12 vs 14 bits raw files

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
kenw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,323
Only matters at low ISOs

The difference is only in heavily pushed shadows at lower ISOs. If you aren’t pushing shadows by three or four stops at lower ISOs you can’t tell a difference even when pixel peeping. Opinions vary but careful tests I’ve seen appear to show that by ISO 200 on a Z7 and ISO 400 on a Z6 it is very hard to see any difference even in pushed shadows.  By something like ISO 1600 the difference is not only not visible but can’t even be measured.

That said since the file size difference is not great I just always shoot in 14 bit. But I don’t do sports and action and for such a photographer even modest gains in buffer depth going to 12 bit may be very worthwhile.

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Ken W
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus E-M5 II Nikon Z7 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR +37 more
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