12-bit vs. 14-bit RAW?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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12-bit vs. 14-bit RAW?
8 months ago

When shooting RAW, I don't understand the advantage of shooting 14-bit over 12-bit.

14-bit gives me a bigger file.  What advantages does it give me over 12-bit?  My understanding is that bit depth refers only to the precision, not range or accuracy, with which brightness levels are defined.

12 bits NEF gives us plenty of precision in the highlight end.  I understand that it gives more precision than necessary in the bright end and that 8 bits is sufficient in bright end

But 12 bits doesn't give as much precision in the shadow end.  14-bit helps in the dark end but not in the bright end.

The only difference is that 12-bits uses a look--up-table to skip between values at the bright end where you already have more precision than needed already.

I want the finest quality NEF's out of the camera I can get as I'm expanding my work from standard wedding/portrait photography to Fine Art in both B&W and Color.  I don't mind having larger files with 14-bit than I have with 12-bit if there is a definite improvement in file quality.  But if the improvement is none to minimal, why bloat my hard drive unnecessarily.

Thanks for any insights you can provide on this subject.

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