8 Bit or 16 bit , sRGB or Pro Photo

Started Sep 11, 2019 | Discussions thread
OP Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 2,294
Re: Working versus final for printing

NAwlins Contrarian 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 !


IMO we really, really need to separate out:

The wheat from the chaff

(1) (a) color space (e.g., sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB, etc.) from (b) bit depth (e.g., 8 bits per channel, 16 bits per channel, etc.); and

You don't need to , read the PDF, its all there for you .

(2) (a) intermediate working files (e.g., raw, PSD, etc.--the original and intermediate files we process in the digital darkroom) from (b) final files used or sent for printing.

working files are best kept in high bit depth to avoid inducing 8 bit banding , it also talks about that in the PDF

Although sRGB is the most common color working space, arguably the most appropriate for web display, and required by many printing services, anybody with a lick of sense knows that some monitors and many printers can print colors outside of sRGB, and therefore use of a wider working color space is better when circumstances allow you to do so.

sRGB is not the most common working space, it might have been many years ago , but the science and technology has moved on. Monitors are now more able than the big glass back  cathode ray things. My graphics card is now able to display  way more than 24 bit, and modern monitors are able to go way beyond Adobe RGB 1988. The mobile internet is now going 5G and bandwidths are designed to eat video !

Although I think the consensus of expert opinion is that 8 bit per channel files provide all of the depth that any of us can see in prints, I don't think anyone with a lick of sense thinks that it isn't better to use higher bit depth files for original capture and all intermediate processing, only truncating (or rounding) down to 8 bits for printing.

So if all it takes is a lick of sense , then why all the above ?

Just for starters, I suggest you go read:

No I am off to bed , I am done with historic knowledge and folk grabbing onto what was.

As for LL, is it still open after MR's passing.


where the very same Andrew Rodney you mentioned weighs in (as "digitaldog").

-- hide signature --

Gear ... what I need to get the job done , after all you don't see mechanics listing their brand of spanner as a qualification .

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