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Author Topic: how to take advantage of 10-bit displays?  (Read 21290 times)
bmclau
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« on: December 24, 2008, 09:10:35 AM »
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Hi,

I want to create a softproof station and at the moment the choice of the right components to the setup is a mystery.
I have searched throughout the internet (including this forum) and I still haven't find a clear answer to the following question:

Can you have a 10-bit (or plus) display workflow in Photoshop?

I'll expose my doubts on the subject to see if I making the right questions and to possibly have some input on your side.

1 - If I create a new hardware setup then I should find a 10-bit display graphics card from ATI or Nvidia( FireGL or Quadro)?
Do the new HD ATI cards have 10bit display pipelines ?

2 - Does the DVI interface outputs 10 bit data?

3 - The NEC spectraview 2690 (I'm about to purchase one) uses a 12-bit internal LUT from what I gathered. Is that data compressed to 10, or 8 bit, when using a FireGL ?
Is the potential accuracy and wide gamut of this monitor reduced(as discussed by Andrew Rodney from Karl Lang's test) and will we have banding issues?

4 - When working on a 16 bit Photoshop image are we seeing 10 bit color (channeled trough the graphic card) or just 8 bit color? In which case would you recommend buying a FireGL/Quadro card instead of modern high ram card (that CS4 will love)?

As you can see my biggest doubt is whether (and where) we have bottlenecks on color depth.


I would greatly appreciate your input and help.

Merry christmas
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sandymc
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2008, 06:14:21 AM »
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DVI is 8-bit only. HDMI or DisplayPort can be 10-bit plus, but you would need to verify that both the display adapter and and the monitor actually supported 10-bit operation. Off-hand, so far as I am aware, only professional display adapters - e.g., Nvidia's Quadro series or the FireGLs support better than 8-bits.

When working with Photoshop, what you are getting is 16-bit linear inside Photoshop, and 10-bit gamma encoded transmission to the display, assuming all the components support 10-bits. But linear and gamma encoded are very different - for display purposes, most of those 16 bits are actually totally invisible/irrelevant. If you look very very closely, you can see the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit gamma encoding on the display. More than 10-Bits? Don't know for sure, never had a display better than 10 bits, but I doubt you'd see a difference.

Personally, I'd be more concerned about calibration and backlight variations in the monitor than bit depth, but that's just me.....


Sandy
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Czornyj
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2008, 03:00:36 PM »
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Actually - you can't really use the whole 10 bit palette at once, so you always send only 8 bit per component signal to the monitor, and 10-14 bit panels are not supposed to display more than 256 shades.

Graphic monitors have 10 bit panels with 12-14 bit programmable LUT-s for calibration purposes. When you calibrate a normal 8 bit panel you only have 256 shades per component to choose from, so when you want to change the white point, black point or gradation of the panel you're always loosing some shades, and as a result you don't really have the whole 16,7mln color palette. To counteract that effect, graphic monitors have 1024 shades (10 bit per component) to choose from, and even higher precision LUT (12-14 bit), to choose the proper shades from available palette precisely.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 03:02:49 PM by Czornyj » Logged

Marcin Kałuża
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 08:42:48 AM »
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Most video cards today output 10 bit color and monitors are capable of receiving 10 bit input. The limitation is usually the program (like Photoshop) which only outputs 8 bit color to the display. Professional displays like the HP Dreamcolor 30 bit display can take the 8 or 10 bit input and upconvert to 30 bit utilizing the processing engine of it's built in LUT.
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Gerald J Skrocki
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bmclau
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 07:06:13 PM »
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Thank you all for your answers.

Sandy: I was under the impression that the DVI interface is not capable of 10 bit encoding. Thank you for the confirmation. I'll soon be testing an HP2480zx and hopefully I'll get to compare it using a card's displayport vs DVI.

Czornyj and Jerry - It's a shame Photoshop is not able to output 12 or 14 bit data to the monitor ( I believe Photoshop uses 14bit internally). I would assume that it would be possible for ATI and Adobe to develop such a plug in (since they strongly endorsed the recent ATI FirePro cards).
Lets hope so.

I'll probably buy an average graphics card but with displayport connection to be future proof.

Thank you all and happy new year

P.S- Thank you Andrew for your input.

Cláudio
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 11:19:14 PM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
Most video cards today output 10 bit color and monitors are capable of receiving 10 bit input.
I can't speak for Mac's since I don't really follow that technology, but this is not true in the Windows world. I'm not aware of any video cards that can actually output 10-bits per channel color. Some of the NVidia Quadro cards mention 10-bit color in the marketing materials, but it's not clear what they actually mean by that. Saying that monitors are capable of receiving 10-bit is also a bit of a stretch. The DreamColor is being touted as the first "affordable" display with deep color and it costs $3500. None of Eizo's current displays support 10-bit color, for instance. And even if you have a DreamColor display you can't actually feed it 10-bit color from a Windows PC yet AFAIK.

Quote
The limitation is usually the program (like Photoshop) which only outputs 8 bit color to the display.
Actually, the limitation is the operating system, and you're not going to get deep color support under Windows until Windows 7 gets here (and even once it ships it will probably be a whlie before the hardware and drivers catch up and stabilize).

Quote
Professional displays like the HP Dreamcolor 30 bit display can take the 8 or 10 bit input and upconvert to 30 bit utilizing the processing engine of it's built in LUT.
I think you may be a bit confused here. When we refer to 10-bit color that is the number of bits per color channel, which for RGB color means a total 30 bits which is why the DreamColor is called  a 30-bit display. So there's no upconverting from 10-bit to 30-bit, those are just two different terms for the same thing.
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jerryrock
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 10:13:20 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I can't speak for Mac's since I don't really follow that technology, but this is not true in the Windows world. I'm not aware of any video cards that can actually output 10-bits per channel color. Some of the NVidia Quadro cards mention 10-bit color in the marketing materials, but it's not clear what they actually mean by that. Saying that monitors are capable of receiving 10-bit is also a bit of a stretch. The DreamColor is being touted as the first "affordable" display with deep color and it costs $3500. None of Eizo's current displays support 10-bit color, for instance. And even if you have a DreamColor display you can't actually feed it 10-bit color from a Windows PC yet AFAIK.

The ATI X1900 series video cards that came out two years ago support 10 bit color output.
http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonx1900/specs.html
Flexible display support
Dual integrated dual-link DVI transmitters
DVI 1.0 compliant / HDMI interoperable and HDCP ready*
Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel DVI output
Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for each display
High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all outputs
Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
Xilleon™ TV encoder for high quality analog output
YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit and 6-bit displays

Quote
Actually, the limitation is the operating system, and you're not going to get deep color support under Windows until Windows 7 gets here (and even once it ships it will probably be a whlie before the hardware and drivers catch up and stabilize).

Who is talking about Windows? The limitation is Photoshop at this point in time.

Quote
I think you may be a bit confused here. When we refer to 10-bit color that is the number of bits per color channel, which for RGB color means a total 30 bits which is why the DreamColor is called  a 30-bit display. So there's no upconverting from 10-bit to 30-bit, those are just two different terms for the same thing.

The price of the HP Dreamcolor monitor is $1999. so it is in the range of other professional monitors on the market.
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF...67-3648397.html
True 10-bit panel to increase supported colors from 16.7 million (8-bit) to 1.07 billion colors and reduce color banding
Updatable 12-bit pre-LUT, 3x3 matrix, and post-LUT for maximum flexibility
True 10-bit drivers in the LCD panel itself, and the ability to support true 10 bits/color (30 bits/pixel) video through the DisplayPort 1.1 and HDMI 1.3 inputs.



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Gerald J Skrocki
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mbalensiefer
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 08:06:57 AM »
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What is the difference between the two screens here:
 http://www.prad.de/en/guide/screen3651.html
(NEC Spectraview is 1,689 euros)

and the LCD2690WUXi-BK
 http://www.prad.de/en/guide/screen3512.html
(which is 985 euros)

?
Michael
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jerryrock
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 10:05:09 AM »
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704 euros

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Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2009, 04:50:07 PM »
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Besides the price the other one is the Spectraview-version including the calibration software.
Unlike in the US, in EU you can't just buy an ordinary 2690 and then the SV-software separately (please correct me if this policy has changed). In order to actually be able to use your display for what you are buying it in the first place (color critical work), you have to purchase the SV-version which costs almost double compared to the ordinary version (why on earth would anyone buy the ordinary version or use these displays without SV-software???). Actually the highest prices I've seen in EU for this exact display is way over 3000,-€  ! You can buy 4 of these same displays in the US with that price. No wonder I don't personally know anyone who have purchased one although many of my friends were interested in Nec's SV-displays after they were praised to heaven in this forum. And at the same time all the dealers I know are selling hundreds of those happy s-pva panel Eizos.
 


Quote from: mbalensiefer
What is the difference between the two screens here:
 http://www.prad.de/en/guide/screen3651.html
(NEC Spectraview is 1,689 euros)

and the LCD2690WUXi-BK
 http://www.prad.de/en/guide/screen3512.html
(which is 985 euros)

?
Michael
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 04:51:34 PM by juicy » Logged
mbalensiefer
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 10:04:30 AM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
704 euros
Well I just pulled out a calculator and I'll be darned if you aren't right.

 It seems as though we have room for some monitor arbitrage here. One can sell these on IT, FR, or UK EBay, cover shipping, and make a good deal of $$ when multiple monitors are sold...

Michael
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 11:30:22 AM »
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Who is talking about Windows? The limitation is Photoshop at this point in time.
Display output settings are controlled at the OS level, not the application level. That's why they're configured from control panel. Please tell me how you expect Photoshop to output 30-bit color, when Windows doesn't support it.
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jerryrock
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2009, 01:38:35 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Display output settings are controlled at the OS level, not the application level. That's why they're configured from control panel. Please tell me how you expect Photoshop to output 30-bit color, when Windows doesn't support it.

Display output resolution and color bit depth capability are controlled by the graphic adapter's hardware.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 09:02:09 PM by jerryrock » Logged

Gerald J Skrocki
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neil snape
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 02:21:08 AM »
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The Dream Color really benefits from 10 bit calibrations, as the interplay of the LUTs will be created at the higher bit depth hence a more precise LUT as the increase in data levels/grid points is also increased. Any 8 bit source calibration (  non HDMI or Display Port) will be padded or interpolated ( I imagine) so good yes but not as good as 10 bit per channel calibrations.
Also you need a colorimeter with filtration adapted for the very coloured chroma of these monitors. I have done fairly decent cal/profiles 8 bit with the i1 Pro spectro and Color Eyes. The calibrations at 8 bit with the APS and adapted colorimeter are good as well but the APS do not have much user control or option.

About 10 bit source here is a clip from the users PDF;
With most video sources (which typically provide video information at the standard 8 bits/color or 24
bits/pixel), and across all of the LP2480zx’s various inputs, the increased accuracy of the LP2480zx
LCD module is used to provide more accurate color within the selected standard color space. However,
30-bit sources may also be directly supported using the DisplayPort 1.1 and HDMI 1.3 inputs only. This
will be of greatest benefit when the LP2480zx is used in the wider-gamut modes (such as Full, Adobe
RGB, DCI).

So unless you can measure the output over DVI I do not expect that your nor my DVI is sending 10 bit over DVI.
While true it is the video card that is the final element between the out cable, Photoshop still is tied to the system at this time. Some writings by John Nack ( if I remember right) suggest future versions will possibly run graphics directly processing through the video card. Who knows, it could be good. Past versions of Silicon Graphics where doing just that so many years ago.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009, 09:08:10 AM »
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Quote from: neil snape
So unless you can measure the output over DVI I do not expect that your nor my DVI is sending 10 bit over DVI.
While true it is the video card that is the final element between the out cable, Photoshop still is tied to the system at this time. Some writings by John Nack ( if I remember right) suggest future versions will possibly run graphics directly processing through the video card. Who knows, it could be good. Past versions of Silicon Graphics where doing just that so many years ago.

Right, until the applications (and in some cases OS) are fully upgraded, its an 8-bit path. It might go 10bit in some areas, but its hardly 10 bit from end to end.

BTW, some are a bit sour on the DreamColor from recent emails I've received. At least on the Mac, its supposed to be a bit of a kludge, and the new price point ($1999), that matches that big deal color geek sale last year might be writhing on the wall?

Personally, I'm glad I didn't take the bleeding edge jump here and dropped the dough on a 5DM11 which is working better then I could have expected.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2009, 09:09:51 AM »
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Quote from: mbalensiefer
What is the difference between the two screens here:
 http://www.prad.de/en/guide/screen3651.html
(NEC Spectraview is 1,689 euros)

and the LCD2690WUXi-BK
 http://www.prad.de/en/guide/screen3512.html
(which is 985 euros)

Probably a colorimeter and SpectraView software. The display is available as a bundle or standalone (just display). The bundle, at least in the US is a screaming deal.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
neil snape
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 04:11:26 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Right, until the applications (and in some cases OS) are fully upgraded, its an 8-bit path. It might go 10bit in some areas, but its hardly 10 bit from end to end.

BTW, some are a bit sour on the DreamColor from recent emails I've received. At least on the Mac, its supposed to be a bit of a kludge, and the new price point ($1999), that matches that big deal color geek sale last year might be writhing on the wall?

Personally, I'm glad I didn't take the bleeding edge jump here and dropped the dough on a 5DM11 which is working better then I could have expected.


The HP screen is a difficult to manage screen. There are bugs on both Windows and Mac , can't say on Linux.
If there is any support I haven't found it yet. As Karl said so long ago , the wide gamut monitors are in fact more a one trick pony which is very finicky to get right for editing images. The extended gamut with the LCD is impressive but what is missing is a good developer to make a SDK control this gamut in a better way. The screen has potential , but thus far it's not yet nailed down. The X-Rite APS is not on par with the expectations of most power users.
For most users a little less gamut means more ease of use, more support, so until the Dream Color addresses some issues, a simpler monitor would probably be a better choice.
For those wanting the little extra though , man there is a lot of color in these things!
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digitaldog
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2009, 05:08:43 PM »
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Quote from: neil snape
The HP screen is a difficult to manage screen. There are bugs on both Windows and Mac , can't say on Linux.
If there is any support I haven't found it yet. As Karl said so long ago , the wide gamut monitors are in fact more a one trick pony which is very finicky to get right for editing images. The extended gamut with the LCD is impressive but what is missing is a good developer to make a SDK control this gamut in a better way. The screen has potential , but thus far it's not yet nailed down. The X-Rite APS is not on par with the expectations of most power users.
For most users a little less gamut means more ease of use, more support, so until the Dream Color addresses some issues, a simpler monitor would probably be a better choice.
For those wanting the little extra though , man there is a lot of color in these things!

Your analysis seems to confirm what I've heard from other users (including Karl). More to the point, while this unit has some impressive technology, even if there were no such issues, its design was not at all optimized for the photo space but rather the film space. The minimum contrast ratio for soft proofing is a problem. HP might migrate this technology and final product to soft proofing and the needs of photographers and might fix all the issues.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 05:20:08 PM »
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Quote from: neil snape
The HP screen is a difficult to manage screen. There are bugs on both Windows and Mac , can't say on Linux.
If there is any support I haven't found it yet.

Xrite is providing support for the HP Advanced Profiling solution, which in my opinion is required equipment for the DreamColor monitor.
Their technical support team was quick to answer my question about Vista 64 compatibility (Not officially supported yet).
My experience is that the calibration software and specialized Xrite colorimeter work fine on the Mac in OSX (10.5.6) but the puck driver is not working for me in Vista 64.
The calibration software allows for manual adjustment of RGB primaries, Luminance, Gamma, White Point and Calibration Expiration time. Black point can be adjusted in the OSD.



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Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 05:26:32 PM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
Xrite is providing support for the HP Advanced Profiling solution, which in my opinion is required equipment for the DreamColor monitor.

Well then it must be bug free....

Quote
My experience is that the calibration software and specialized Xrite colorimeter work fine on the Mac in OSX (10.5.6) but the puck driver is not working for me in Vista 64.

Both Karl and Neil, pretty respected color experts in the field, have mentioned bugs and issues. Maybe you can pass along the fixes to them.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
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