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When preparing graphics for the web, if an image is using Display P3 color space, should it be converted to the so common (and so unfortunately named) sRGB EIC61966-2.1, or left in its native Display P3?

Considering how common P3 displays are becoming, if P3 is likely to be the final viewing medium, I'm wondering if it's a disservice to images to "standardize" them by squeezing them into sRGB space and lose that fidelity.

This article has really got me wondering.

color space comparison 3d graph

This question is concerned with web content primarily, but feel free to elaborate beyond the web.

  • If you dont convert them then they will be squezed regardless. You have no control over web color. – joojaa Dec 17 '19 at 15:19
  • @joojaa Do you mean converting is a waste of time because browsers interpret them as sRGB anyway? – Mentalist Dec 17 '19 at 15:25
  • I feel this is the replay from "I'm using Retina and everyone will be using Retinas because it's superior so I will not desing for non retinas displays". – SZCZERZO KŁY Dec 17 '19 at 15:26
  • Well, first you might be more accurate and define which of the two separate color spaces that are called P3 you are refering to. Second P3 Displsy will maybe be a common colorspace in 10 years. DCI-P3 is pretty common in a cinema though. Second, your screen is most probably even showing P3 correctly since it hasnt been, or can not reach calibration to ambient. Anyway, color spaces dont work like you think. The image is an image its just data, the image does not know that the red it has is maximum P3 red. You can add a tag to image metadata saying it is supposed to be interpretted as some space – joojaa Dec 17 '19 at 16:15
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    You chose sRGB because if you dont then well... Erh no guarantees, no guarantees anyway. The internet just ignores you if you dont. – joojaa Dec 17 '19 at 16:22
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Today, everything destined for the web is best in sRGB. Sure that may change, but it won't next week, month or even year probably.

Why? Because most (if not all) displays are set to use sRGB by default from the factory and 95% of users don't know how to alter it and in all probability even if they do... don't care to alter it -- especially merely for your content.

sRGB is as close as you'll ever get to controlling color over the web.

P3 may show better color to you or perhaps better in Google browsers. But someone viewing the image in another web browser is going to be using sRGB - and different browsers will render differently. So, you are introducing a level of complexity to how the image displays, and therefore also introducing the possibly of poor color matching. sRGB has become, for the most part, universal.

Even if P3 becomes standard, it'll be years before it is as prevalent as sRGB. So unless you plan on creating images to be the same forever, you'll most likely be updating things prior to P3 becoming more standard. That article was written in March of this year.. it may be 2+ more years before operating systems and display manufacturers change, if they change.

For the record, the same conundrum was presented when Adobe RGB appeared on the scene... and years later, today, sRGB is still standard for content destined for the web for the same reasons I've outlined above.

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  • Looks like I'll have to set up a Ps Action with a keyboard shortcut to convert a lot of images to sRGB. Thank you for answering. – Mentalist Dec 18 '19 at 1:25

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