This topic is coming up a lot on workshops these days, so I thought I would explain some of the choices. Historically we have had two color spaces to choose from in-camera, Adobe RGB and sRGB. Adobe RGB has a wider color gamut than sRGB, meaning you can get a wider range of colors when printing your image. But if you were going to display your image on a screen, phone, iPad, computer or projector, sRGB was a better choice since these devices couldn’t show the wide range of colors in Adobe RGB. If you uploaded your Adobe RGB image to your iPad, chances are it looked flat and not as vivid as your original photo.
If you were sending images to magazines and commercial clients, they asked for Adobe RGB. And if you really had a solid monitor color management system and printer in your office, you can get a wider color gamut printing in Adobe RGB. But in today’s visual world, screens and monitors are where many display their images, and sRGB would be a better choice. Here is a simple test for everyone printing at home. Print the same image in Adobe RGB and sRGB as see if you can see a difference. If you can’t, then the benefit of working in Adobe RGB is probably not worth it since most likely you are also displaying your image on your website and social media accounts.
If you photograph in RAW, then you can assign the color space in editing. The question is does it make sense to start in Adobe RGB or sRGB in-camera.? For many having sRGB set in-camera makes a lot of sense. And for the times you may want to print, you can change to Adobe RGB and work in that space for your print workflow. Ask your local printer what space they prefer. Depending on how they print, they may ask for sRGB. Major online book publishers like Blurb ask for all images in sRGB color space.
As with so much in photography, the right answer will be different for each photographer. Most likely sRGB will work just fine for most photographers and their end use of images. But I just shot an editorial assignment last week, and the client wanted all the images in Adobe RGB since the images would be printed. Decide how you use your images, and what color space works best for you.