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Author Topic: Consensus needed on benefit of 16-bit editing  (Read 9713 times)
opgr
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« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2005, 10:08:40 AM »
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Sometimes I just don't understand these people.

If you want to know why 16bit editing, or even just "processing" for that matter, is useful, go to a decent High-end Prepress house that handles advertising. Or go to your local car dealership and ask for a brochure.

If the experts admit that 16bit is (very) useful for B&W than it is also very useful for color. How many car ads do you know where the car entirely consists of gradients of a single color. Blue or black for example. How is that different from a B&W photo of the same thing? Sometimes even worse as DigitalDog already points out. Some of these car paints are well outside the press printable colors. Or just silver gray, a popular "color" the past several years.

But even for your every day photography. How many of your images have a subdued clear blue sky that turns from a medium cyan to almost white? I have tons. Shot in 8bit in-camera jpg sRGB. They already show posterisation as is, let alone if I edit them to increase a bit of saturation. Never had that problem??? Gees.

I'm pretty sure those so called experts are only staring at an Epson print every now and then, and probably change the rules to not include prepress. Ever saw a transfer curve for newspaper print or packaging? How much do you need to enlarge a file to turn it into a poster sized ad? I submit the following link for some interesting reading:

http://forums.robgalbraith.com/showthr....e=&vc=1

think that is academic? Think poster sized ads of the aforementioned cars...

Want another argument: Convert an image to B&W, a common operation I would think, and suddenly the deltaE76=3 limit becomes less than a half. Referring back to those pesky sky gradients; any photographer will admit that a nice deep, almost black sky usually has their preference. Think about it. Going from a subdued cyan gradient that already shows posterisation, to a dark B&W gradient.

But I'm sure that wasn't part of the rules either. Oh, your client came back to you a year later to run a new campaign with the same images in B&W. Sorry, no can do. Worked in 8bit because some a*****e didn't know what he was talking about.

Uh-oh, now I'm getting mad again, where are my pills... gotta stop the rant, sorry...
<g>
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« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2005, 10:30:47 AM »
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Thanks for stopping the rant - it is to all of our benefit that you did so. Don't pre-judge and dismiss the expertise of an author who has been a pre-press professional for the better part of 35 years and was the first inductee to NAPP's Hall of Fame - one of the most significant marks of peer recognition existing in the international digital imaging community. Also, the fact that JPGs processed in a digicam can posterize is not relevant to the discussion in this thread.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2005, 10:35:18 AM »
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That's a cop-out - you don't need to spend 35 bucks to disagree with him. Someone of your standing in the digital imaging community can send him an email, because lesser (but equally parsimonious) mortals have also done it. Based on my experience, for a matter of signficant importance like this he is approachable regardless of whether or not you have paid the entry fee.
Mark, is it just Monday or are you low on happy pills?

I disagree with him; isn’t that clear? I can and did do that without spending $35.

I don’t know Tim, don’t know I’ve ever read anything he’s written. I’ve known Dan and read his writings for at least 12 years, maybe more.

There’s a link to the files I’ve uploaded that anyone who wishes can download and try for the evaluation of high bit editing (including Tim). I don’t have Tim’s email, and whether he tries these files or not is immaterial. My point is and continues to be that based on the text posted, he sounds wishy-washy to me. Thats just a personal opinion. At least Dan is consistent although with the files I uploaded, he’s beginning to at least admit that with wide gamut working spaces, the high bit file DOES show a reduction in noise seen in the 8-bit file.

I don’t see why a Grayscale image would be any different with respect to high bit editing as a color image. If anything, working with a very wide gamut RGB working space is the reason high bit is necessary.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2005, 10:52:35 AM »
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Thanks for stopping the rant - it is to all of our benefit that you did so. Don't pre-judge and dismiss the expertise of an author who has been a pre-press professional for the better part of 35 years and was the first inductee to NAPP's Hall of Fame - one of the most significant marks of peer recognition existing in the international digital imaging community. Also, the fact that JPGs processed in a digicam can posterize is not relevant to the discussion in this thread.
When you’ve spent your entire professional career working from high end drum scans going out to a halftone dot using a printing process who’s gamut is pretty small, everything starts to look the same. What Dan is admittedly the best in the business in doing is taking piss poor originals and making them look really good. Some would say this is turd polishing <g>. There are some butt ugly originals and poor scans out there and there are all kinds of users who are far less savvy at editing them than Dan. I’d be shocked if any amount of brutal editing on an 8-bit file would show improvements to such a halftone dot compared to 16-bit. The only disadvantage today of high bit files is they are twice as big as their 8-bit cousin. Go back to Photoshop 7 and prior, that wasn’t the case.

The world is vastly different today, even in the last 3-4 years than when Dan was a Prepress guru. We have $800 ink jet printers that have gamuts vastly larger than press (as well as Adobe RGB (1998)), that produce far more continuous tone output. We have digital capture what doesn’t have a defined color gamut but can clearly capture a huge amount of scene data. We have RAW converters instead of scanners. We’ve seen in just the last 4-5 years how far ink jet technology has come in terms of quality and gamut. God only knows what we’ll be using in 10 years.

High bit editing really only brings one thing to the party; headroom. If you think that is useful compared to the size overhead of files, good, use high bit files. If you don’t or can’t see it on any output device you’ll every use, or if you’re making a catalog of 1000 widgest on a white bkgnd, you probably don’t want your files any bigger than they have to be.

If you’re working in wide gamut working spaces, you might want to look seriously into high bit editing. The debate on the Color Theory list has now evolved from the benefit of high bit files to the need for wide gamut working spaces. Seems Dan is willing to admit the high bit files are better with such spaces and now questions why anyone would want to use ProPhoto RGB. Again, when the output of your device is a press, and all you think about is press output, ProPhoto RGB does seem kind of silly. Someone hand him an Epson 2400 and some nice (non turd) images with some saturation and maybe he’ll see the use of such editing spaces.

Again I have no real opinion of Tim because I really have no idea who he is. I DO know Dan and have enormous respect for him. I find he’s often not very good at forward thinking in terms of issues like color management, high bit editing (although we are making progress since I uploaded my files) and I’m not sure I understand his distaste for Adobe and the Photoshop team. But there’s no question he’s enormously intelligent and well versed in image editing. I wouldn’t have spent the time and bandwidth uploading my files and debating all this with him if I didn’t have such respect for him.

BTW, in person, he’s a very charming and likeable fellow.

As far as being an inductee into NAPP and it’s significance, I’m not sure that has any value other than a marketing vehicle but if you find that impressive, far from me to try and try and convince you otherwise.
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« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2005, 11:01:15 AM »
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Thanks for stopping the rant - it is to all of our benefit that you did so. Don't pre-judge and dismiss the expertise of an author who has been a pre-press professional for the better part of 35 years and was the first inductee to NAPP's Hall of Fame - one of the most significant marks of peer recognition existing in the international digital imaging community. Also, the fact that JPGs processed in a digicam can posterize is not relevant to the discussion in this thread.
Didn't he spend most of his time in his career when it was either not possible to edit in 16-bit or at best very difficult?

Just because someone has been called a "expert" or "pro" doesn't make them knowledgeable about everything they talk about.

The benefits of 16-bit/channel editing is easily proven. I'd say Dan is suffering form "New & Scary" syndrome. He learned 8-bit editing and knows 8-bit editing. 16-bit editing is outside his comfort zone and so he reacts irrationally to it much like the people who are freakish over digital vs the film they're used to.

His credentials are irrelevant since he can be quickly disproven.
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opgr
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« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2005, 11:02:00 AM »
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Thanks for stopping the rant - it is to all of our benefit that you did so.
Well, my apologies. The a*****e part was a bad joke on my part.
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« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2005, 11:56:20 AM »
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Andrew (and Daniel), I have no problems with Monday mornings and I don't need happy pills. There are certain behaviours that get my dander up, so let us leave it at that and revert to the substance about the issue itself and the credentials/experience of the people purporting expertise on these matters.

Tim Grey's email address is <tim@timgrey.com>. It says so on his DDQ which is publicly available on the internet for anyone to read without paying 35 bucks. I'm surprised you don't know who he is. Tim Grey is Imaging Strategist at Microsoft Coporation, published "Color Confidence" (Sybex 2004), co-authored "Real World Digital Photography Second Edition" with Katrin Eismann (peachpit Press 2004), taught at the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging, contributes to Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro and PC Photo, and is editor of 'The Digital Image".

I've attended a seminar of Dan Margulis, read his Professional Photoshop book, am reading his LAB book, have read alot of the discussion on his Applied Color Theory website and I simply don't buy the notion that he is sclerotic as you and Daniel imply. There is no question - in my mind anyhow - he is TOTALLY up-to speed on today's printing technologies, researches and tests his subject matter thoroughly before publishing, and understands the subtilities of what Photoshop does and doesn't do like few other people in the business.

It so happens that the benefit of 16 bit editing is NOT easily proven IN PRINTED OUTPUT OF COLOUR IMAGES THAT HAVE HAD 'REAL WORLD' CORRECTIONS APPLIED TO THEM, and that is why there is and has been so much debate about this issue. The fundamentals of this debate are all about testing methodology, test conditions, what one tests for (i.e. all that lies behind the contentious phrase "REAL WORLD") and what are the evaluation criteria. Much of the cross-talk is due to differences of opinion or misunderstandings between highly knowledgeable people in these respects. So it ain't over yet, and there is nothing to be gaineed by disparaging peoples' professional credentials because you have issues with them in respect of these matters.

As for NAPP's Hall of Fame being a marketing device - let us get real - there are so few people to have been honoured in this way, the process is so recent and it is so obscure how such a distinction translates into marketability that this comment cannot be taken seriously. NAPP recognition is a peer review for high distinction in digital imaging THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN EARNED AND RECOGNIZED, period. I have attended several NAPP PhotoshopWorlds and seen the whole explanation of the nomination and award process. If anything, it is a boost to NAPP rather than the other way around, but regardless of the underlying motivation it is meaningful recognition that has to be earned in TODAY'S technical and artistic environment.

The one consensus item I retain from this discussion is that 16 bit editing provides headroom and insurance. That is the reason why I use it too, notwithstanding the views of Dan and Tim about its practical impact on images produced from today's generation of inkjet printers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2005, 12:19:03 PM »
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> I'm surprised you don't know who he is.

I didn't say exactly that. I've never met him or read anything he's written (other than the pasted copy above which isn't that impressive). I know Katrin (quite well, for many years).

> There is no question - in my mind anyhow - he is TOTALLY
> up-to speed on today's printing technologies, researches and tests his >subject matter thoroughly before publishing, and understands the >subtilities of what Photoshop does and doesn't do like few other people in >the business.

I'm glad to hear he's got your confidence there. Since you only appear to occasionally read his list, I should add this quote from a few days back:

DM:
> It would not surprise me if this or a similar file containing mostly dull
> colors, if left in ProPhoto RGB, would get a better result from 16-bit
> correction than 8-bit. I have tested Adobe RGB, ColorMatch RGB, LAB, and >sRGB files enough to be highly doubtful that there are any natural color >photographs at all where the extra bits would be helpful in any real-world >context. However, I've always pointed out that I have *not* extensively >tested exotic alternatives, such as 1.0 gamma files, or ultra-wide gamut >RGBs such as ProPhoto. The reasons they are not tested are 1) they have >limited market presence and 2) I strongly recommend against their use in >color correction.

So apparently wide gamut spaces (or spaces outside those listed above) are not on his radar. He also posted:

DM:
> As I indicated in my first brief response, the example is meaningless,
> because it assumes a condition that I have always excluded, and that wasn't
> even
> known at the time his partners said those things. I have always made clear
> that exotic RGB definitions, such as 1.0 gamma, or ultra-wide gamut RGBs, >are not tested because, first, almost nobody uses them, and second, those >knowledgeable about color correction would be unlikely to edit in them >except under very unusual circumstances.  To summarize: working with >actual images is a useful exercise, and we should thank Andrew for making >this one available. It does not actually show an
>advantage for 16-bit manipulation in ProPhoto RGB, but in all probability he >could have constructed an image that did if he had worked harder at it.

So these spaces are exotic and thus not worthy of his testing. Can you see why I'm not so sure he's really pushing the envelope in examining all the issues here?

> It so happens that the benefit of 16 bit editing is NOT easily proven IN
> PRINTED OUTPUT OF COLOUR IMAGES THAT HAVE HAD 'REAL WORLD' >CORRECTIONS APPLIED TO THEM, and that is why there is and has been so > much debate about this  issue.

Sure it is, I've done it and so you can you.

 >The fundamentals of this debate are all about testing methodology, test
> conditions, what one tests for (i.e. all that lies behind the contentious
> phrase "REAL WORLD") and what are the evaluation criteria.

The $800 desktop printer I have here that shows both the usefulness of high gamut working spaces and high bit gamut illustrate this to my eye. Are you sure Dan's done the same?

> So it ain't over yet, and there
> is nothing to be gaineed by disparaging peoples' professional credentials
> because you have issues with them in respect of these matters.

Disparaging? How? I think I made it clear how I feel about Dan.

> As for NAPP's Hall of Fame being a marketing device - let us get real - >there are so few people to have been honoured in this way, the process is >so recent and it is so obscure how such a distinction translates into >marketability that this comment cannot be taken seriously.

Well it appears those who present at these shows are so honoured. But I take the Marxist approach to this. In this case, Groucho that is (you know the old saying about joining a club that would have him as a member). Before you jump all over this, keep in mind I wrote for years for NAPP and have just finished two articles for them. So I have nothing against them whatsoever.

That Dan was the first to be introduced into this club you’re so impressed with has no bearing on the points I’ve raised here.

> The one consensus item I retain from this discussion is that 16 bit editing
> provides headroom and insurance.

That's all I've ever said. I'll add however that large gamut working spaces necessitate high bit editing unless you like the noise and other issues that can result by working in only 8-bit. However, most editing can and should be done (in this example) in the RAW converter which is working not only in high bit but in a linear encoded gamma. However, the bottom line is it appears that after years of Dan saying that no real world image exhibits any advantages of high bit editing, I've at least proven that this isn't so.
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« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2005, 12:52:03 PM »
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Andrew, Re knowing Tim, you did say exactly that several posts above, quote: "I don’t know Tim, don’t know I’ve ever read anything he’s written."

You say you were not being disparaging - fine, maybe I have a different take from you on what allegations one can make about someone elses' professional expertise before they become disparaging. Let it rest.

I have read exactly the same material you just quoted from Dan. What this boils down to is cross-talk about whether using ProPhoto colour space is a "REAL WORLD" condition. He says he strongly discourages image editing in ProPhoto so for him it is not a "real world" condition, (whereas many other photographers recommend it). That you observe an 8 bit editing issue in this colour space and he hasn't tested for that condition  means there is nothing to argue about here - between the two of you - at least until he tries it himself and comes to a different conclusion, if he would. As for me, instead of getting into the testing fray, which takes alot of time if one does it thoroughly and properly, I find it much easier just to buy the insurance (i.e. edit in 16) and be done with it. So in that regard you and I and many others are on the same wavelength! Basta.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2005, 01:13:43 PM »
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Andrew, Re knowing Tim, you did say exactly that several posts above, quote: "I don’t know Tim, don’t know I’ve ever read anything he’s written."

You say you were not being disparaging - fine, maybe I have a different take from you on what allegations one can make about someone elses' professional expertise before they become disparaging. Let it rest.

I have read exactly the same material you just quoted from Dan. What this boils down to is cross-talk about whether using ProPhoto colour space is a "REAL WORLD" condition. He says he strongly discourages image editing in ProPhoto so for him it is not a "real world" condition, (whereas many other photographers recommend it). That you observe an 8 bit editing issue in this colour space and he hasn't tested for that condition  means there is nothing to argue about here - between the two of you - at least until he tries it himself and comes to a different conclusion, if he would. As for me, instead of getting into the testing fray, which takes alot of time if one does it thoroughly and properly, I find it much easier just to buy the insurance (i.e. edit in 16) and be done with it. So in that regard you and I and many others are on the same wavelength! Basta.
You’re beginning to force me into taking happy pills.

I don’t know Tim, never read anything he’s written, don’t know him from Job. OK, I don’t think I can be any clearer. If he’s so inclined (or you are) to download the files and see if that does or doesn’t change your minds about high bit editing, cool. If not, cool. This all went back to “you can tell him” meaning, if you or anyone else wants to send him the URL to the files, fine. In fact, the original statement wasn’t directed at you.

As for cross talk and ProPhoto, it’s basically a smoke screen of Dan’s to keep from admitting that yes, there are real world images that show the benefits of high bit editing. “Oh, but not a file in this or that color space I’ve not tested“ (and you can see, he’s hardly pushed the envelope in looking at those spaces) and “those edits are not really appropriate”.

Then the cross talk was set to bypass the fact that indeed high bit editing did show benefit to “wide gamut spaces that only odd clueless users are working with”. I expect at some point, the “rules” of this challenge will once again shift as that has been the case over the years. Did you ever read color scientist and guru Bruce Lindblooms take on this challange?

Dan Margulis' 16-bit Challenge: What's behind the controversy?
http://brucelindbloom.com/DanMargulis.html

This is at least several years old.

I wonder why all of a sudden Dan’s not hip to wide gamut spaces (is it just ProPhoto? He doesn’t define what he means by wide gamut). Could it be that there’s a compelling reason to use high bit with such spaces? Odd that the gamut of my $800 Epson exceeds the gamut or Adobe RGB (1998) and ProPhoto doesn’t.

Bottom line. Wide gamut spaces are useful for some. That’s one point. Point 2, using high bit editing on such spaces reduces or eliminates degradation using such spaces in REAL WORLD IMAGES that shows up in 8-bit editing. That puts to rest in my mind the mideset that high bit editing is all smoke and mirrors. You or anyone that wishes can see this with either my files or with a slew of digital capture devices.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2005, 02:38:23 PM »
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Andrew, of course I read the whole Lindbloom/Margulis debate a long time ago. My interest in this question is that like many others I want to know what I should do to maximize image quality, and I try to do my homework.

I think you and I would agree there is no point arguing about an issue that one party has tested and the other hasn't; but that much said, I sense from what you selected and quoted from Dan, he may not think your testing passes muster. This goes back to my earlier comment about the fundamentals. In these circumstances it remains an open issue between you and him, notwithstanding that you have tested this and come to certain conclusions which I personally have no basis for disputing. But I'm not about to question Dan's motives for not "extensively" testing 8/16 in ProPhoto, because I'm not a mind-reader.

And neither of us need happy pills  Cheesy. By dialogue one hones into the issues, better understands them, better sees where to take it to the next level, and none of it needs to be personalized. Cheers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2005, 03:52:55 PM »
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Quote from: MarkDS,Sep. 26 2005,15:38
 
Well Mark,

I'd have some fancy theories, too. Best is, I'll post them and ask everyone to prove the opposite.

Seriously, when you are a well known author such as Dan, the burden is solely at his side to release an article which not only explains the thoughts, but also proves everything in a way which makes clear that "you" (Dan) would also have accepted the opposite result.

Is there such an article?

Peter

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« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2005, 05:14:49 PM »
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Peter, interested to see what you will post, but it would be good if the theories were complemented with demonstrated comparative results from applying both the theory and its counterfactual, otherwise it is not possible to understand their practical importance. This may sound pedestrian, but in this business it is inescapable - and it would put you under the same obligation you mention for other authors in your second paragraph. In that regard, as far as I know, what we have so far from Dan are two books, the articles he has written for Electronic Publishing magazine, and his Colour Theory Archive on the Internet.
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« Reply #53 on: September 26, 2005, 05:28:41 PM »
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Well, I reckon this thread has run its course. At least for me it has. The same points can only be hammered so many times.

So with that, I leave you all with an image which sums up my part in this thread nicely:




Have fun.
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« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2005, 05:58:16 PM »
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i think this may be related to the above. as a nonpro, does doing as much editing in raw as you can really cause less image quality degradation in the final result, vs same adjustments in ps, and does it make a difference if the raw adjustments are done in 16 vs 8 bits?
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« Reply #55 on: September 26, 2005, 06:01:51 PM »
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i think this may be related to the above. as a nonpro, does doing as much editing in raw as you can really cause less image quality degradation in the final result, vs same adjustments in ps, and does it make a difference if the raw adjustments are done in 16 vs 8 bits?
At least with most converters, all corrections are happing in high bit, not 8-bit. Another advantage is it’s all done on what is known as linear encoded gamma. This can be especially useful when dealing with edits in highlight areas.

It makes a lot more sense to do as much correction at the RAW conversion stage as you can (globally). It’s a lot faster and it’s far less damaging.
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« Reply #56 on: September 26, 2005, 06:03:12 PM »
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Daniel, was that image of a break-up edited in 8 or 16?  Cheesy
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« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2005, 06:05:42 PM »
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i think this may be related to the above. as a nonpro, does doing as much editing in raw as you can really cause less image quality degradation in the final result, vs same adjustments in ps, and does it make a difference if the raw adjustments are done in 16 vs 8 bits?
Ok, my ejector seat is slow.

First part, yes. The more done in Raw, the less degradation you'll encounter. Look at WB as the most obvious example of that.

Second: raw data cannot be adjusted in 8-bit/channel. It is impossible. Any and all raw settings adjustments are done in 16-bit/channel (or more accurately either 12-bit/channel or 14-bit/channel). When you choose 8-bit/chjannel or 16-bit/channel you are just setting what the output image will be.

Quote
Daniel, was that image of a break-up edited in 8 or 16?
8-bit. Duh, look at the posterizeation!  Cheesy
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« Reply #58 on: September 26, 2005, 08:27:52 PM »
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Turns out this topic has quite a pedigree including some of the "usual suspects" now active on this thread:

Applied\" target=\"_blank\"][a href=\"http://www.ledet.com/marguli...\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.ledet.com/marguli.... Theory[/a]

See especially a long post in that thread by Jim Rich.

One gap in this discussion is any mention of the working space issue and how it may affect the comparative results.
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