8 Bit or 16 bit , sRGB or Pro Photo

Started Sep 11, 2019 | Discussions thread
DotCom Editor Veteran Member • Posts: 7,610
ProPhoto for me, whever possible

Ken60 wrote:

In recent forum exchange I have found much comment re this subject of bit depth and gamut.

I mentioned my practice of using 16 bit data and Canon XPS driver, thus allowing output direct to print and instant manipulation of files in their photoshop format .

It was my feeling that modern inks should be able to exceed the 8 bit data from sRGB files that have been the traditional print feed.

This comment and claim seemed to be rejected by some as heresy, and my excommunication was warned. Good news , it seems in February of 2007 (12 years ago ) Andrew Rodney wrote a piece on this subject. Back when Photoshop was pre CC , and we were shooting the great Canon 5D, he alluded to very similar concepts ........ I guess things have evolved quite a bit since then. for some !


Modern inks can make colors beyond the limits of sRGB. Thus, I nearly always work in ProPhoto RGB so I can start with as broad a range of data as possible. Why cripple a printer by using a narrower color space that doesn't allow it to reach its full capability?

If I need to squeeze the color space to sRGB in order to make a JPG for website posting or emailing to someone, so be it. (Think of a funnel analogy, wide input at the top and narrow output at the bottom.) But, I consider creating a JPG a final output step only, never an intermediary post-processing step.

My rule is simple: Never, ever throw data away. Disk storage is so inexpensive as to be almost free.

My opinion on this is not universal.

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