Choosing a Color Space sRGB vs Adobe RGB

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Normally, your camera captures images using the sRGB color mode, which simply refers to an industry-standard spectrum of colors. (The s is for standard, and the RGB is for red-green-blue, which are the primary colors in the digital imaging color world.) This color mode was created to help ensure color consistency as an image moves from camera (or scanner) to monitor and printer; the idea was to create a spectrum of colors that all of these devices can reproduce.

However, the sRGB color spectrum leaves out some colors that can be reproduced in print and onscreen, at least by some devices. So as an alternative, your camera also enables you to shoot in the Adobe RGB color mode, which includes a larger spectrum (or gamut) of colors. Figure 6-27 offers an illustration of the two spectrums.

Adobe Rgb Srgb
Figure 6-27: Adobe RGB includes some colors not found in the sRGB spectrum.

Which option is right for you depends on what you plan to do with your photos. If you're going to print your pictures without doing any editing to them, sRGB is probably the best choice because it typically results in the "punchy" colors that most people like. Some Internet printing services also request sRGB images.

On the other hand, if you're a color purist, will be editing your photos, making your own prints, or all of the above, experiment with Adobe RGB. For the record, this is the route that I go because I see no reason to limit myself to a smaller spectrum from the get-go. However, do note that some colors in Adobe RGB can't be reproduced in print; the printer substitutes the closest available color when necessary. Additionally, you'll need photo software that offers support for Adobe RGB as well as some basic color management controls, which ensure that your image colors are properly handled when you open, print, edit, and save your files. You should plan to spend a little time educating yourself about color management, too, because you can muck up the works if you don't set all the color-management options correctly. Long story short: If you're brand new to digital imaging, this option may be one you explore after you get more comfortable with the whole topic.

If you do want to capture images in Adobe RGB instead of sRGB, visit Shooting Menu 2 and highlight the Color Space option, as shown on the left in Figure 6-28. Press Set to display the screen shown on the right in the figure. Press the up or down cross key to highlight Adobe RGB and press Set again.

Remember that this color mode choice applies only when you shoot in the advanced exposure modes: P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP. In all other modes, the camera automatically selects sRGB as the color space.



Flash exp comp


Custom WB


0, O/tO

Color space


Picture Style


Dust Delete Data

Color space


►Adobe RGB

Figure 6-28: Choose Adobe RGB for a broader color spectrum.

You can tell whether you captured an image in the Adobe RGB format by looking at its filename: Adobe RGB images start with an underscore, as in _MG_0627.jpg. Pictures captured in the sRGB color space start with the letter I, as in IMG_0627.jpg.

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  • Ralph
    What is the best rgb or srgb for a canon 1000d?
    9 years ago
  • Andreas
    How to get punchier pics from canon 1000d?
    9 years ago
  • eleleta medhanie
    What is the best setting for wb shift/bkt settings for canon eos 450d?
    9 years ago
  • faruz
    Can you shoot in adobe rgb with canon cameras?
    9 years ago
  • Suoma
    What is sRGB adobe color in canon eos menu?
    9 years ago
  • outi
    What RGB color mode for canon s31s?
    8 years ago
  • juhani lydman
    What should I set my colour space to in Canon rebel t6?
    3 years ago
  • taija
    Which color space is good in Canon 1100D?
    2 years ago
  • impi
    What is color space on rebel xs?
    11 months ago
  • manuela
    How to set cthe color space on canon g3x to adobe?
    2 months ago
  • Jokinen
    What camera setting adobergb or srgb?
    2 months ago

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