8 Bit or 16 bit , sRGB or Pro Photo

Started Sep 11, 2019 | Discussions thread
technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,276
Re: 8 Bit or 16 bit , sRGB or Pro Photo

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 !


Canon's Pro1000 XPS driver does not print using 16 bits in Windows 10 on my system.  And Canon's Print Studio Pro doesn't print 16 bits either even though there is an option that supposedly does that.

It is extremely hard to test whether a printer is actually using a 8 bit drive or 16 bit driver since actual photo images have enough noise in them (it only takes a bit at the LSB) that you can't see a difference. You have to use noise free, synthetic images.

I've tested this by printing RGB 254, 254.25, 254.50, 254.75, and 255 RGB neutrals. Then scanned it (you can't see a difference! )  then increased the contrast 20x or so and guess what? it's just printing 8 bits.

But printing this from Photoshop and enabling 16bit to 8 bit dither in the color settings and then you see visible differences after contrast bumping.

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