sRGB vs Adobe RGB: Which Color Mode Is Better in 2024

As seasoned retouchers with over 20 years of expertise, the FixThePhoto team understands the importance of color management. We always strive to deliver the highest photo quality to our clients and are willing to share our knowledge about different color models, with a focus on the sRGB vs Adobe RGB comparison.

Whether you're into photography, digital art, setting up computer monitors, or digital displays, you will surely wonder which color space is the best. Each of them comes with its own advantages and limitations, and in this article, we will delve into the details to help you understand them better.

sRGB – Suitable for Using Photos on the Web

advantages of srgb
  • Consistency across all programs
  • Easy to use
  • Smaller files
  • Perfect for web
  • Narrower range of colors than Adobe RGB
  • No way to turn such photos into Adobe RGB later

sRGB is a great choice if you are going to print your photos without any modifications. It is set as the default color space in Photoshop and the entire Windows system. This color space is excellent for individuals mainly engaged in preparing photos for the web and those users, who want to see how their results will look on a standard photo editing monitor.

If you are comparing Adobe RGB vs sRGB with the aim to get smooth color transitions and extensive compatibility across devices, sRGB is a go-to option.

benefits of srgb

However, there is a restriction you have to put up with when using this color space. sRGB covers the smallest color gamut, so you are likely to lose some colors.

Pro Tip: Working with photos of our clients, we understood that sRGB contains enough colors for displaying images on monitors, but when you print such images, you can lose some important colors.

Adobe RGB – Suitable for Professional Photographers

advantages of adobe rgb
  • Wider color gamut
  • Possibility to convert photos to sRGB
  • Rich formats support
  • More detailed photo editing
  • Not the best for digital media
  • Some devices are not compatible with it

Adobe RGB was created by Adobe to ensure compatibility with CMYK printers. It includes the same number of colors as sRGB, but they aren’t places so close to each other. This results in a more extensive and diverse range of saturated colors, which is important for professional printing. So, the winner in the sRGB vs Adobe RGB battle in terms of printing capabilities is obvious.

benefits of adobe rgb

Moreover, it is possible to convert such photos to sRGB whenever you want on your Adobe RGB monitor. However, it's important to note that when you upload a photo to the web with an Adobe RGB color space, the outcome might appear less vibrant.

fixthephoto portrait photo editing fixthephoto portrait photo editing service

Don’t Have Time to Learn Color Spaces?

If you experience problems, mastering color spaces, don't worry. You can reach out to our team of talented retouchers for assistance.

Our experts are not only skilled in enhancing colors but also excel at image retouching.

This happens because when you upload your files, your browser automatically converts the color to sRGB. However, the outcome of such a conversion is often subpar, so it is better to convert your files manually before uploading them.

Pro Tip: If your monitor doesn’t support at least 90% of the Adobe RGB color gamut, then performing complicated photo correction will be impossible. You can distort colors outside the displayed color space so much that if you send a photo to print, for example, in a photo book, you will get simply disgusting images with the wrong colors.

Verdict – Use One of the Options Based on Your Goals

After examining these 2 Photoshop color modes, it's evident that the choice between them depends entirely on your specific requirements and personal preferences.

Are you planning to print your photos on a regular basis? Do you want to have images with vibrant and striking colors? If your main focus is on print work, opt for Adobe RGB. However, keep in mind that you may need to convert your photos later for web use.

On the other hand, if you mainly plan to output images on the web or you prefer a more straightforward workflow, sRGB is a suitable choice. Such pictures will look great online.

A brief point to consider when viewing images on the web: the quality of color display hinges upon your monitor. Monitors have varying color gamuts, so if you find that your sRGB photos appear lackluster, it may happen because your monitor isn’t properly calibrated.

Converting Adobe RGB to sRGB: Usage Lightroom and Photoshop


how to convert adobe rgb to srgb in lightroom

STEP 1. Open Preferences

STEP 2. Choose the > External Editing tab at the top of the menu

STEP 3. Click on the dropdown menu beside >Color Space and choose >AdobeRGB (1998)

Pro Tip: You can also choose to save your image in the desired color space upon export in Lightroom. Go to >File Space >sRGB or choose Adobe RGB from the dropdown menu.


how to convert adobe rgb to srgb in photoshop

STEP 1. Open Edit

STEP 2. Choose >Convert to Profile

STEP 3. Under >Profile choose >sRGB from the dropdown menu


  • • sRGB vs Adobe RGB – main difference?

Unlike the sRGB color space, Adobe RGB covers a broader color range from green to red. Many single-lens reflex cameras can capture images in a wide color space equivalent to Adobe RGB. Even Adobe’s proprietary software, Adobe Photoshop can handle data stored in the Adobe RGB format accurately.

  • • Which color space is best for printing?

To my mind, the undisputed winner is Adobe RGB, purposefully designed for printing tasks. With a larger gamut compared to sRGB, it closely aligns with the CMYK color space, resulting in minimal color loss during the printing process.

  • • Can Adobe RGB one-up sRGB?

Not always. Envisage sRGB and Adobe RGB as boxes of crayons. With sRGB crayons, you have access to every single color in the box. On the other hand, the Adobe RGB box contains many more crayons, but some colors may not always be visible. This occurs because the Adobe RGB gamut extends beyond what most screens are capable of displaying.

  • • How many colors does Adobe RGB contain?

Adobe RGB encompasses a whopping 16.7 million colors.

  • • Is sRGB a larger color space than Adobe RGB?

The Adobe RGB 1998 color space boasts a gamut that surpasses sRGB by over 30%. So, it offers an abundance of colors that are notably more vibrant and dynamic.