Comparing Colorspaces in DPC 📽

Digital Color Calculator can show 2d representations of color spaces and allows you to compare two at a time. We support only editing/synthetic color spaces at this time. Let’s say that you want to compare sRGB color space that is the de facto standard for displaying images on the web and which is often used by commercial printing in drugstores and on cheaper home printers with DCI-P3, a wider color space that is now available from Apple devices.

Where in the app are the colorspaces located?

Tap on Colors and Conversions on the main menu. The top of the interface allows entering numeric values and convert them between color spaces. For this tutorial are going to ignore this part.

  1. In the top line of the page under SOURCE VALUES select first color space you want to include in the comparison. Let’s select sRGB here.
  2. Then move to the RGB COLOR list below and scroll down to DCI-P3 D65. Touch the line and you will be presented with the CIE chromaticity diagram.
  3. Now you should see horseshoe shaped color diagram.
  4. You should also see two triangles that encapsulate the two selected color spaces (sRGB and DCI-P3).

Note: The above screenshot compares AdobeRGB and DCI-P3. Comparison of sRGB and DCI-P3 is left an an exercise for the reader.

What the chart tells me?

The three corners represent the most vivid red, green and blue colors the color space is able to handle. The further from the center, the more vivid the color. Inside of the triangle are all the colors the color space can represent.

Lets take a look at these two particular color spaces. You can see that the DCI-P3 can represent redder reds and greener greens, than sRGB, while blues appear to be the same.

Step by step


Some other interesting color spaces

Compare also ProPhoto RGB, AdobeRGB and possibly eciRGB v2.

  • ProPhoto is recommended by some color management experts for editing, because it encapsulates all colors current photographic devices can reproduce. It even has some colors that are invisible to the human eye. These colors are represented by the sections of the gamut triangle that are outside the colorful horseshoe.
  • AdobeRGB is traditionally used in prepress, because it works well with printing press related workflows. Many professional wide gamut displays are designed to display full AdobeRGB color space. The iPad screenshot above shows comparison with DCI-P3. You will notice that AdobeRGB extends mostly towards green colors, while DCI-P3 extends towards purples, reds, oranges, yellows and greens, mostly reds, though.
  • eciRGB is a color space popular among some European studio and portrait photographers.

Where do I get more information?

There are some excellent books.

Color Management & Quality Output

The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop

The Digital Print: Preparing Images in Lightroom and Photoshop for Printing



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