If AdobeRGB is better, why does sRGB exist?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alfred Molon, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    We should all be using it, right? Is this a licencing issue (i.e. having
    to pay royalties to Adobe), or why isn't all available software
    (browsers, email programs, image editors etc.) using Adobe RGB or at
    least capable to properly display AdobeRGB images? At the moment, if you
    forget to convert to sRGB and post to the web, the images will look dull
    and lifeless.
    Alfred Molon, Jul 8, 2007
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  2. Alfred Molon

    Pete D Guest

    I think you answered most of your question there Alfred.
    Pete D, Jul 8, 2007
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  3. Alfred Molon

    Ray Macey Guest

    sRGB is designed as a lowest common denominator, meaning it will
    display better on the largest range of uncalibrated monitors and
    printers. AdobeRGB also stretches it's gamut over a larger range of
    colours, meaning that the individual colours are "further apart". If
    you edit in 8bit colour, this can lead to more banding than a similar
    photo in sRGB.

    Not that sRGB is better than AdobeRGB, but it's not a simple case of
    AdobeRGB being better than sRGB either...

    Ray Macey, Jul 8, 2007
  4. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Why can't web browsers properly display AdobeRGB images?
    Alfred Molon, Jul 8, 2007
  5. Alfred Molon

    Ray Macey Guest

    Because most browsers are not programmed to be colour profile aware.
    A couple of browsers on the mac are, but none on Windows are (unless
    the win version of Safari is). Not being aware of colour profiles,
    they assume each image is in sRGB, which leads to the muted colours
    you see when viewing AdobeRGB images in non colour profile aware

    Ray Macey, Jul 8, 2007
  6. For most people AdobeRGB doesn't offer much over sRGB: you can't display
    more than sRGB on most monitors, and the differences in prints will be
    subtle enough that most people will miss them.

    On the other hand, creating color management aware applications is a lot of
    work if the underlying OS does not fully support color management.

    At the same time, you can start by adding color management support to all
    open source projects. Once Firefox supports color management, there is a
    good chance that M$ will add it to IE as well.
    Philip Homburg, Jul 8, 2007
  7. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Why not? Isn't the colour space information embedded in JPEGs, so that a
    browser would just have to read that to properly render the colours?
    Doesn't seem to be hugely complicated to program that.
    Alfred Molon, Jul 8, 2007
  8. Alfred Molon

    Scott W Guest

    It is not all that easy, what do you do with out of gamut colors?
    You could just clip the color space when displaying an AdobeRGB image
    on a monitor that does not do more then sRGB, but that looks pretty bad.
    For web images it works out best if the image is reduced to sRGB by the
    person who is posting it, that way the have full control of how it will

    Things may change in the not to distant future since LCD monitors will
    be getting a larger color gamut once they are back lit with LEDs. From
    what I have read this should extend the green range a fair bit, well
    past when current CRT monitors are doing today.

    Scott W, Jul 8, 2007
  9. Alfred Molon

    Mark Roberts Guest

    Adobe RGB isn't "better", it's just better suited to some purposes,
    one of which is printing on CMYK inkjet printers. Most computer
    monitors, CRT or LCD, can't display nearly all the gamut of Adobe RGB,
    so images intended for display on monitors (whether via the web or any
    other means) are best converted to sRGB, which is designed to fall
    within the gamut of emissive (RGB additive color) monitors.

    Of course, if you embed the ICC profile you're using in all your
    images and you know *for certain* that all your visitors are using a
    colorspace-aware browser (only Safari at the moment but the Firefox 3
    is probably going to be) it doesn't matter what colorspace you use:
    The display software (browser in this case) will map the image into
    the available colorspace of the display medium.

    LaCie has recently introduced a monitor that's claimed to cover 95% of
    Adobe RGB. It's over $2000. On such a monitor, Adobe RGB images should
    look good even without color management.
    Note that Adobe RGB images *won't* look dull and lifeless on a
    colorspace-aware web browser (Safari). And they will also look fine if
    you download them and view them in a colorspace-aware application like
    Photoshop. This is a software application issue and hardware, not one
    of the web per se.
    Mark Roberts, Jul 8, 2007
  10. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Which model is that? Would this be the best LCD screen for image
    Alfred Molon, Jul 8, 2007
  11. Alfred Molon

    Mark Roberts Guest

    Mark Roberts, Jul 9, 2007
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