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Photography Tips

Blog: #1 of 2 by Peter Smith

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November 15th, 2012 - 01:41 PM

Post processing of files and why you should read on further...

8bit, 14bit, RAW, Jpeg ~ what gives? Confused? - read on ...

The reason is that unlike the RAW file which can be saved at 14 bit, the JPG as pointed out is an 8 bit file. So, it makes little sense to take an 8 bit file, have the computer spend the time to resample it only to end up with what is still 8 bits of data, then waste more time converting it back to an 8 bit file again. No software program can create the additional data of a 12 or 14 bit file once it has been discarded in the camera.
The point being here, is that if you save as JPG in camera, then don't waste resources and time processing as a 16 bit file in PS, it is pointless, resource and time consuming, with NO benefit.

If on the other hand you save in camera as a RAW file there are arguable benefits in doing your post processing at the higher bit level.

Think of it this way, if I were to give a data string to explain where I lived and what I looked like ,it would look like this
Bit 1 = The Universe
Bit 2 = Our Galaxy
Bit 3 = Our solar system
Bit 4 = Our Planet
Bit 5 = my Country
Bit 6 = my State
Bit 7 = my County
Bit 8 = My town

This is where a JPG file leaves off, and could you find me and know what I looked like from that data?

Now for a 12 bit file it would continue

Bit 9 = my street
Bit 10 = my house
Bit 11 = which floor of the house I am on in
Bit 12 = the room I am

A 14 bit file would simply give even more data

Bit 13 = the chair I am sitting in
Bit 14 = I am 6ft tall

So as you can see the more bits to a file the greater the detail that is achievable.

credit to : ~
Reproduced with kind permission from and can be found at
http://www.jeffbanke.com/

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