Photoshop CS5 Handling of D90 NEF Files / 8 bit vs. 12 bit

Started Dec 19, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Jed Smith
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Photoshop CS5 Handling of D90 NEF Files / 8 bit vs. 12 bit
Dec 19, 2010

I've got a beginners question about how Adobe Photoshop CS5 handles my Nikon D90 NEF files. I understand that the D90 model captures 12 bpp within its NEF format.

When I open an image within CS5 Camera Raw, I notice this string along the bottom "Adobe RGB (1998); 8 bit; 2848 by 4288 (12.2MP); 240 ppi".

If I open the image within Photoshop and choose Image, then Mode, the 8 Bits/Channel is selected by default.

My concern is that both Adobe Camera Raw and normal image editing within PS is discarding the extra 4 bits per channel. Is my understanding correct? Is this something I can correct within Photoshop settings to use a higher bpp mode of image editing by default? This goes both for the Camera Raw as well as the normal image opening. I can change the image mode to 16 bpp manually every time I open a NEF, but would prefer not to have the hassle. I couldn't find anything under preferences which would allow me to set something which indicates to edit in 16 bpp by default. Yes, I realize my NEFs only have a 12 bpp per color.

I'm not sure if editing using CS5 Camera Raw in something other than 8bpp is even possible.

I have Capture NX2 as well, so I'd be able to incorporate that into a workflow if needed. For most images I simply use NX2. On occasion, I do need to bring images into Photoshop. I'm afraid I'll have to steer clear of CS5 Camera Raw editing if it only works with 8 bpp.

I'm sure this is likely just due to my ignorance. Thanks so much for your advice and clearing this up for me.


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