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A Practical Demonstration Of The Difference

Here is a head-to-head test comparing working in 8-bit mode to working in 16-bit mode. The test image is a 1Ds RAW image converted in 16-bit linear mode using Canon's File Viewer Utility, then downsized to 1000x1503 pixels. Starting with this image, the steps contained in 16-Bit_Vs_8-Bit_Test.atn were performed in 16-bit mode and 8-bit mode. If you wish to check the methodology or the results, feel free to download the original 16-bit TIFF linked to the image below, and try running the action on it in either 8-bit or 16-bit mode. Here are the results:


A 1Ds linear RAW conversion sized down to 1000 pixels wide. Right-click and "Save Target As" to download a 16-bit TIFF version.


The result obtained by leaving the TIFF in 16-bit mode, then running the action.


The result obtained by converting the TIFF to 8-bit mode, then running the action.


As you can see, the 8-bit version has some significant posterization problems and lack of detail in the shadow areas.


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