12bit vs 14bit - Any real world examples out there??

Started Oct 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
Brandon birder
Senior MemberPosts: 2,371
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Re: 12bit vs 14bit - Any real world examples out there??
In reply to avir, Oct 4, 2012

Good question and  I assume one motivated by reducing file sizes.

I have noticed over a period of time that my D7000 14bit files seemed to have more shadow detail with less noise than my D800 with 12 bit files. I shoot birds and regularly use shadow recovery coupled with exposure in post. This is because many birds have white feathers which I don't want to blow highlights, and also dark feathers which when on the shadow side in bright sunlight need more than 4 stops shadow recovery. If the bird is in flight and I have not dialled in enough exposure compensation orhot had time to do so  then the recovery can be  higher still. I would think that there are similar situations with other types of photography but maybe not as often perhaps. Quite a few of the images on my Flickr galleries involve large shadow recovery.

What clinched it for me was shooting the D800 in harsh contrasting light an ospreyat 90 yards where I switched from 12 to 14 bit mid session. The 12 bit files were largely unusable whereas the 14 bit files produced some nice though distant images.

I have kept my D800 at 14 bit since. Hope this helps with your dilemma.

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