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RAW 12 bit versus 14 bit

HBB

Phoenix, US
8774 posts

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"RE: RAW 12 bit versus 14 bit"

HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Sat 23-Mar-13 05:29 PM | edited Sat 23-Mar-13 05:32 PM by HBB

Francois:

I agree with much of what has already been said.

As one who likes to make large, gallery quality prints, I use an Eizo 24 inch monitor that claims to present 98 percent of the Adobe RGB color space, and I calibrate it with the Colormunki system.

I print with an Epson P7900 printer (24 inch wide carriage, roll feed) that includes the HDR Ultra Chrome ink set (eleven colors).

I shoot everything possible in base ISO (usually 100 or 200, depending on camera), uncompressed RAW format, 14 bit color depth, Adobe color space, and all in-camera image processing functions set to off, or their neutral positions. Post processing is done in Adobe CS5 Extended. In recent memory, the only time I shot at a higher ISO was at night from a law enforcement helicopter circling a staged felony traffic stop on the ground, for some promotional publication images.

The fine shadow and other detail possible with this workflow shows up in large prints on quality papers. Yesterday I took a series of large prints to the gallery where some of my work hangs. The owner has a client who is interested in one of my images. He gasped when he saw one of them, which he had not seen before. He commented at length about the richness and sublety of the colors, the detail, resolution ... This from a man who views a lot of prints.

In my experience, the advantages of RAW, 14-bit color depth, etc., do not become apparent until one enters the large format printer world. And then, it takes a carefully designed work flow from start (pre-camera visualization of scene/subject under pre-processing ambient illumination) to finish (print hanging on wall under post-processing ambient illumination) to avoid the many traps that will affect image quality if not recognized and managed along the way.

One of the goals of my workflow is to retain as many bits of image data as possible, from start to finish. This includes capturing the image in-camera as close as possible to the finished aspect ratio, and requiring minimal cropping. Yes, my file sizes are larger, and it takes a bit longer to prepare large image print files, but it is clearly worth it in my experience.

The only time I enter the JPG world is when I post images on this site.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

A general, generic topic RAW 12 bit versus 14 bit [View all] , fdormoy , Fri 22-Mar-13 09:02 PM
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