Colour Space...?!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Smashatom, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    I'm just trying to get my head around ETTR as a general concept. Still not sure if it would actually benefit me. One think that has cropped up and slightly confused me is colour space, I can't seem to find much information about what it actually is. I'm using an OM-D and I use Aperture for PP (On a macbook). So do you know: should I be using sRGB or adobe RGB? And why?!

    Thanks.
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Colour space describes a range of colours. For example aRGB can "see" more colours than sRGB especially in the deepest greens. Not all devices can see all the colours available. So each device has a colour space to describe which colours it can see. The main limitations are in the very saturated colours, usually. My signature has a link you should read.

    Gordon
     
  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Simple version: RAW files can be assigned any color space when converting. If you don't have a calibrated IPS monitor, stick with sRGB. If you're posting to web, stick with sRGB. If you want to get serious about printing and controlling the look of your prints you will need to buy some equipment (good monitor and calibration device) and read quite a bit more on color spaces and management.
     
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    sRGB really. Unless you have alot of drive space and don't mind multiples of images. I shoot Adobe rgb and those stay as DNGs, then I'll convert the color space down to sRGB on the copies I work with. Most labs only will only take sRGB anyway, and monitors and browsers are mostly limited to sRGB except for firefox, and maybe safari(?). I have an above average monitor and it only see's 92% aRGB.
     
  5. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    624
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Nothing you mention has much to do with the choice of color space. The major factor (read: like 90% of the issue) is the final display device/method.

    If you are only displaying your images on a monitor (e.g. web page, ...) then it is generally rather pointless to use anything other than sRGB. If you are printing through a lab or online service you should use what they recommend.

    If you are printing yourself on a high end printer then perhaps Adobe RGB or one of the other wide-gamut color spaces would be a preferable choice. The choice depends largely on the specific printer, ink set, and media (paper or canvas type).
     
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  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    At the raw file level colour space selection is irrelevant as raw files don't yet have a colour space. Setting aRGB in camera will affect jpegs, what you see on the LCD and EVF and the histogram. If you're shooting to produce sRGB files only you may as well set sRGB in camera. If you change your mind with a raw file there's no problems and it isn't permanant. With a jpeg or TIFF file it is permanant. But if you shoot raw and import into LR then it doesn't matter at all as LR only works in the very large "Melissa" colour space (which is a modified ProPhoto colour space) and Capture 1 and Aperture default to aRGB. If you do all your work in the raw converter then you'd export TIFFs or JPEGs based on what you need them for and delete them once used. If you're working in Photoshop, or similar, you'd work in a larger space and shrink them down as a last step as needed and as a copy. But I'd only be storing the original working files. Copies (for print for example) can be deleted when no longer needed. A file with a larger colour space doesn't need more disk space than the same file with a smaller one.

    While sRGB is still the defacto colour space for the web, almost all modern browsers are colour aware, although it's often turned off in the settings. Safari is the best. Firefox is colour aware but it's turned off in the settings. Even modern versions of IE are colour aware as is Vista, Win7 and Win8. Even though the browser may be able to do it there's just so many old versions out there and users who've screwed up thier settings that sending anything to the web other than sRGB is a risk.

    Most high street or mall labs really only work with sRGB files but most commercial labs can work in space even bigger than aRGB. Almost any "photo quality" inkjet printer available new today can also use a much larger space than sRGB. Some of the better ones can print more colours than are represented in the aRGB space. If you're printing at home then you'd be much better of working in a larger space than sRGB.

    Gordon
     
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  7. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    That link is really useful, just read half of it and its explained a lot and also introduced me to issues I had never even thought of!. Going to finish it later. Thanks for pointing me towards that.

    And thanks everyone else, it seems that sRGB is definitely the right setting for me, but it is nice to understand firstly what it actually is but also why it's right for me and why I may want to use a different option in future.

    Happy customer. Thanks a lot,

    Sam.
     
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  8. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam

    All very handy information for me, cheers for your help.

    Sam
     
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  9. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    Once again I'm baffled by colour space!
    I've read the link on Flash's signature again, but I'm still quite confused.

    I'm looking at buying a new monitor my 2 choices are the Dell Ultrasharp u2412m which covers almost all of sRGB and is more of a consumer monitor, cheaper price as well. The other option is the Dell Ultrasharp u2413 which is more of a semi-professional monitor with much higher specs, it covers sRGB and aRGB.

    Money isn't the issue, I would rather spend a bit more and get a better product but I'm not sure whether the better product is way above my needs. I'm worried about getting the u2413 and my images just looking over saturated which can apparently happen when using a monitor with a wide gamut.

    I use Aperture for PP, I'm struggling to find what colour space Aperture is actually using on my machine.

    With my images I'm mainly exporting as JPEGs for Flickr and other web uses, for my iPad to show family, and for cheap 6x4 prints from places like photobox...


    Any help would be greatly appreciated!


    Sam


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  10. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I have always found this topic pretty confusing but here is my recommendation.

    Whatever color space you choose to work in, you should output to the web in sRGB this is because the vast majority of web viewers have something equating roughly to sRGB and obviously a wider gamut monitor can view a narrower gamut.

    At home I have a Dell u2711 monitor (much like the 2413). I choose aRGB for my color profile because I do print and most decent consumer printers have at least an aRGB output (I have a Canon 9500). Obviously if you print what you see on your screen is what you want in final output. If you use Lightroom it will essentially convert aRGB to sRGB by default for web output.

    If you want me to make your decision really easy - here it is. Buy the Dell 2413 on the basis that it is wider gamut. It has a button at the bottom front that allows you to switch to sRGB if you wish - so with a wider gamut monitor you effectively have the choice.
     
  11. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    That's probably the way I will go actually. At least I will have the choice.

    I've just found this on the apple site which is is referring to when web is your primary output 'Aperture uses a wide gamut, so you don't have to define a working color space as is necessary in some other applications'

    If this is the case will changing the monitor between sRGB and aRGB make a difference? I'm guessing it must do but it seems like a strange statement from apple.

    How do you find out the output of your printer? I've tried looking in the specs of my printer but it isn't listed.




    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  12. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Based on your description you don't need the wider gamut. Almost all domestic printing services and the web are best served a sRGB file. You go to aRGB when you are sending out to a Pro lab or your printing your own. Some stock libraries want aRGTB files as well.

    You're better off with a sRGB monitor and a colimeter (to calibrate it) over an aRGB monitor without one, so factor that into your budget. You don't need an expensive one.

    Aperture uses it's own working colour space. I'd have to look into it but I "think" it's close to aRGB. It's certainy not sRGB. But you can output in anything you want.

    What ever you get make sure you calibrate it. Other than that don't frett too much. It's not the earth shattering decicion people make it out to be. Both monitors will allow you to make really good stuff.

    gordon
     
  13. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    It is pretty standard for any photo editing program to have a wide color gamut. Lightroom and Photoshop use prophotoRGB which is considerably wider than both sRGB and aRGB.

    Printers dont actually have a color gamut or should I say to the extent that a printer has a color gamut it is far more complex than say sRGB or aRGB. Typically any photo printer built in the last 5 years will have a color gamut bigger than sRGB and probably bigger than aRGB. When you print you specify the color profile.

    The way I tend to look at things is this. Basically the more colors you have is better, it is a bit like resolution - the more the better. You output to the web at 1,000 pixels on the long end but this is not a size that you would recommend editing a photo at. Your photos are most often viewed probably on a mobile phone but again noone would suggest editing on a mobile phone - you basically edit at full size of camera output on a larger the better screen.

    So you can build your work flow around a very narrow color gamut like sRGB if you like. Your camera can record sRGB, you can use an sRGB monitor and you can print sRGB. But why would you? We tend to gravitate towards RAW rather than jpeg, recording images at 16 mega pixels even though we can choose 8 etc... From that basis it makes sense to operate with as many colors as you can manage.

    But Flash makes a very good point. Color calibrating your monitor - the Dell is at least color calibrated when it arrives - is far more important than what color space you use. The one universal truth about editing is that you edit until it looks good to you on your monitor. If what you see on your monitor is different to what the computers output looks like you are, in fact, totally wasting your time.
     
  14. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    A little disingenuous - because understanding color space and what color space you're outputting to (i.e. sRGB for web) is important - but also sorta true. If your monitor and your entire software environment (i.e. Apple's OS, Aperture, Photoshop, and colour-managed web browsers) can handle wide gamut it doesn't matter. Thing is, the vast majority of folks aren't using full gamut monitors and many still aren't using fully managed operating systems and web browsers. Hell, even Facebook strips my pictures of their 'correct' sRGB color space assignment, so they look like cr*p on my monitor (flat and washed out, because they're tagged as adobe RGB but aren't, and my browser knows the difference), and thus seems to assume folks are not using colour managed browsers.

    In other words, changing the monitor from sRGB to aRGB will only matter if you're looking at a picture that's using an aRGB colour space (as in actually contains colours that can't be displayed in sRGB). Aperture will - as long as the picture is tagged correctly - display the sRGB equally well in both modes. If you want to check how it will look to most of us browsing the web in terms of colour rendition, etc. use the button.
     
  15. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Dean
    When editing images for the web, just stay in sRGB mode on the U2413. If outputting for print, use the wider gamut.

    When looking at the two monitors, check the accuracy of the the sRGB colour space out of the box.

    The higher priced monitor, the U2413, is more accurate in sRGB out of the factory.

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2413.htm

    In the end, calibrating an LCD for web based output is great, however no one will see the image in the colours you finished up with because everyones monitor is different, not to mention the device they are using as well as their web browsers etc. The debates over how much to calibrate, when to calibrate, how to calibrate or whether to calibrate at all for internet based viewing are endless ... but you may as well get something that is reasonably accurate to begin with :smile:

    Super expensive screens from NEC and Eizo are top notch and better than the Dells you are looking at, however for the money, the U2413 is extremely good value.
     
  16. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Dean
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  17. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    I thought calibration had to be done between your computer and your monitor, I guess I thought it was to make sure the computer is actually outputting to the monitor correctly. But if the the u2413 is already calibrated, I must have misunderstood that.

    So that means with the u2413 there's no need to worry about calibrating?


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  18. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Actually the computer itself doesnt make a difference. A color is simply an RGB value - so that the brightest red is 255,0,0. The purpose of calibration is to make sure your monitor outputs a specific red at that value - it will be slightly different between sRGB and aRGB.

    The u2413 comes factory calibrated and the calibration test result will be in the box. That means the monitor doesnt need calibrating when it arrives but the monitor output does change over time. I know some people recommend calibrating every month. I do it about twice a year. If your print output matches what you see on your screen then your screen is pretty much calibrated (well that is the way I look at it.)
     
  19. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Aug 16, 2012
    I have 3 factory calibrated Dell U-series monitor on my desk. All new, direct from Dell. They all needed calibrating and profiling (they are separate steps) out of the box - even on sRGB colour space.
     
  20. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Just to highlight key points:
    * Color space only affects JPEGs, not RAW images as far as the camera is concerned.
    * I personally, as a 3D graphics engineer, strongly strongly recommend not using Adobe RGB with any JPEG file ever.
    * If you must use Adobe RGB, export 16 bit per channel TIFF images.
    * Most print mediums have gamuts somewhat smaller than sRGB. Most printers expect sRGB, and the extent to which they handle Adobe RGB well will vary.
    * If you are printing Adobe RGB images, you should use "16 bit output" at least on Epson printers. This is NOT enabled by default.
    * Most commercial printers accept and expect sRGB. Don't send Adobe RGB unless they explicitly acknowledge that they're set up to handle it.
    * The vast majority of consumer displays do not support Adobe RGB, so don't use it for anything that is intended for wide audience digital viewing.

    Honestly Adobe RGB just isn't that useful in real life. Too much has standardized on sRGB and AdobeRGB is too large a color space for 8 bit to deal with comfortably.
     
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