Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: 12 bit vs 14 bit

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    12 bit vs 14 bit

    I am shooting wildlife with a Nikon D300. Frame rate while using 14 bit is very slow. Given that print quality is my primary objective, would shooting in 12 bit degrade the sharpness at all in enlargements? The frame rate in 12 bit is drastically better. I understand that the "bits" relate to color, not information in detail. I just haven't looked at files next to one another to compare what the differrence/potential loss may be.

    Thanks!
    Jon

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    381

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Quote Originally Posted by jonpaul View Post
    I am shooting wildlife with a Nikon D300. Frame rate while using 14 bit is very slow. Given that print quality is my primary objective, would shooting in 12 bit degrade the sharpness at all in enlargements? The frame rate in 12 bit is drastically better. I understand that the "bits" relate to color, not information in detail. I just haven't looked at files next to one another to compare what the differrence/potential loss may be.

    Thanks!
    Jon
    "Sharpness"? Not likely.

    DR, smoother transitions, yes.


    Depending on specific use, the difference might be considered as "imperceptible" or "substantial" if not "crucial".

    You should really take your time to try and judge for yourself according to your own needs.

    Last edited by Corlan F.; 25th March 2010 at 12:24.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    90
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    If print quality is your primary objective then my 2 cents suggests you stick with 14-bit. Of course, doing your own test with 2 images shot under the same condition would probably be best.

    Then again, if you find that you are missing shots because of the frame rate then a 12-bit keeper is always going to be better than the 14-bit "one that got away".

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Thanks guys. I guess that here I am looking for a technical answer. Tonal range may be different, but technically, is there the same amount of detail information for enlargement. I will, of course, also do my own testing.

    Thanks Again.
    Jon

  5. #5
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    The 14 bits helps most in the shadows. There is an article somewhere online which shows that the difference in deep shadows (in case you have to pull up an exposure) is considerable, but the difference in the highlights is minimal.
    Carsten - Website

  6. #6
    wardeworth
    Guest

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    I saw camera of one of my friend,From that day I was thinking what is difference between 12 bit and 14 bit, and finally I searched it, Actually there is not big difference between them. I think I understand the difference in color bit depth, but I suspect the human eye can not distinguish the difference.he main difference is that you need a proper beast of a machine to process 14 bit images.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Breckerfeld, Germany
    Posts
    82
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    4

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Difference might be very small here - the sensor is from Sony and the same as used in A700 (of course everything around is different). So I think that the 12-bit readout uses the internal converters on the sensor as in A700 (there is one for each column), while the 14-bit readout uses external converters. So you have a maybe better converter, but longer lines for the signals to come there, what might add errors. Also you will have only 2, maybe 4 converters, and not several thousand, so that the sampling procedure must be speeded up.
    If I remember right I read about 0,5 ev of additional DR (and not 2, as it should be in theory, if converter would be the limiter).

    But that's all theory - make two identical shots and compare by yourself. My A900 only has 12-bit readout, no choice there - a rented Sinar Hy6 was much better, but I don't think it's only because of 12 to 16 bit readout

    Andreas

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Quote Originally Posted by jonpaul View Post
    I will, of course, also do my own testing.
    Why is doing the testing before asking such a novel concept? Then you could have made a post showing us exactly what you did and how you viewed the results.

    Instead we get a pedantic post where all of the suggestions are to do the test. Now when someone else finds this thread through a search while looking for an answer to the same/similar question about 12/14-bit there won't be this great thread "showing us exactly what you did and how you viewed the results".

    I think would it would be really enlightening if you would would revisit this thread with your results and go a long way towards building a great archive of information.

    Of course, we're all guilty of this at some point or another--asking before/instead of testing--and I know I'll do the same thing in the future

  9. #9
    aprillove20
    Guest

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Nice thread!I the value of providing a quality resource for free.

  10. #10
    uunique18
    Guest

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    A binary number with 12 bits of precision can record a number with 4096 different possible values while 14 bits gives us 16,384 possible values, which four times as many as with 12 bits. The larger 14-bit files are actually better than 12-bit raw, looking mainly at resolution as it relates to shadow and highlight recovery.

  11. #11
    Member RomanJohnston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Posts
    122
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Quote Originally Posted by jonpaul View Post
    I am shooting wildlife with a Nikon D300. Frame rate while using 14 bit is very slow. Given that print quality is my primary objective, would shooting in 12 bit degrade the sharpness at all in enlargements? The frame rate in 12 bit is drastically better. I understand that the "bits" relate to color, not information in detail. I just haven't looked at files next to one another to compare what the differrence/potential loss may be.

    Thanks!
    Jon
    14bit vs 12bit will have close to zero influence in your sharpness of the files. Based on what you say you are shooting, the diffrence between 12 and 14bit is not a balanced trade off compared with the need for FPS for wildlife work. The major diffrence is some mild shadow information in the files and a little elbowroom for editing in areas like a blue sky where color transitions from one subtil shade to the next will not experience posterization (garish blotchy color changes) especially when editing.

    I shoot landscapes and see it in the skies and other very subtil color transitions. But I have the luxury of slowing down in my kind of work.

    Roman

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    31
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Soooo, does shooting in 14-bit reduce the need to "expose to the right" with landscape work then?

    My understanding with the ETTR approach was that you were trying to get more details across the spectrum, but especially in the blacks, which otherwise might be stuck with (say) 64 values for the dark tones which might posterize. 14-bit seems like it would make this less of an issue, allowing for more spontaneous shooting.

    But then, I'm a portrait and wedding guy, so I kind of feel like I'm doggy paddling out to sea on this topic...

  13. #13
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,658
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    >The larger 14-bit files are actually better than 12-bit raw, looking mainly at resolution as it relates to shadow and highlight recovery.

    14bit is better when and only when the camera delivers better data at 14 bit. If the camera pipeline internally would be 12bit a 14bit output would not help.

    >I shoot landscapes and see it in the skies and other very subtle color transitions.

    These are really the places to look for.

    This said it is always best using 14 bit just to be sure. But 12 bit is no major issue either.
    Uwe Steinmueller
    -------------------

    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  14. #14
    anselgrey23
    Guest

    Re: 12 bit vs 14 bit

    Following are the main different between 12 bit vs 14 bit
    12 bit will give you 4,096 shades of each of the three primary colors, red, green and blue or 68,719,476,736 possible colors.
    14 bit will give you 16,384 shades of each of the primary colors, or 4,398,046,511,104 possible colors.
    The JPEG format is limited to 8 bits per primary color or 16,777,216 possible colors.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •