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Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

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Old 05-26-2013, 09:53 AM
YoungRetoucher YoungRetoucher is offline
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Question Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

I never really asked myself this before but now that I retouch everything in 16bit Prophoto it makes sense to ask myself if I shouldn't be shooting in 14bit RAW instead of 12bit. Well, should I be shooting in 14bit RAW?

I mainly shoot Fashion and Beauty, in studio and on location.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:13 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

Can't hurt The only downside is the files will be a little bigger.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:46 PM
YoungRetoucher YoungRetoucher is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

What about noise, I read somewhere that 14bit is noisier?
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:20 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

You might try shooting different scenarios, esp. with strong shadows, and see which one you like better. Either that, or go with the one you feel safer with.

I shoot in 14-bit and love my images but I hadn't read about more noise vs. 12-bit and haven't done the comparison, thanks for bringing that up, it's worth doing an experiment about that.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:33 AM
YoungRetoucher YoungRetoucher is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

Perhaps Mr Rodney will know! He always does!
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:29 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

It's an easy test to do -- you can know for yourself on your own equipment in just a few minutes if you follow my testing guidelines above I'm rather curious now and will likely try it myself when I get a few minutes.....
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:58 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

Not a Nikon shooter but are you saying there's some switch or setting that toggles between 12 and 14-bit? Pick 14 if it makes you feel better, Photoshop will treat all high bit files (more than 8-bits per color) the same and actually uses 15-bit precision. In terms of working in Photoshop, all high bit files are the same size (double their 8-bit per color cousins).

In the end, it could all be marketing nonsense from Nikon. I can't understand why they'd have such an option (12 vs. 14 bit) and it would take much work analyzing the raw data to see if either bit depth were true.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:31 PM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Nikon D700 - 12bit vs 14bit RAW?

Nikon D700 offers a choice of NEF as either 12 or 14 bit and in different flavours, lossless compressed, lossy compressed or uncompressed.

AFAIK the so called lossless compressed is not exactly a true lossless algorithm and if you dig deep enough you will find information that Nikon actually say that this is a visually lossless form of compression – not actually the same as true lossless as I believe that it compromises highlight values slightly. Nikon guys have obviously concluded that the information lost is pretty irrelevant but YMMV

I would expect in practice that the differences in 14 bit uncompressed vs lossless compressed to be very slight (although I do not have direct experience!). I would suggest that large amounts of post processing are most likely to reveal the difference.

This article comparing 12 to 14 bit may be of some interest. There are two pages so make sure you click on next at bottom of first page. http://www.earthboundlight.com/photo...us-12-bit.html.

Worth experimenting IMHO with the options in a controlled test under your typical shooting conditions

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