Adobe RGB vs DCI-P3 vs sRGB – Which Should You Use?

Adobe RGB vs DCI-P3 vs sRGB – Which Should You Use?

Color spaces play a crucial role in the landscape of digital and physical color. The spaces act as a specific method of organizing and distributing colors. Suppose a large cabinet is placed in front of you for filling colors, and each shade has its assigned slot to fit within the system. It is essential to get the hang of different color spaces because it saves you from mishaps. The system ensures that the designed colors that emerge are translated consistently on the screens of multiple devices such as printers, phones, etc. Besides, it would help if you remembered that every color space has its expertise. RGB is preferred for screens, whereas CMYK is preferred for printing. For the representation of colors in a digital format, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, and sRGB are the standard color spaces. Adobe RGB is perfect for editing photos, and DCI-P3 is for video editing.

The blog will discuss color space, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3,sRGB, Adobe RGB vs DCI-P3 vs sRGB, practical applications, and recommendations.

What Is Color Space?

A color space is a digital device translation tool or color dictionary. They focus on defining how colors are coded and organized based on numerals. Why are these spaces important? The answer is devices understand colors differently. For instance, sRGB is commonly used on screens, whereas CMYK is utilized for printing. Once you know the concept of color spacing, you can distinguish how vibrant red designed on-screen looks similar to that printed in a magazine or a phone. Selecting the correct color space prevents you from a dull-colored result that may spoil the entire vibe of the surface on which the color spacing was placed.

Color spaces comprise three elements. They are as follows:

Color Model

The model teaches the creation of colors.

For example, RGB is formed after mixing red, green, and blue. At the same time, CYMK is the result of ink.


The color palette shows the range of colors the space can print or display.

Color Depth

Color depth revolves around the number of bits representing a single pixel’s color. This further defines the range of displayed colors.

What is Adobe RGB?

You must be familiar with the name Adobe. But do you know its history and how it came into being? Let’s travel back to 1998.

Adobe RGB, also known as Adobe (1998), surfaced as the brainchild of Adobe Systems. The main goal of the color space was to address what the sRGB standard could not do. It wanted to surpass a wider variety of colors, which was typically achieved by CMYK printing procedures. The bigger palette was excellent for professional graphic designers and photographers who worked on images that had to be printed. This unlocked color accuracy throughout the work.

Color Gamut Coverage

Adobe RGB covers about 50% of the visible spectrum of colors, making it the go-to color space option for professional photographers and printers. This means that Adobe RGB can represent a richer green and cyans than the results of the sRGB.

Primary Uses

Adobe RGB is the preferred color space for high-end printing and premium photography, where color effect is crucial.

What Is DCI-P3?

Are you curious to know the history and development of DCI-P3? Here it goes. It was originally started as Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a partnership between Hollywood Studios and technology companies founded in 2002. Their primary aim was to take a digital cinema at a certain standard. In 2005, DCI only released DCI-P3, which was particularly designed to encircle the color range of digital cinema projectors. The arrangement ensured that the movies were displayed in vibrant colors in different theatres with DCI-compliant projectors.

Color Gamut Coverage

DCI-P3 is known to have more color gamut coverage than sRGB. How much? Approximately 45% of the spectrum is visible. The figure is closer to Adobe RGB.

Primary Uses

DCI-P3 is primarily used in the film industry and has gained much recognition in consumer electronics such as TVs and smartphones.

What Is sRGB?

The last color space is sRGB, which also has a history. sRGB means “standard RGB.” The space was not a single company’s product but a joint effort of Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft in 1996. The mission was to resolve the surging color inconsistency issues across various screens, monitors to be precise. How did they tackle the problem? At that time, a universal color space existed that had characteristics of CRT monitors; sRGB provided a similar way for monitors, computers, and printers to represent and display colors. The deal’s outcome was the adoption of sRGB, which everyone started using for web design, internet, and several consumer electronics in today’s date.

Color Gamut Coverage

sRGB has the most minor gamut coverage, covering up to 35% of the visible spectrum.

Primary Uses

It is used for websites, consumer monitors, and digital cameras.

Adobe RGB vs. DCI-P3 vs sRGB: Comparing The Color Spaces

So which one is the best? Adobe RGB vs DCI-P3 vs sRGB? Let’s compare the color spaces to see their pros and cons.

Adobe RGB

  • Pros: The color gamut is more comprehensive; the color space is perfect for graphic designers working on print and professional photographers.
  • Cons: It is not supported on the web and may need conversion; it has larger file sizes.


  • Pros: It can match the color range of many cameras in the digital cinema and is proven ideal for video editing.
  • Cons: Limited adoption on consumer devices (colors might not display accurately everywhere), not ideal for print.


  • Pros: The files are universally supported and can be used for web and other sharing purposes. The file size is smaller, too.
  • Cons: The color gamut must be more comprehensive and avoided for professional print or video editing.

Practical Applications and Recommendations

When should the color spaces be used? As mentioned above, each suits different professions, such as photography, design, and filming. We will discuss below:

For Photographers

Photographers should use Adobe RGB over sRGB since the former provides a broader range of colors that enhance the quality of images. At the same time, the latter can be used for web purposes.

For Web Designers

As far as web design is concerned, sRGB is the best. It ensures the consistency of colors across multiple devices. I am giving no color surprises.

For Video Production

DCI-P3 will facilitate the cinematic visuals as the color gamut is not limited and suits the video production industry.

Device Compatibility

Only when a device is compatible will things work out. The same is the case with color spaces. Adobe RGB offers a broader range of colors. If your final output is an sRGB-powered web image or DCI-P3 video, choosing the supported space ensures that the intended colors are displayed accurately by most viewers.


Now you know about color spaces, the three standard types, and where they are famously used and preferred to be avoided. If you want to lay your hands on the perfect equipment, head over to Mobile Pixels so you have no issues choosing a color space.

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