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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Adobe RGB, sRGB and RAW
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03/17/2006 05:24:42 AM · #1
Question: with my 20D I can select whether to shoot in Adobe RGB or sRGB gamut. But does it affect RAW files or only jpg-s? When I later open RAW files for conversion, I once again have an option to choose, whether I want tif or jpg saved in Adobe RGB or sRGB. Does that mean a color space conversion for the out-of-camera file then, or is this RAW conversion really the first time the difference occurs?
03/17/2006 09:47:25 AM · #2
Must've been a really dumb question.
03/17/2006 09:52:43 AM · #3
I attended a really interesting photographers meeting last night that included a discussion with a Canon Technical rep. He discussed just this issue. I'll attempt to summarize his points.....

RGB has the lowest color range (least amount of color data), but is "friendly" in all environments (printers, software, etc.).

sRGB has much much more color info, but most home printers don't understand it (though most pro print labs do understand it)

So of the two, sRGB is the better format to shoot in, but to print on your home-based printer, you'll need to convert it back to RGB before printing.

RAW is a different issue alltogether. RAW is a completely unprocessed / unadjusted "original" file created inside the camera. It contains much more info than a .jpg and is fully adjustable (contrast, white balance, even exposure) via RAW conversion software.

My recommendation: Shoot RAW / sRGB :)

Hope that helps.

Message edited by author 2006-03-17 09:53:04.
03/17/2006 10:01:06 AM · #4
Adobe RGB does have a larger gamut. Whether you shoot Raw or not, if you choose Adobe RGB for your JPEG color space, you MUST then have a color-managed workflow, and that is a complicated thing. If you don't have a good understanding of color management, it will only cause you more problems than it will solve. Idnic's recdommendation of shooting RAW and converting to sRGB is the way to go unless you absolutely know that another color space will provide specific benefits, and you also know exactly how to get them.
03/17/2006 10:18:21 AM · #5
Originally posted by Didymus:

...Does that mean a color space conversion for the out-of-camera file then, or is this RAW conversion really the first time the difference occurs?


I've also wondered this. When shooting RAW, do the in-camera settings for color space have any effect at all? Further, do the in-camera settings for anything else have any effect at all on the final RAW file?
03/17/2006 10:26:09 AM · #6
Originally posted by puzzled:

Originally posted by Didymus:

...Does that mean a color space conversion for the out-of-camera file then, or is this RAW conversion really the first time the difference occurs?


I've also wondered this. When shooting RAW, do the in-camera settings for color space have any effect at all? Further, do the in-camera settings for anything else have any effect at all on the final RAW file?


There is no effect of the in-camera color space settings on the actual RAW image data. A "tag" is written in the file that tells RAW conversion software what the setting was, and the RAW converter (if it understands the tag) will by default "interpret" the file with the color settings specified.
Of the in-camera settings that do not change something physical like aperture or shutter speed, only changing ISO affects the RAW data. Color space, white balance, sharpening settings, contrast settings, saturation settings, etcetera do not affect RAW data directly.
03/17/2006 10:26:59 AM · #7
Originally posted by puzzled:


I've also wondered this. When shooting RAW, do the in-camera settings for color space have any effect at all? Further, do the in-camera settings for anything else have any effect at all on the final RAW file?


Edit: Too slow :-)

When shooting RAW none of the camaera setting for image processing are applied. That goes for sharpening, contrast, WB, saturation and color space. RAW is exactly what it's name implies, RAW sensor data, unproceessed.

Message edited by author 2006-03-17 10:28:21.
03/17/2006 02:55:38 PM · #8
I knew, of course, what RAW means and that it doesn't let the camera apply sharpening etc. What I didn't know was whether color space setting would affect the raw image the same way ISO does.
I do know now. Thanks.
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