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Color Space: sRGB vs AdobeRGB

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I shoot for my University Yearbook and the publishing company recently requested that we begin shooting in AdobeRGB color space. I don't really understand what the difference in the 2 is and why they would have us change it, not that is difficult to change back and forth. I was just curious if anyone may know why they requested this or if Adobe color space has an advantage or something over sRGB?

From what I have read and heard, Adobe RGB has a bigger color range and it is better suited for printing when compared to sRGB. On the other hand, sRGB is optimize for screen and web usage.

When you have (for example) a JPEG file, each pixel is characterised by 'red', 'green' and 'blue' numbers.

The colour-space defines how these numbers map to an actual colour - it is what allows you to determine that { 90, 90, 10 } represents a particular shade of 'burnt-yellow', for example. sRGB and AdobeRGB are just different ways of mapping those numbers to actual colours. AdobeRGB is a mapping that can encompassed a much broader range of colours - including colours that can not be represented in sRGB at all.

Every method you have for displaying your images will have some limitations on the colour space. For example, a printer may be limited by the ink colours that it has, and a monitor by the particular characteristics of its phosphor or LCD filters.

Generally, it is easier to display sRGB images - partly because the smaller range of colours means that more output format can show the image as you intended, and partly because for historical reasons sRGB is widely used. However, some output formats (or image processing software) may be able to use a broader range of colours than sRGB can represented - in which case using AdobeRGB is a better bet.

Note that if you shoot in RAW, the CR2 files have a colour space that is defined by the colour-filter array on the camera sensor - the broadest colour space possible, but specific to any given make/model of camera. However, when you process the RAW files you can choose to re-map this to sRGB, AdobeRGB or any other space that you choose.


I am trying to attach an image that illustrates the difference. So if it does'nt work, I'm sorry.

It worked! Here are two more colour spaces for information:


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