Lightroom: incorrect jpg import with AdobeRGB colorspace

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  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Not a Problem
  • (Edited)
Jpegs taken with the Panasonic DMC-GH1 set to AdobeRGB colorspace import with incorrect colors into Lightroom, where they display properly in other apps.

Only if I strip the EXIF data will Lightroom display it correctly. To me, this seems like a bug in the camera profile, where it does not support the AdobeRGB colorspace.

Here is an example photo (I have resized it for convenience). Open it in your web browser and compare the colours to Lightroom.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ms9e8ocumzl...
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Rob Stevens

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  • wanting a way to use these photos while preserving original colors and EXIF data

Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Which version of Lightroom are you using?
And just in case it matters: Which OS version?
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Rob Stevens

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Hi Chris,

It's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.2 64-bit on Windows 7.
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LRuserXY

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Actually, Lightroom (and Photoshop) display the JPG correctly (i.e. more saturated) and most other applications that are not photographically oriented (even if they are color managed, e.g. IrfanView or Firefox) do not.

The reason is that JPEGs in AdobeRGB that originate from most cameras don't have an embedded ICC color profile. They only contain metadata information indicating the color space used. Only software that is able to read this information can display the photo correctly.

The metadata information is standardized and is located in the Exif data. Ist called "InteropIndex" or "Interoperability Index". It indicates whether the color space is sRGB or AdobeRGB. For the concrete file, the field indicates AdobeRGB ("R03 - DCF option file (Adobe RGB)"). And the file does not contain an ICC profile (verified with exiftool).

By stripping the Exif data from the file, Lightroom becomes clueless about the color space and assumes a default, apparently sRGB, as most of the other applications do even if the Exifs are still there.

This is a common problem with out-of-camera-JPEGs in AdobeRGB. For instance, Canon explicitely warns in their manuals that the ICC profile is not appended.
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Rob Stevens

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Thanks for the comprehensive response. I must admit I am extremely surprised at this, as the photos I accidentally took in AdobeRGB ColorSpace look natural to me in most apps, but deeply oversaturated in Lightroom. Perhaps I just have an aversion to saturation, or perhaps my cameras color handling is not so good.

To removing any doubt at all that Lightroom and my camera are fully compatible in this regard, I'm going to test with manual white balance and exposure on a tripod, and compare the two ColorSpace settings. I'll be back soon with results.
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Rob Stevens

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My preliminary testing has only revealed further inconsistencies - this time in exposure. But I think I'm at risk of creating much confusion here. A couple more days and I'll have a concise conclusion and samples.
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Rob Stevens

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I created two test scenes, and locked the camera to the same exposure, white balance, shutter speed, focus, aperture, everything. I only changed the ColorSpace on the camera between shots.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jagaa3vnwn...

On the camera's two screens (LCD and EVF), the images have the same exposure, but the sRGB version looks slightly more saturated.

In a third party image viewer on the PC, they look exactly the same as they do on the camera.

In Lightroom, the adobeRGB versions are rendered much darker, and the green and the red looks vastly different.

In summary, while the camera does seem to render the colors slightly differently, it is consistent with a third party image viewer, and exposure is always consistent between color spaces. Lightroom renders the two images of each test scene vastly differently in color, brightness and contrast. Can you explain why this could be happening?

Here are the originals if you need them:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8339996/adob...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8339996/adob...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8339996/adob...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8339996/adob...