What is the color profile of my RAW Image?

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding Capture One 6.x, 5.x and 4.x for Mac and Windows

What is the color profile of my RAW Image?

Postby alexpro » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:41 am

I own a Nikon D7000 and I sometimes switch between the sRGB and Adobe RGB color profiles in my camera. When I import the images in C1 Pro 6, how can I tell what profile my raw image was shot at? I could not find this anywhere, not even in the metadata tab.

Futhermore, to add to (my) confusion, in the Output tab, there're several Nikon profiles to choose from for output. Is it safe to assume that if my camera is set to sRGB then, if I choose "Embed camera profile", the output file will be the Nikon sRGB 4.0.0.3002? or will it use sRGB IEC61966-2.1?

Thanks,
Alex
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Re: What is the color profile of my RAW Image?

Postby nggalai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:51 am

Hi Alex,

RAW files don’t use colour profiles. It’s the raw data from your sensor; any settings regarding sRGB or AdobeRGB you can make in-cam are relevant for JPEG capture only.

In CaptureOne, there are two places where chosing a colour profile is relevant: a) in the Output Tab / Recipies, and b) chosing your Proof Profile / colour space in the View menu.

Hope this helps,
-Sascha
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Re: What is the color profile of my RAW Image?

Postby alexpro » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:08 pm

Thanks Sascha....this is interesting....

So then, if I export my RAW file and choose "Embed camera profile", what profile will my output JPEG eventually have? Is it whatever I specified in the camera, which is if I choose sRGB will actually translate to Nikon sRGB 4.0.0.3002? Or does it all work differently?

Thanks,
Alex
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Re: What is the color profile of my RAW Image?

Postby nggalai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:17 pm

Hi Alex,

with “embed camera profile” in the Output tab, CaptureOne embeds the ICC profile selected in the “Color” tab, “Base Characteristics”. Hence, CO embeds the camera calibration profile, either as supplied by PhaseOne or as added by the user in case of custom calibrations, e.g. with a ColorChecker and software for ICC profile creation.

This can be necessary in a processing pipeline where the next dude who has to deal with your image needs to do further adjustments prior to passing the file on to yet another person. If you’re running solo, you probably don’t need this option.

You should chose your output colour profile according to your workflow and/or media requirements. If in doubt, or publishing to the web without further editing in other software, use the sRGB colour space profile installed with your operating system. If you work on a wide gamut screen and want to edit the image further, use AdobeRGB. If you send the file to a RIP or an external print service, use the according profiles instead.

You can preview the look of your pictures by selecting the colour profile you want to process to in the View menu, Proof Profile. I think, but I’m not sure, that CaptureOne defaults to “selected recipe”.

Cheers,
-Sascha

P.S. If this posting makes you or any other reader go “huh?”, you should read a couple of articles on (basic) colour management. It’s less daunting than this wall of text makes it look like, but it’s kinda hard to explain without illustrations and whatnot.
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Re: What is the color profile of my RAW Image?

Postby alexpro » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:41 am

Thanks Sascha, this makes much more sense now.
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