BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004

sRGB? huh? Adobe RGB? what?

Well, as you can tell, this has to do with different color spaces. I' have a 20D and I think my camera is set to Adobe RGB right now because, hey, I figure I use Adobe Photoshop CS, I would assume adobe rgb would fit well wouldn't it? Well, I was curious to learn more since the manual didn't help out much. I usually shoot RAW and process my pictures in photoshop cs so is adobe rgb a good choice or should I use srgb? What are they exactly? Also, my monitor is not set or sRGB. I'm not sure what it's at since I'm not at it now but I know I have used Adobe Gamma to try to get my monitor's color a little closer to how it should be. What should I do, if anything, different? Thanks for your time!

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6/4/2005 3:32:21 PM

doug Nelson   I would keep your camera set to Adobe RGB as you have it. If I understand color space correctly, Adobe has a wider color gamut than sRGB. sRGB was a joint development of several companies to standardize colors for web use. I go to Image Mode and change my Adobe RGB images to sRGB before I post them to betterphoto, but my archived copy remains in Adobe. My monitor is set to Adobe RGB, which may or may not be right. I need to use a calibrating device, as my prints are getting pretty far off from what I see on screen. Adobe Gamma will get the brightness to about what it should be, but I don't think its a miracle fix for color mismatch between monitor and printer.

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6/7/2005 5:44:32 AM

Michael H. Cothran   To be precise, you should now be using Adobe RGB "1998." Adobe RGB was produced, and should be used with PS4 and earlier. If you're using PS5 or later, be sure you are using the "1998" version. It has a much wider gamut than sRGB, meaning it can produce a wider color range in display. For normal PS work and printing, it is now the most used of all color spaces.
Michael H. Cothran

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6/7/2005 8:31:24 AM

doug Nelson   See an excellent discussion of this at

In fact, see all of his tutorials on digital imaging.

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6/8/2005 12:09:32 PM

Tony Peckman   This is all that I have wanted to know. Doug, thanks for turning us on to the website. All this info. is great.

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7/13/2005 5:37:56 AM

Susan L. Vasquez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/24/2005
  I've bookmarked this website Doug, thanks for the information. Looks like it will be a very informative site.

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7/13/2005 7:39:31 AM

Michael Hagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2002
  Sorry, to all who think Adobe RGB is the better choice. SRGB is the wider spectrum, and will give you great color range. That is why many digital camera manu. make it the default.

This is a common mistake. Gany Fong the "god father" of digital photography spent a great deal of time going over all of this in his seminars. and

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7/13/2005 11:53:16 AM

Shellie Gansz   i'd like to tag on to this too with a couple of questions/issues that im having.

im using a nikon d100 camera. I tried photos in mode II adobe 1998 and in mode III sRGB - the adobe photos appear washed out in my lcd screen and my monitor compared to sRGB. I was wondering if the settings or something in my camera could be wrong?

then - when I shoot my photos in RAW and in sRGB and view them in the nikon software they look fine - but when I view them in photoshop - the color changes and looks washed out. I checked the settings in photoshop for color space and tried playing around with it - but nothing seems to work. I cant figure out why the photo is changing like this in photoshop?

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7/17/2005 7:27:29 PM

Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  I have the Minolta Maxxum 7D and my camera has a Natural:sRGB;Natural + sRGB and and Embed Adobe RGB setting. The default is on the first one. In reading my manual this is what it says about Adobe RGB. . . Adobe RGB has a larger color gamut than the more common sRGB. The size of the gamut limit the colors that can be reproduced; the larger the gamut, the more colors. If the image will be printed out with a high-quality printer, the use of the Adobe RGB color mode is recommended over the sRGB color modes of Natural and Natural Plus.

This is a great thread beause I've always just used the default setting . . . now I'm wondering if I should change . . hmmm . ..

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7/18/2005 5:07:10 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Ok, I've looked around, and I see that the wider one is Adobe RGB. I think that my manual also suggests using Adobe RGB when you are going to be doing more editing. I assume sRGB would be used if you weren't doing much with the image afterwards, or already letting the camera process the image itself by shooting in JPEG. The graphics on dpreview for the 20D show that the Adobe RGB is wider but from the chart, I can only see that it's visibly wider around the green area. I think the thing is that it's similar to RAW in that you can't view it on the web browers and I think computer monitors show even less color than is actually there.

Anyway, the manual for my 20D says that Adobe RGB is for more advanced editing so I think that helps color editing.

Seems as though Gary Fong was wrong or saying something else. I believe this is the default because it is what most people will find the easiest to work with.

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7/18/2005 3:11:13 PM

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