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Thread: Colour Space & RAW images

  1. #1
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    Raul Nunez

    Colour Space & RAW images

    Are raw images defined in a particular colour space? I have set a Canon to sRGB, and the information on CR2 images indicate that in fact this is the colour space. However, when opening the same images with Photoshop CS4 the information reads Adobe RGB (1998). The point is, I have yet to see explicitly indicated that Raw images are not space non-dependent. Could anyone have a precise answer to this subject? Forgive my lack of knowledge on such a basic theme

  2. #2

    Re: On Colour Space

    Quote Originally Posted by Raul View Post
    Are raw images defined in a particular colour space? I have set a Canon to sRGB, and the information on CR2 images indicate that in fact this is the colour space. However, when opening the same images with Photoshop CS4 the information reads Adobe RGB (1998). The point is, I have yet to see explicitly indicated that Raw images are not space non-dependent. Could anyone have a precise answer to this subject? Forgive my lack of knowledge on such a basic theme
    Hi Raul

    When you open a RAW file in Photoshop RAW editor there is a line at the bottom with some technical details. If you click on that it takes you to a window where you can define (amongst other things) your default colour space in RAW processing.

  3. #3
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    Re: On Colour Space

    Rob, thanks a lot for the tip

  4. #4

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    Re: On Colour Space

    Quote Originally Posted by Raul View Post
    Are raw images defined in a particular colour space? I have set a Canon to sRGB, and the information on CR2 images indicate that in fact this is the colour space. However, when opening the same images with Photoshop CS4 the information reads Adobe RGB (1998). The point is, I have yet to see explicitly indicated that Raw images are not space non-dependent. Could anyone have a precise answer to this subject? Forgive my lack of knowledge on such a basic theme
    Hi Raul,

    Short answer is "No". RAW files don't have a colourspace; as Rob pointed out, one is assigned by the RAW converter though.

    For what it's worth though, I leave my camera set to sRGB ... for the simple (and only) reason that if it's set to Adobe RGB the first letter of the filename gets changed to an underscore, which annoys me!

    In terms of "which is the best space" though, it's not quite as cut and dried ... the bigger the space the more colours that can be supported, but the more trouble the photographer can get themselves into because some of these extra colours can be printed correctly, but not displayed correctly ... and you can get into a situation where what's printed is not what you want. If in doubt, sRGB is a LOT safer, and the colours you miss out on are really quite subtle (ie if you don't see them, you probably won't miss them).

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