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Real World Digital Photography, 2nd edition by Tim Grey, Seán Duggan, Katrin Eismann

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Working with High-Bit Files

Many higher-end digital cameras are capable of capturing a 12-bit image. This translates to 4096 tonal levels per color channel instead of the 256 levels in an 8-bit file. That represents quite a bit more tonal information. In Photoshop a file with more than 8-bits per pixel is classified as a 16-bit image. Since digital color correction involves selectively discarding information in order to get the existing data looking the way you want, more individual tonal levels means more room, or a bigger stage, on which to perform your corrections. When you start out with many more tonal levels in your file, it's not as critical if some levels are lost in the quest to make the image look better (Figure 11.94). The ability ...

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