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For the last fifteen years, sRGB has been the primary standard for computer monitors (and for consumer-level printing). That's changing now, as wider-gamut LED-backlit monitors become common. Usually, photographers use these with a color space like aRGB, which is semi-standard — my camera can save JPEGs in that space natively, for example.

But there's a new standard widely pushed in the AV industry to replace sRGB. This is IEC 61966-2-4 — xvYCC (or "x.v.Color", for marketing purposes). This color space has a gamut 1.8× larger than sRGB, covering 90% of the color range of human vision (instead of the uninspiring 50% covered by our current common denominator). Read much more at Sony's web site on the xvYCC.

The important point, though, is that this isn't theoretical. It's part of the HDMI 1.3 standard, along with a specification for color depth of 10 to 16 bits per color ("Deep Color", that's called). Unlike aRGB, which is basically a professional niche thing, there's broad support in consumer-level-gear.

That's the background. The question is: given that this is widely catching on, and that we're all likely to have computer (and TV!) hardware capable of supporting it in the next few years, why is this being sold as basically only a video thing? It seems like the camera industry would be happy to get on board.

Sony is big into the idea, and launched video cameras supporting it four years ago now. The Playstation 3 supports it, for goodness's sake! Why not put it in the Sony Alpha dSLRs as well? And Sony's not alone — Canon has video cameras supporting it too.

Of course, if you're shooting RAW, in-camera support is un-important. It's the converter software people who would have to get on board — why isn't theirthere a push for this? As I understand it, xvYCC is an extension of YCbCr, which is already used in JPEG files. But as I read the literature, I find lots of mentions of updated MPEG standards, but nothing about still photographic images.

Why can't we have nice things?

For the last fifteen years, sRGB has been the primary standard for computer monitors (and for consumer-level printing). That's changing now, as wider-gamut LED-backlit monitors become common. Usually, photographers use these with a color space like aRGB, which is semi-standard — my camera can save JPEGs in that space natively, for example.

But there's a new standard widely pushed in the AV industry to replace sRGB. This is IEC 61966-2-4 — xvYCC (or "x.v.Color", for marketing purposes). This color space has a gamut 1.8× larger than sRGB, covering 90% of the color range of human vision (instead of the uninspiring 50% covered by our current common denominator). Read much more at Sony's web site on the xvYCC.

The important point, though, is that this isn't theoretical. It's part of the HDMI 1.3 standard, along with a specification for color depth of 10 to 16 bits per color ("Deep Color", that's called). Unlike aRGB, which is basically a professional niche thing, there's broad support in consumer-level-gear.

That's the background. The question is: given that this is widely catching on, and that we're all likely to have computer (and TV!) hardware capable of supporting it in the next few years, why is this being sold as basically only a video thing? It seems like the camera industry would be happy to get on board.

Sony is big into the idea, and launched video cameras supporting it four years ago now. The Playstation 3 supports it, for goodness's sake! Why not put it in the Sony Alpha dSLRs as well? And Sony's not alone — Canon has video cameras supporting it too.

Of course, if you're shooting RAW, in-camera support is un-important. It's the converter software people who would have to get on board — why isn't their a push for this? As I understand it, xvYCC is an extension of YCbCr, which is already used in JPEG files. But as I read the literature, I find lots of mentions of updated MPEG standards, but nothing about still photographic images.

Why can't we have nice things?

For the last fifteen years, sRGB has been the primary standard for computer monitors (and for consumer-level printing). That's changing now, as wider-gamut LED-backlit monitors become common. Usually, photographers use these with a color space like aRGB, which is semi-standard — my camera can save JPEGs in that space natively, for example.

But there's a new standard widely pushed in the AV industry to replace sRGB. This is IEC 61966-2-4 — xvYCC (or "x.v.Color", for marketing purposes). This color space has a gamut 1.8× larger than sRGB, covering 90% of the color range of human vision (instead of the uninspiring 50% covered by our current common denominator). Read much more at Sony's web site on the xvYCC.

The important point, though, is that this isn't theoretical. It's part of the HDMI 1.3 standard, along with a specification for color depth of 10 to 16 bits per color ("Deep Color", that's called). Unlike aRGB, which is basically a professional niche thing, there's broad support in consumer-level-gear.

That's the background. The question is: given that this is widely catching on, and that we're all likely to have computer (and TV!) hardware capable of supporting it in the next few years, why is this being sold as basically only a video thing? It seems like the camera industry would be happy to get on board.

Sony is big into the idea, and launched video cameras supporting it four years ago now. The Playstation 3 supports it, for goodness's sake! Why not put it in the Sony Alpha dSLRs as well? And Sony's not alone — Canon has video cameras supporting it too.

Of course, if you're shooting RAW, in-camera support is un-important. It's the converter software people who would have to get on board — why isn't there a push for this? As I understand it, xvYCC is an extension of YCbCr, which is already used in JPEG files. But as I read the literature, I find lots of mentions of updated MPEG standards, but nothing about still photographic images.

Why can't we have nice things?

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Why isn't the xvYCC color space seeing uptake for still photography?

For the last fifteen years, sRGB has been the primary standard for computer monitors (and for consumer-level printing). That's changing now, as wider-gamut LED-backlit monitors become common. Usually, photographers use these with a color space like aRGB, which is semi-standard — my camera can save JPEGs in that space natively, for example.

But there's a new standard widely pushed in the AV industry to replace sRGB. This is IEC 61966-2-4 — xvYCC (or "x.v.Color", for marketing purposes). This color space has a gamut 1.8× larger than sRGB, covering 90% of the color range of human vision (instead of the uninspiring 50% covered by our current common denominator). Read much more at Sony's web site on the xvYCC.

The important point, though, is that this isn't theoretical. It's part of the HDMI 1.3 standard, along with a specification for color depth of 10 to 16 bits per color ("Deep Color", that's called). Unlike aRGB, which is basically a professional niche thing, there's broad support in consumer-level-gear.

That's the background. The question is: given that this is widely catching on, and that we're all likely to have computer (and TV!) hardware capable of supporting it in the next few years, why is this being sold as basically only a video thing? It seems like the camera industry would be happy to get on board.

Sony is big into the idea, and launched video cameras supporting it four years ago now. The Playstation 3 supports it, for goodness's sake! Why not put it in the Sony Alpha dSLRs as well? And Sony's not alone — Canon has video cameras supporting it too.

Of course, if you're shooting RAW, in-camera support is un-important. It's the converter software people who would have to get on board — why isn't their a push for this? As I understand it, xvYCC is an extension of YCbCr, which is already used in JPEG files. But as I read the literature, I find lots of mentions of updated MPEG standards, but nothing about still photographic images.

Why can't we have nice things?