So I have a sony A77 I recently jumped back into the freelance business and have been doing pretty good, but I know a ton more than a few years ago (naturally), but that also just makes me know less since now there's more to know that I don't already know.
First: Colorspace. I shoot in RAW in sRGB. I read online that if most of our photos are going to be viewed online, this is the a good option because ProPhoto and AdobeRGB's colorspace can't be fully displayed on a digital screen, and is in general better for print.
Next: Bits. Since I shoot in RAW, i'm assuming that the image, in camera, is taken at 16bit (I doubt 32 on an APSC). I also read articles that hinted at the fact that Lightroom editing is done in 16bit, and thus photoshop edits should also be done in 16bit for the best quality (unless I export in JPG, then it auto downgrades to 8bit, correct?).
Then: Monitor calibration (man oh man, what a pain). I'm not really in a situation where I can go out and buy a Spyder, so I'm having to manually calibrate my montior. It's a Dell ST2421L (1080p LED, 7m:1 contrast, 250 cd/m brightness, 5ms response; don't bash it, I like it). I've set my Gamma to 2.2; heard it was mostly standard. That, or native (which is 1.85)? I'll say, if I put on native, it's like knocking the clarity on a photo by 50 and the contrast 90. There's also a graphic and video mode on my monitor. I'm assuming I should stick to graphic, but it's dramatic switching between the two and I'm struggling to match my macbook screen (non-retina) to the external. Suggestions? I'm using the OSX calibrator on expert mode. Also, what white balance? Native is 6479, but that gives my gray a reddish hue, so I lightly budged it to 6570 for a more desirable appearance.
Granted the monitors don't really look anything alike (naturally, probs LCD vs LED), the LED is looking okay. It's just a challenge editing on my macbooks screen here and there and throwing it up on the montior and having a pretty different, and somewhat undesirable, appearance.
I was having a concerning problem where the gamma was switching drastically depending on which monitor I had the program (this went for several other programs, including Chrome, though it seems to have subsided with my most recent calibration).
And lastly, what is your favorite camera calibration process? I've been using 2012 with every edit, but I recently switched on 2003 and felt it had better adjustment. 2010 didn't feel too different from 2003, but 2012 just seems way different from both. My preference on 2003 came from luminance noise reduction; '12 made was a bit too much and made the images look plastic-esque, but '03 maxed seemed to better reduce the noise with less impact on sharpness.
Sorry for all the questions, I just want to be the best I can be.
I shoot in RAW in sRGB.
Hardly, because the RAW file is not yet converted into the smaller Color Space.
i'm assuming that the image, in camera, is taken at 16bit
Not necessarily. Check out:
thus photoshop edits should also be done in 16bit for the best quality
Working in 16bit can certainly be advantageous, but with many basic edits the advantage may be practically unnoticeable.
But I would recommend working in 16bit unless size restrictions make this unpracticable.