Difference Between RGB and SRGB

To generate color on a digital interface, like a computer or television screen, camera, projector, a color system, or a color model is used. As color is basically the product obtained after breaking down white light, depending on the process of breaking down light, there are different color models that are used by companies to produce digital color.

RGB vs SRGB

The main difference between RGB and SRGB is that SRGB is a slightly narrower model of colors, which encompasses the generally visible colors that the human eye can see and the brain can perceive. RGB is a broader range of colors and encompasses all the gradients of colors that lay between two different color bands.

RGB vs sRGB

In the literal sense, RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. It is a broad color model which encompasses all the different gradients and shades of colors that lay between the actual color bands. The RGB model is usually used for displaying highly saturated colors and colors with more depth between the shades.

SRGB stands for Standard RGB and is usually used as the standard color model in electronic displays, photo processing types of equipment, and so on. It is a narrower color model derived from the much broader RGB color model. It encompasses the same colors as RGB, but the saturation and depth between the colors are very limited.

Comparison Table Between RGB and SRGB

Parameters of ComparisonRGBSRGB
Definition RGB stands for Red, Blue, Green color modelSRGB stands for Standard RGB color model
Color scaleRGB encompasses a broader range of colors and offers colors with much greater saturationSRGB is a narrow range of colors derived from RGB, with a very small saturation
Color PropertiesAs RGB provides high saturation colors, most shades are not visible or perceived by the human eye and the brainSRGB encompasses all the color shades that are visible to the eye and perceived by the brain
OverlapRGB cameras and screens can display SRGB color bands as wellSRGB interfaces cannot display RGB color bands
UsageRGB color model is typically used in professional settings, such as in professional photography SRGB model is used in generic electronic implements, such as for making laptop and computer screens, typical web browser designs, etc

What is RGB?

RGB is a high saturation color model which is mostly used in professional and high-end digital color interfaces, such as in professional photography implements and high-end laptops, computers, and television screens.

RGB stands for Red, Blue, Green color model and it encompasses a wide range of color shades. The color range of the RGB system is the broadest among all the other color systems, and the color models such as SRGB are derived from RGB by limiting the color saturation.

Thus the saturation of colors in RGB is the highest amongst the other color models. This is because RGB encompasses most of the color shades present between two color bands.

Most of the color bands and shades are not typically visible to the human eye and hence are not perceived by the human brain. As a result, generic digital interfaces such as regular cameras and screens do not use this color model and thus manufacturers prefer color models with less saturation than RGB.

As the other color models are derived from the RGB system, the RGB color model can display all other color models, although this is not possible vice-versa.

Thus when a file is saved in RGB model and viewed in an interface with a different color model, the picture and the colors may look distorted as most colors of the RGB system are not visible in other systems.

What is SRGB?

SRGB is also a color system that is used while programming digital video interfaces such as laptop and television screens or while manufacturing electronic cameras and other recording devices.

It is the most common digital color system used and has become the standard color model for different industries. SRGB, in the literary sense, stands for Standard RGB color model.

As the name suggests, this color model is derived from the much varied RGB color model. Thus it uses the same set of primary colors as in the RGB model, but the saturation level between different shades of colors is reduced to a low value, thus limiting the actual total set of colors in the color model.

This model was derived to encompass only the average set of colors visible to the human eye and perceived by the human brain. A large set of colors in the RGB color model is not visible to the human eye, thereby creating redundancy.

Thus SRGB color model includes the color palette visible to the human eye, by reducing the saturation and the overlap present between two different colors.

SRGB color system is used in different applications, from the manufacturing of screens and other electronic devices to programming web browsers and photo and picture viewing applications. 

Main Differences Between RGB and SRGB

  1. RGB stands for Red, Blue, Green color model whereas SRGB stands for Standard RGB color model
  2. RGB encompasses a broader range of colors with high saturation than SRGB model
  3. Most shades displayed by RGB model are not visible to the human eye. SRGB displays all the colors visible to the human eye
  4. As RGB is a broader color range, it can display all the color models, but the vice-versa is not possible with an SRGB model
  5. RGB color model is typically used in professional settings, such as in professional photography. SRGB model is used in generic electronic implements, such as for making laptop and computer screens, typical web browser designs, etc.

Conclusion  

For creating colors on an electronic device or in a computer program, a color system is used which determines the number of color bands, as well as the different gradients of colors that can be displayed by the interface.

The color systems are coded by assigning alphanumeric values to the actual colors. Thus there are different types of color systems used for producing colors. Both RGB system and SRGB system are two of the most widely used color systems.

RGB is the older and more complex color system in terms of the number of colors that the system encompasses. The SRGB system, along with the other color systems, is derived from the larger RGB system.

References

  1. https://library.seg.org/doi/abs/10.1190/segam2013-0079.1
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