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Chapter 2. How Camera Raw Works > Color Space Conversions

Color Space Conversions

One other operation that usually entails all three of the aforementioned types of image degradation is color space conversions. When you convert from a larger gamut to a smaller one, colors present in the source space that are outside the gamut of the destination space get clipped (see Figure 1-5 in the previous chapter for an illustration of gamut clipping).

A significant number of levels also get lost in conversions between spaces with different gammas or tone curves. The bigger the difference between the gammas, the more levels get lost. Figure 2-7 shows what happens when you convert a linear-gamma gradient to a gamma 1.8 working space in both 8-bit/channel and 16-bit/channel modes. Even in 16-bit per channel mode, the shadows get stepped on pretty hard, and in 8-bit per channel mode, about 25 percent of the levels have disappeared.


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