Workstation choices - high end PC or Mac Pro

Started Feb 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 946
Re: Workstation choices - high end PC or Mac Pro

While other people have given a comprehensive answer to your question, I would instead give a simple, right to the point answer: in order to be able to display 10 bit images on your monitor, everything in your workflow has to be 10-bit as follows:

1- Your camera supports 10-bit or higher image capturing. As far as I know most or all current DSLR and mirrorless cameras do capture in 12bit or even higher (except maybe the entry levels models)

So you have high bit images that you would like to edit in software that can preserve this higher color bit depth.

2- Photoshop and Lightroom do support more than 8bit editing mode as well as some other editing program such as Corel Pro, etc.. In order to be able to edit in 10-bit, you do not need a 10-bit display. However, you cannot actually see the result in 10bit of higher color if your display pipeline is not 10bit. For being able to display these images in 10bit, you need the following:

3- A 10bit display. You already have one.

4- A graphic card that supports 10bit display that is either an Nvidia Quadro or, an ATI FirePro card.

5- Connect your display to your graphic card only through the display port using a digital display cable.

6- In Photoshop preference pane, enable 10bit support. You might also need to enable 10bit in the graphic card configuration panel depending on your card.

Voila, your images are displayed in 10bit within Photoshop. From what I have learned, Lightroom still cannot display images in 10bit while it can edit and save them in higher bit mode. In order to be able see these images in 10bit, you would need another software. Apparently, Adobe Bridge can display images in 10bit mode.

That's all about it. You don't need every single software on your system to support 10-bit. Your image editor edits in 10bit and then you just need an image viewing program that supports 10bit image display. Aside from Bridge, I know of the following software that supports 10bit:

- HDR image viewer

-Zoner Photo Studio

- Datahammer 7yuv

As per Mac, there is some speculations that since Apple now is using FirePro cards in their Mac Pros and since most 4K displays support 10bit, there is a good chance as some point in the future, Apple adds 10bit support to OS X. Whether and when it may happen, nobody outside Apple knows.

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