MAJOR Color difference between photoshop and preview with XSi pictures

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by awhaas, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. awhaas macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    Hello. I recently purchased a Canon XSi. The camera is not the issue, I am very pleased with it. However, when I download images to my MacBook Pro and look at them in Preview (or Safari, mail, iPhoto, basically anything Apple) vs. Photoshop (or Gimp, Firefox, Canon's Digital Photo Professional), the color is all wrong. Pictures of faces look REALLY red and darker in Preview, but correct in Photoshop or Digital Photo Professional. The pictures I took are JPG and sRGB. I have found that if I open the images in Gimp and then save them without the EXIF they look correct in Preview.
    I wasn't too concerned about this since when I am looking at images I can choose whatever program I want, it was more of an annoyance. However, I brought some photos to a Kodak kiosk today and they all printed out just as they look in Preview, which is unacceptable. Does anyone know what is going on here and how I can fix it? Does anyone have an idea as to whether or not online printing services such as Shutterfly or Snapfish will have this problem?
    One other note...I am running Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard. When I view these images in preview using my old mac which has Tiger, they look just fine.
  2. 103734 Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    I shoot with a D90 and in preview they always look alot brighter and more vivid in preview compared to aperture/photoshop, I shoot raw though so I'm not sure if that matters, I always just import everything into aperture and edit the best pictures from a batch and export them as JPEG into a folder where I keep all the images I have edited, I have never had any problems with color after exporting them to JPEG, i got a few of the edited JPEGs printed by and they look exactly the same as they did on my screen.
  3. awhaas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    Do you mean that they look the same as they do in photoshop or the same as they do in preview?
  4. 103734 Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    Oh sorry about not clarifying that, I mean after converting from raw with aperture they look the same in preview, photoshop, and the prints.
  5. winterspan macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    This is purely a guess, but I would bet that it has to do with the default colorspace/color profile being used by Apple versus Adobe. I'm no photography expert, so don't ask me about the details of how color profiles work in OSX..
  6. Nicholie macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    Huntsville, Al
  7. awhaas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    So I downloaded the trial version of Aperture, and they images look the same as in Preview---over saturated and reddish. What is going on here? I would expect that Aperture and Photoshop would display an sRGB file the same. What differences are there between the way that Aperture display images?
  8. 103734 Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    Are you viewing these on an external monitor or do you have a external monitor hooked up? If so try unplugging the monitor then restarting aperture/photoshop/preview and see if the colors are correct now, I have heard before that people have had problems with colors when an external monitor is hooked up, even if your not viewing the pictures on the external monitor.
  9. awhaas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
  10. awhaas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    Well, I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop CS4 and the photos look too reddish there too. However, if I save the file without an embedded profile it looks good again. Now I am really confused. Is this a problem of the camera?

    I also did a test in which I took a picture in JPG + RAW. The two looked very different, the RAW looked MUCH better and more what I expected. Maybe the problem that I am having has to do with the camera's internal processing of the image when it makes it into a JPG? Is this a normal problem or does it mean that there is something wrong with my camera?
  11. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    My best recommendation is that if you can shoot RAW, do so. To me, it sounds as if the camera is processing the JPG's in a way that is unsatisfactory to you. To resolve this, shoot RAW and edit them yourself, then save it in a format that would work for you.

    I know that probably isn't what you'd like to hear, as you'll have to manually manipulate the images, but to me, that sounds like the best solution.

    Shoot RAW + JPG. If you want to print, edit the RAW.
  12. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    It almost sounds like the photos are being shot in sRGB but tagged as if they were Adobe RGB.

    Thus they look normal when stripped of their EXIF data, but "redder" (and I would also guess there is some funkiness with greens too) when viewed in a color-space aware application.

    This would also explain why the RAW files look okay--they aren't tagged into a color space.

    I'm not familiar with Canon's, so I'm not sure what options you have menu-wise that could be doing this. Or the best way to troubleshoot it in camera by playing with various settings.

    A similar visual effect can occur when viewing photos on a wide-gamut monitor with an application that isn't color-space aware (i.e some internet browsers).
  13. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    Make sure you are using sRGB everywhere. I used to have the same problem when Lightroom or photoshop was using Adobe RGB and everything else was on sRGB.
  14. zebbz macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    i read that using adobe rgb was better when taking photographs
    but never truely understood why
    and i noticed that blues look off in preview compared to photoshop etc

    is it wise to continue shooting in adobe rgb or should i switch to srgb

    i do feel that the raw pictures always look better
    and that the jpegs usually look pretty bad in comparison colour-wise...
  15. awhaas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    More experimenting with good results...

    Okay, so I found out that there is a setting in DPP that needs to be changed so that it displays things with the monitors ICC instead of sRGB (apparently Photoshop must automatically default to the alternative). When I change that, everything looks the same in photoshop or DPP or Preview, etc. Alternatively, if I leave DPP with the display set to sRGB and then go to photoshop, turn on proofing, and then select "monitor RGB" everything again looks consistent (though the colors look different in the two cases, they are consistent for ALL programs in each case). So this is good news. However, I am interested to know, does anyone know what proofing in Photoshop is for? Which profile should I be modifying photos in to ensure that the colors match the prints?
  16. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Where did you get that gem of misinformation from? I shoot in Adobe RGB, in raw, with no problems whatsoever, using Aperture, Lightroom and CS3, over my home setup, and my universities digital darkroom.

    If you are NEVER going to print an image, then yes use sRGB. sRGB was set up for Internet use primarily.
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Your problem was that your monitor was horribly mis-calibrated. All of the
    color managed applications showed the wrong colors. Those that ignored
    the issue did about the right thing because your JPG images wa in sRGB space.

    sRGB is designed to be about what the typical un-calibrated monitor will do.
    That is why people say to use sRGB, so that your imge will look
    good on a non-managed monotor.

    Your next step is to buy a hardware colorimeter and calibrate your monitor.
    You seem to have gotten 80% id the way there by using a random icc profile
    but you can get 100% only by maing yor own custom icc profile for your
    monitor. Even so yu will need to re-make it every few months because the
    monitor change with age.

  18. awhaas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2009
    I think I will try to get a device to calibrate my display. However, at this point I am just happy that the colors are consistent in all my software. At least that way when I get prints I can start getting an idea of how to modify them to get what I want.
  19. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    Yes, I probably should've clarified that this is ONLY if you don't care to print Iimages. I am only using my images online so far, so that's why I chose to work in sRGB. I know that Adobe RGB is better, and ProPhoto even more so. But a lot of the people I actually show my work to don't know or don't care. And using the higher colorspace would make the images look accurate on MY screen/s, but not theirs.

    I really should start aligning all my displays and tools to something more future-proof.

    edit: nvm, I think I solved my problem. I set everything to Adobe RGB, and export to sRGB. I have more control this way, but the output is still reliable enough for most screens. Should've done this ages ago.

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