[Digikam-users] Colour Management... Help!

Mark Greenwood fatgerman at ntlworld.com
Fri Jul 31 00:23:15 BST 2009

Hi All,

My first post to the list and I'm sure it's a recurring theme. I'm very impressed with Digikam, it has a very nice workflow and all the tools I need. But enough crawling.. :) I have a question. I work mostly in JPEGs and sRGB, but I've been recently shooting in RAW. I've read the documentation and done lots of research, I understand what ICC profiles are and why colour management is important, but I still don't understand how digikam is handling my RAW files. I hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions.

Firstly, my flatscreen monitor is factory calibrated to sRGB, and my camera produces JPEGs in sRGB so I haven't been using colour management up to now.

But today I shot some RAW files so, from the Settings dialog I've enabled Colour Management. I have 'Use colour managed view' disabled. The profiles I have selected are:
Monitor : sRGB
Workspace : sRGB
Input : Nikon D40 (downloaded from the website link given in the pdf. I actually have a D60 but I think they're very similar)
Soft Proof : I have the correct profiles for my printer but I'm not printing yet.
Black Point Compensation is off and Rendering Intents is Perceptual.

I don't think I've changed anything under the 'RAW Decoding' options apart possibly from 'White Balance', which is set to 'Camera'.

So, I have an album of RAW files (.NEF) straight off the camera. The embedded previews look bright and saturated. When I open the image editor I get a bland, unsaturated image with very little contrast. The docs lead me to believe this is expected and I think I understand why.

However, this is the bit that has got me confused.... now I go to Colour->Colour Management. Under 'Input Profile', 'Use default profile' is selected. If I now change that to 'Use selected profile' and browse to the exact same profile that I selected in the Settings dialog (the Nikon D40 one) all of a sudden my image has saturation and contrast. If I now change 'Workspace Profile' from 'Use default workspace profile' to 'Use selected profile' and browse to an sRGB profile I have downloaded I get even more saturation and contrast. If I now adjust the white balance to D50 instead of D65 I get something pretty close to how the embedded preview looks. But shouldn't all that be happening automatically if I have colour management enabled?

So what's going on? It looks to me as though Digikam is not applying my default profiles when it imports the RAW files, and that I would have to go through the Colour Management step for every file. What have I missed?

Finally, if I go back to using JPEG files, do I have to change the colour management settings so the input profile is sRGB?

Many thanks and sorry for the long email,


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