I recently upgraded my Win7 to Win8 and installed all the apps along with Ligthroom 4. Everything works fine except I see a significant color change within LR4. My PC and monitor (Dell 27") is the same and dual boot so I can go back to LR 4 installed on Win7 partition and confirm the change. Below are two screenshots taken on same machine/monitor but in Win7 and Win8.
As you can see above that colors in Win7 looks much vibrant and rich compare to Win8 where they appear muted. Any idea what is causing this to happen? Interestingly even a JPG image looks different inside LR4 on Win8. Using anyother app to view same image on Win8 shows the original colors as it is meant to be. To me looks like there's something wrong with the LR4 on Win8.
The other difference I could see is that on Win8 it is LR4.4 and on Win7 partition it is 4.2 or 4.3
It is kind of driving me crazy as I can't seem to find any solution around this issue.
The right profile is one that accurately describes that particular monitor. For that you need to calibrate/profile it using a Spyder, x-rite i1 or similar.
Until then, you can get by using a generic profile such as sRGB or Adobe RGB. Which one depends on the monitor. For most consumer-level monitors it would be sRGB, but for higher-end wide gamut models Adobe RGB will be a more accurate representation of the monitor's characteristics.
But there's no way around a calibrator if you want correct colors.
Hmmm, I'm not 100% sure, Asif. The profile you have selected is the official sRGB specification so colours using this profile should be perceived identically e.g. Camera LCD, other monitors etc but I have personally not found this to be the case. I have two identical monitors and the default colour representation is slightly different between them even using the same ICC profile within Windows. I calibrated my monitors using an external hardware & software system called Spyder by a company called Datacolor. This system actually scans the colours being displayed on the monitor and then creates a custom ICC profile that matches the two to a baseline specification.
Whilst I’ve never had anything professionally printed, I would imagine that such services would specify the colour space to be used. I believe that sRGB is by far the most standard across home users / Internet etc. Adobe RGB has a broader gamut (range of colours) but is less standard. I would imagine different printed surfaces would give differing colour perception so they may have specific profiles but again I would expect the printing service to provide information on this – LR soft-proofing can be used to simulate these profiles.
To answer your question specifically, "is it the 'right' profile to work with?"
I would say, yes, because this colour space is by far the most standard with the caveat that you may need to calibrate your display(s) to account for monitor variations.
The kind of work I do is mostly digitally led so a broader gamut is not what I'd go after. Please correct me if I'm wrong but Adobe RGB and ProPhoto etc like profiles or 'calibration' is more print oriented. For people like myself that are amature photographers may be sRGB is the answer.
I don’t think you’ll go far wrong using sRGB. In order to benefit from Adobe RGB’s wider gamut, everything that processes the image (windows, monitor, image editing applications, printer, printing device etc) must be correctly setup to use Adobe RGB. This is often not the case so Adobe RGB images appear dull. sRGB is far more standard and the best choice for amateur photography.
Remember though that sRGB is a standard colour space (a way of referring to colours) and does not necessarily mean that your device (e.g. monitor) is accurately reproducing them. For this you need to calibrate your monitor using devices such as Datacolor’s Spyder system.