I wonder if someone could shed some light on this for me. I import Sony ARW images into Lightroom on my iMac directly from my SD cards. When I look at the info panel for these files they are showing as having a Display P3 profile rather than the AdobeRGB profile that they were shot in. I normally work with the ProPhoto profile in Photoshop. Can someone help explain this for me?
The color profile setting in the camera only affects jpgs, including the image you see on the camera monitor and the jpg embedded in the raw file.
Raw files are one channel greyscale files, and don't have a color profile.
When you export from Lightroom or use Edit in Photoshop from Lightroom, a new RGB file is created, derived from the raw file. This new RGB file will have a color profile, which one depends on your color space choice in the Export dialog, or in the Lightroom preferences > External editing.
I'm not a Mac user, but I'm guessing that the info panel has to do with the Finder.
The color profile shown there has to be for the embedded jpg, but I have no idea why it says Display P3.
In any case, it doesn't matter, since raw files don't have a color profile.
I checked my Sony raw files and I see what you are saying. Get Info in the Mac Finder reports Display P3 for them too. I don’t know the definitive answer, but I will guess that the Mac Finder is assuming Display P3 by default to an image that it thinks does not have a profile. That would make sense here, because as Per said, camera raw images do not have an RGB color profile because they are not yet RGB, they are still single channel raw data.
I think it’s assigning Display P3 as an assumed default because it’s being viewed on a display with a Display P3 color gamut, which is true of all current Macs with a built-in display (iMacs, MacBook laptops…). If I am right about that, if the same file was on an older Mac with an sRGB display, the same Get Info window would assume it to be sRGB.
rather than the AdobeRGB profile that they were shot in
When you set your camera to capture raw files and you also set the color space in the camera, you are not setting the color profile for the raw file because it can’t have one. When shooting raw, what the camera color space selection does do is either or maybe both of the following, depending on the camera:
Sets the color profile of the camera viewfinder histogram (and maybe preview), which may affect where the camera indicates clipping per color channel.
Sets the color profile of the preview embedded in the raw file, and if shooting raw+JPEG, probably also the RGB color profile of the JPEG version.
I normally work with the ProPhoto profile in Photoshop.
Because it is a raw file, Photoshop can’t work with it directly. The raw file has to go through Adobe Camera Raw first. In Camera Raw, the raw file will of course have no profile, but as usual, you tell Camera Raw how to translate the raw to RGB using the workflow preferences underlined at the bottom of the Camera Raw window.
If it says ProPhoto RGB there, then you are OK…clicking the Open button will convert the raw photo directly to a ProPhoto RGB document that it opens in Photoshop. If it says anything else down there, like Adobe RGB or sRGB, click the underlined text and change the color space to ProPhoto RGB.