The pixels of the image sensor are equipped with color filters, generally RGB. The exact nature of this red, green and blue are slightly different for each camera manufacturer and model. The camera’s native color space characterizes this particular definition of colors. It is not intended for display, it is what the sensor sees.

Subsequently, if color rendering deals with the appearance of colors, the color space defines the matrix of reference used to describe these colors.

For an image from a raw file, the raw input colors are considered in the native color space of the sensor. PhotoLab applies color adjustments (saturation, HSL, but also color rendering, etc.) in this color space.After basic operations, PhotoLab converts colors into the Adobe RGB space that it uses as a working color space. It cannot be configured.

Click to enlarge – Alt+ < to return

See the

tutorial “Mastery of PhotoLab – The corrections and palettes” for details of the hierarchical application of functions.


The Adobe RGB color space may appear narrow. Access to saturated colors outside this space remains possible, PhotoLab can find them from the native color space.
The same goes for extreme lightness.

To display the image in the viewer, for each new correction PhotoLab convert the image in the color space of the computer screen

When exporting, the image is definitely converted. The default color space proposed is “as (requested) when shooting” (although this indication is only necessary for the direct JPEG file). The conversion can explicitly be in sRGB, Adobe RGB or any other color space defined by an ICC Color Profile usually provided by a printing driver.
ProPhoto RGB can be used but the latter doesn’t make much sense. The export according to ProPhoto RGB will only contain the colors allowed by Adobe RGB.


For post-processing the image in a third-party image editor (Affinity Photo, Adobe Photoshop), it is recommended to stick to Adobe RGB as it contains all the information available in PhotoLab and avoids additional conversions.

For an RGB image (usually JPEG), depending on the color space selected in the camera, the input colors are sRGB or Adobe RGB. PhotoLab uses this color space as its working color space. And, again, this cannot be configured directly (only by converting the image to another color space using a third-party utility before opening it in PhotoLab). When exporting, the option “like shooting” means no conversion.


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