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Author Topic: Digital camera 8 bit or 16 bit?  (Read 2177 times)
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« on: November 13, 2003, 02:43:43 AM »
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Almost all digital SLRs are capable of shooting in RAW mode. This means that there is no in-camera image processing done. These files are in 16 bit mode. They may not be a "real" 16 bits, since most cameras and scanners are really 12 or 14 bit devices with the bottom 2 or 4 bits padded, but that's another story.

You then process these files on your computer using either the manufacturer's or a third party RAW converter to do all of the basic manipulations (similar to those done in scanning software), and then export into Photoshop in 16 bit mode (or 8 bit if you wish).

A camera's resolution is a fixed X pixels high by Y pixels wide. Unlike with scanning you can't res up in the camera, though some allow ressing down if you shoot JPG. But if you don't use RAW mode you lose a huge amount of flexability, like being able to change colour balance, avoid in-camera sharpening, etc.

Michael
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Jeff Donald
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2003, 07:21:40 AM »
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There is a lengthy discussion of this sharpening issue at Rob Galbraith's forum and Chuck Westfall has responded to everyone's questions. The topic is here.
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braakman
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2003, 10:27:16 PM »
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This is my first post on the Luminous Landscape  forum, and I have a question regarding the bit size of images from digital cameras.  I have been scanning negatives and tranparecies for some time, and I am considering purchasing a digital camera.
Are the images downloaded from a digital camera 8 bit, or 16 bit? Does it depend on the resolution of the camera or can one set the bit size directly on the camera?
I know that when scanning, the bit size can be chosen on the scanner, and then, when imported into PS, one can work on the 16 bit image, or choose to convert to 8 bit when necessary.  How does it work with digital camera files?
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BearSummer
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2003, 04:28:49 AM »
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Hi Michael and Braakman,

Micahel is right about the bit depth but there have been some interesting developmentys regarding canon raw files in the last week or so.  It would appear that only the raw files from the 1DS and 1D aren't sharpened (or more accurately you can turn off all sharpening), the other canon digital cameras have some sharpening added whilst the camera is saving the raw file.

Best Regards

BearSummer
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