8 bit or 16 bit ?

5 posts
1 Aug 2014
SandyCamel
Photographer
SandyCamel
Why do people process images with 16 bit I wonder ?

Apparently human's can't see the difference 'on screen', prints don't show any improvement in 16 bit and the only risk is a greater risk of posterization in 8 bit when processing ?
Posted 1 Aug 2014
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Massively obvious difference (posterisation) if you are doing black and white and you manipulate the tonal range at all - which I do a lot.

I find it quite hard to see the posterisation in colour.

Posted 1 Aug 2014
Edited by Hugh 1 Aug 2014
riddell
Photographer
riddell

Sometimes with some fabrics there can be less moire in 16 bit as well as less purple fringing.

and yes most people won't notice it. However by the time its gone through a few processes and printed up nice and large in a quality catalogue or magazine or even as one of those 'super zoom' features popular on websites now then it may become more visiable to which I've known non photographers to just note that the 'image doesn't look very professionally polished'

Conversely though unless the image is a really high end image in the first place again its less likely to be seen, i.e. not lit or focused properly, using a lower end camera and / or lens. The images are lacking all that extra detail. (not to be confused with sharpness)



Posted 26 Aug 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
I'd recommend ALWAYS editing in 16 bit, regardless of what your output format is. This will allow effects such as curve modifications and layer blending to retain a level of tonal 'smoothness' that 8-bit simply cannot deliver.

On a good monitor I can see the differences in tone on 8-bit and I'd wager others could too, especially with things like flatly lit walls in images. Also JPG compression can cause artifacts with flat areas of colour, something to think about if uploading files for print as JPG (rather than something with lossless compression like TIFF/PNG).

Posted 26 Aug 2014
SandyCamel
Photographer
SandyCamel
Thanks very much for the advice everyone - + I will try out what Red Checker suggests.

Posted 27 Aug 2014
To reply to this thread you must be a member. Click here to join