8 BIT or 16 BIT COLOR?

posted on 1st of february, 2009

I have to ask, is anyone using 16bit color in their submissions? I use Adobe Lightroom for my workflow and have to reduce the image to 8bit color to work in one of my photoshop programs. Overall, is 16bit color recommended for stock images or is this reserved for printing? I seem to be doing okay with 8bit color, but I am sure looking at every little thing that can help me get an edge in this industry!

Thanks to all that respond,

Comments (8)

Comment by Gmargittai on January 17, 2010

The best I can suggest, more as a computer engineer (my real job) than a photographer is to keep your images at 16 bits during editing as long as you can and move to 8 bits when there is no way around it. Eventually you need to convert it to jpeg (8 bits) to upload it to DT.
I like your portfolio BTW

Comment by Littledesire on February 03, 2009

I think I get it! Thanks!

Comment by Javashots on February 02, 2009

DD, I believe the best answer I can find here is that in Photoshop Elements, the layers masks will not work in 16bit color mode. converting to 8bit allows Elements to fully edit images while allowing the layers masks to work as intended as non-destructive tools. I am very much a newbie and may not be acurate with this reply but it is the best I can offer with my very limited photohop Elements expeience. Hope it helps!

Comment by Javashots on February 02, 2009

I did some web research on this and find that many photographers set thier color in both LR and CaptureNX to 8 bit stating that most servers for web posting work best with 8 bit color in images. Also states that 16bit works best for prints. My goal here is to find out DT recommends or prefes images with 16bit color or 9 bit color. I am seeing reasonable arguements for both 8 and 16 bit, but in the end, it's how the image appears to the client and it's intended use. But again, as a newbie myself, I am hoping find out which setting works best for DT for best sales and appearance. All thoughts and ideas are greatly needed and appreciated!

Comment by Cmarshall717 on February 02, 2009

I have the same situation. I open my raws in LR (which is 16 bit) and do basic adjustments. Then, I edit from there in Photoshop Elements 5. LR does a superb job of noise reduction for me. In order to edit this file in PSE, you have to convert it to 8 bit as it will not work on 16.

Comment by Littledesire on February 02, 2009

Why are you editing 16 bit and then upload it at 8 bit? Why don't you upload it at 16? I hope my question doesn't sounds stupid ... here's a newbie.

Comment by Javashots on February 02, 2009

Thanks so much for the info! It seemed like such a waste to not use 16bit color. I tried this with my sunset and sunrise shots, and I find a much better result from those pesky color bands! Thanks again, and best of luck to all!

Comment by Jsternig on February 02, 2009

As a stock photography retoucher I convert to 16 bit while working on the photos and then back to 8 bit once I'm done with all of my editing. This allows for better noise reduction, better gradient blends, etc.

Comments (8)

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