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General photography questions and answers: Discuss 8bit vs 16bit...In tutorials about preparing images for Alamy, they suggest after RAW conversion that you convert to 16bit and save in ...
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Old 26-10-2008, 19:21   #1 (permalink)
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8bit vs 16bit

In tutorials about preparing images for Alamy, they suggest after RAW conversion that you convert to 16bit and save in Tiff format. Once processed as you wish, they then suggest you convert back to 8bit and save in jpg.
Question #1:
What is the purpose of converting to 16 bit if you are going to go back to 8bit?
Question #2:
What is the advantage of saving and post processing in Tiff vs Psd?

Thanks in advance for your insight.
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Old 26-10-2008, 19:37   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

There is no technical advantage of Tiff over PSD (In fact for PS there is more information stored in the PSD) however Tiff has more cross platform compatibility. As for working in 16 bit if you are not going to do much processing it makes no difference. If you are going to be doing work with certain tools eg curves, levels or colour correction it means you have more information to stretch so you end up with less posterisation which is one way to fail Alamy's QC. Also unless you are shooting 16MP+ images the extra bits mean upsizing is slightly better.
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Old 27-10-2008, 17:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

I fully agree with VinnyP that you will gain from the 16 bit editing providing that your are undertaking tonal and colour corrections even though you eventually reduce to 8 bit. Both TIFF and PSD are both lossless formats and both capable of storing layers etc. There are one or two things like duotone which you cannot save in TIFF. I normally use TIFF for archiving but sometimes save complex images (which I may further edit) in PSD.
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Old 27-10-2008, 18:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

VP answered this here :- http://www.pixalo.com/community/gene...html#post76366 , although his excellent graphs have disappeared
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Old 30-10-2008, 01:21   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

OK, I understand the advantage of processing in 16bit - thank you Dave for the link to VP's note - well written.

However, other than PSD file format being a proprietary format, I see no point in using Tiff. I can't see Psd or Adobe going away........

So, Psd vs Tiff - why one over the other?
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Old 30-10-2008, 02:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

Quote:
Originally Posted by nichpr View Post
However, other than PSD file format being a proprietary format, I see no point in using Tiff. I can't see Psd or Adobe going away
There is no advantage it's the proprietary issue if anything the PSD format is superior. The guidelines could apply to any image editing program wheras only Photoshop works with PSD.

As for whether the file formats will go away that's a topic all of it's own. The file formats will all go away though it's a question of how long. I agree it's unlikely to be an issue for our own lifetime since in the same way all my slides and negatives I want to keep are now on disk I am sure if I want to keep my primative 2d 16 bit raster images when 128 bit 3D vector images are the norm I'll have converted them along the way.

The earliest photographs are preserved by being digitised and restored. But if 100s of years from now someone comes upon your work in an attic then I strongly suspect they will have a lot more problems than if we wanted to read EBCDIC formatted files on magnetic tape or even far more recent visicalc or appleworks on 5.25" floppy.

Going well off topic the national archive which has 10's of miles of shelving has had a project running for ages and still has no idea how to find a a suitable medium and file format to store all the documents that has a very good chance of being accessible.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

I dont think TIFF V PSD is a big issue. It is easy to convert between then with no loss of data. TIFF is more widley used so, if you do send images to libraries, publication or competitions, you may find that TIFF is requested.

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Old 01-11-2008, 11:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 8bit vs 16bit

Although proprietary, the PDF format can be used by non-Adobe applications such as GIMP and Paint Shop Pro, so you're pretty safe with it.

An alternative to converting to 16-bit for tonal and colour adjustments is to do these in the RAW converter before conversion (to whatever you like ). The latest converters/editors such as Lightroom and Bibble 5 (when it comes out!) are close to being all-in-one applications where you don't need Photoshop etc for second-stage processing.
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