6 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2010 11:17 AM by Michael Graubart

    Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?

    Michael Graubart Level 1

      I am totally confused after having read a host of apparently contradictory materials. If I shoor RAW images, can they already have a particular colour profile imposed on them by the camera? Does not RAW mean 'no profile before being processed by software outside the camera'?

       

      I have a Canon Powershot G11 camera. JPEGs are always recorded with sRGB profile in this camera. But after some e-mail correspondence with the Canon technical enquiry department, they have told me that the RAW images are also recorded with sRGB profile, i.e they already have that profile as they come out of the camera and before they are processed by the Adobe DNG Converter and ACR. Can this be right?

       

      Thanks very much in anticipation of a simple answer!

        • 1. Re: Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?
          xbytor2 Level 4

          I have a Canon Powershot G11 camera. JPEGs are always recorded with sRGB profile in this camera. But after some e-mail correspondence with the Canon technical enquiry department, they have told me that the RAW images are also recorded with sRGB profile, i.e they already have that profile as they come out of the camera and before they are processed by the Adobe DNG Converter and ACR. Can this be right?

             

           

          No. A color profile is not applied until you actually convert a raw/dng

          file to an image file format (psd, tiff, jpg, whatever) in ACR.

          You select the color profile that you want, which may be different from

          what was set in your camera.

           

          The DNG Converter converts from raw to dng. The camera's color profile

          does not effect the raw information at all (or the resulting DNG file),

          only the jpegs the camera produces.

           

          -X

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?
            Michael Graubart Level 1

            Thank you very much. That is what I thought, too, so how can it be that the Canon people themselves say the opposite? I can only imagine that the message I got from them was from a fairly low-level source.

            • 3. Re: Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?
              ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The camera-profile setting affects the embedded preview JPG in a RAW file and, therefore, the histogram, but that's it.  Some RAW conversion software (perhaps Canon's DPP) may look at the camera-profile setting and use that as the default output profile for the RAW conversion, but you would be able to override it, too.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?
                RASouthworth Level 3

                Usually cameras don't embed profiles, rather they include a simple tag in the exif data "hidden" within the raw file.  This can be used by manufacturer's software for default rendering, but has no effect upon the actual raw image data.  This is also done with jpeg output, although of course the camera has rendered the image into either sRGB or Adobe1998 depending upon the camera settings.

                 

                I generally set Photoshop to ignore exif colorspace tags (File Handling within Preferences), only want to honor a profile if is actually present.  Therefore I always set my camera to sRGB so that on the rare occasions I shoot in jpeg I won't have the wrong colorspace in use.  Of course for ACR the camera colorspace makes no difference, since the output colorspace is chosen within ACR, no attention is paid (for raw) to the exif tag.  I use ProPhoto for most work in ACR/Photoshop to avoid channel clipping.

                 

                Richard Southworth

                • 5. Re: Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?
                  Michael Graubart Level 1

                  Thank you, too, very much. I now have two answers agreeing with each other, both sounding authoritative, and both coinciding with what I originally thought myself, so it is pretty clear that the Canon enquiry people are wrong.

                  • 6. Re: Can a RAW image have a colour profile straight from camera?
                    Michael Graubart Level 1

                    Richard, that is a beautifully clear and full explanation. Thank you. And the tip about ignoring the Exif tag is particularly useful.