should buy.....

When you are asking about "high grade" flat-screen monitors, are you thinking about the special "Adobe capable" ones meaning the new monitors able to show the full Adobe gamut, or something close?.

If so, you certainly you do not need an Adobe monitor unless you are also using the Adobe colour space for shooting to, and/or, editing to.... (sounds obvious, but the point should be made.).

Furthermore, you need not burden yourself with the inconveniences of Adobe space working, unless there is some SPECIFIC reason for YOU (specifically) to do it..

Indeed, to use Adobe, when the whole web, most of the printing houses and all of your friends are probably defaulting to sRGB, is a somewhat perverse action. If you do so when you don't need to, then any hassles you get will be deserved!! .

So, the question presents itself, when does a photographer actually need Adobe space image files?.

Mostly it boils down to two circumstances....

1) The photographer is shooting for eventual reproduction in books, magazines and journals printed by 4-colour lithography... this includes most of the published colour photography that's out there..

Why?.

Because CMYK printing separations are BETTER when made from AdobeRGB originals, and so it is that the Adobe space specifies itself for these operations. It happens that 4-colour litho has an even smaller gamut than sRGB, but, none the less, the *translation* is better made from an Adobe start-point..

2) You are using a high quality print set-up, possibly your own, that can print a significantly wider-than-sRGB gamut to paper,.

And.. those extra colours are ACTUALLY PRESENT IN YOUR SUBJECTS in the first place!! (please, note the emphasis)..

Remember... the extra colours of the Adobe gamut, those over and above the sRGB one, are not common colours. They are very saturated and intense, and very unlikely to be in conventional portraiture, for instance. The garish kinds of colours we are talking about show up most often in cheap plastic toys from China etc. and occur only very occasionally in any natural scene... probably as some kind of litter despoiling the landscape and needing retouching out of the picture!! .

Yes, even the blooms of exotic tropical flowers, or the iridescent plumage of Birds of Paradise, can be pretty adequately represented within sRGB especially on a screen and this has been done for many years..

Is there any penalty for using Adobe when it is not required? Well, YES, there is!!.

Assigning part of the space, or "room" (levels) in your working colour space to accomodate colours which are NOT there, or only appear rarely if ever, is not a good use of what are relatively limited resources. It lowers headroom for editing the colours and tones which ARE present in the images... with the potential for coarser and less smooth tonal transitions than would otherwise be the case....

Does it make a real difference?.

In fairness, there isn't a whole lot to worry about whilst the image stays in 16-bit form. But 8-bit files are a lot more vulnerable .... and most 16-bit files get turned into 8-bit ones in the end, so it is at the END of potentially long editing processes that any problems show up..

This does apply to you, does it not?Hmmm..... (shrugs)These points are made for your consideration... (shrugs again).

On the other hand, you would be well advised to carefully calibrate ANY monitor you have with a proper hardware puck device, whether that monitor is Adobe capable or not....

The calibration thing, as mentioned by another poster, is what I most want you to take on board, I think .

Good luck. Regards,Baz..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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