I am often asked “should I use sRGB or AdobeRGB or some other colour space when I shoot a picture, or when I export a file?”
Yes. To sRGB, that is. Choose sRGB in your camera, and choose sRGB when exporting a file from Photoshop or Lightroom.
There is a lot of ‘religion’ and a lot of misinformation here.
- Colour spaces are conventions for how a file describes colours. There are many colour spaces.
- sRGB is designed to be usable for cheap screens, cheap printers, etc, and has somewhat fewer reproducible colours in its colour space.
- Strictly speaking, AdobeRGB and others are “better”, therefore.
- But… they are not supported by all devices and by all software.
- So if you use these, your viewer may not be able to see them properly!
- sRGB is therefore the safe option and it should always be chosen unless you know the viewer can definitely see other colour spaces.
- When you shoot RAW, the camera saves all colour info, so the setting is not important. It is only when you expert from Lightroom or Photoshop into a JPG file that you need to choose.
The following two images are ProRGB and sRGB outputs, respectively:
Now the sRGB file:
Now on my Mac, the second image looks great but the first image looks very flat and desaturated.
You may see the same files – if so, lucky you. But would you really want to put up, or send, a file when a large part of your audience will see flat colours? I did not think so. So – choose sRGB.