Color Space in Canon RAW files

Due to several posts around color space used and exported, I did the following:

  1. Took an image with all my (Canon) cameras, all set to use Adobe RGB
  2. Copied the files to my computer using the finder (I’m on Mac)
  3. Checked color space info using exiftool

This is what I found:

  1. Canon raw files display an “Uncalibrated” color space when set to Adobe RGB
  2. Exported using the original color space, they report Adobe RGB

My questions:

  1. when I set the cameras to use sRGB, will I lose colors assuming the sensor is still "uncalibrated?
  2. when I set the cameras to use AdobeRGB, DxO assumes that output should be Adobe RGB even if the source color space is uncalibrated. Will there be any loss?
  3. Sensor data is always (?) uncalibrated, embedded previews use the color space set in camera?

I’d be happy if someone from DxO could shine some light into how color is actually managed in DPL. Maybe a whitepaper could help?

To your question 1. The most output-media (screen, printer and so) use sRGB. Thats why my complete workflow from camera to output is sRGB. If you use AdobeRGB, you must convert the picture from AdobeRGB to sRGB. Everey Software make this on other way. The colors after this convertion is not the same.

Many modern monitors, even fairly low cost ones will display at near AdobeRGB. Few laptops can do this however, but there are an increasing number. Printers are a different problem, not lest the types of paper etc. will affect output.

The advantage of higher range in the monitors is I find it gives you more flexibility. RAW comes in without any colour range its at the processing stage this is selected by user (or program if its something like Photoshop elements).

In theory if everything is calibrated the print should be as on the screen, not that I have ever found that!

The problem is every stage uses a different way you see it (pixels light up, light reflected off paper etc.) and has different ways of using. My eyesight was totally different after having cataracts removed, colour and brightness. As you age your eyes change so even they are effecting how you compared to someone else will see an image on screen or paper. I was told by a pro years ago, create output until it looks right in the medium you are using and then its right.

…this is what I do normally. Nevertheless, I am interested how DPL works.

As far as I gathered from a post somewhere in this forum, DPL calculates without color space and puts out images with the color space put down in the file or based on what I define in the output dialog. I suppose that previews are calculated in the same way. It is unclear though, what rendering intent is used.