14-Bit Raw Vs. 12-Bit Raw: Is It Any Better?

Earthbound Light - Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond by Bob Johnson

Is a digital image shot in 14-bit Raw mode better than one at 12 bits? The answer seems to be yes, if you take pixel-gazing to an extreme.

Photographer Bob Johnson took some time off to find this out for us and he has posted his discoveries in his blog. Part One here and Part Two here.

It looks like there are indeed a few more details showing up and a smoother gradation among adjacent pixels in a 14-bit image compared to a 12-bit image. But be informed that this is only when you examine it very minutely in the lab; it’s imperceptible to the naked eye and ordinary computers (the ones you and I use) cannot output the difference.

Add this to the fact that 14-bit shooting can slow your camera down, and you have a good reason to avoid shooting Raw in 14-bit mode. For now, at least.

All the same, the difference is there and you can see it if you look for it. Does this mean that Pentax was right all along with their 22-bit jazz on the K10D?

[Via: EarthBoundLight.com]

Chris Malinao

About Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.

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