5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2013 10:26 AM by MichelBParis

    Bitdepth in Elements 11.

    Bradley Elmer Butler

      Can I use the full bitdepth raw files from my D800 in Elements 11?

        • 1. Re: Bitdepth in Elements 11.
          Barbara B. Level 7

          Yes, but it depends on what you mean by "use". PSE can open them, and you can make basic corrections (levels, sharpening) on 16 bit converted files, but you still can't use layers or the artistic filters without reducing them to 8 bit files.

          • 2. Re: Bitdepth in Elements 11.
            MichelBParis Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Bradley Elmer Butler wrote:

             

            Can I use the full bitdepth raw files from my D800 in Elements 11?

            That means you are shooting raw, since jpegs only support 8 bits mode.

            The answer is yes for the raw conversion module : ACR which uses the same internal conversion mode as in the full Photoshop or Lightroom.

            The ACR 7.3 version available in Elements lacks a few tabs, but the main ones, 'basic' and 'detail' are what you need in 95% of your pictures.

            Once you have edited your files in ACR, you can open them in 16 bits mode in the Editor of Elements for furher global edits (or plugins).

            By that time, there is no longer any visible advantage of using 16 bits. You convert to 8 bits for layers and local edits and the result is perfect for displaying or printing, since none of the current output modes support 16 bits...

            • 3. Re: Bitdepth in Elements 11.
              Bradley Elmer Butler Level 1

              I have been using CS3 but found out after I received my D800 that it won't open the raw files and can't be updated to do so. I shoot 14 bit raw because I want the best image I can have, but I don't want to loose that in processing. Even if I have to turn it into 8 bit to work on it, I want to be able to change it back if I desire. Also, to do HDR's in Photoroom HDR or Artizen HDR, the files have to be in 32 bit mode.

              • 4. Re: Bitdepth in Elements 11.
                Barbara B. Level 7

                Even if I have to turn it into 8 bit to work on it, I want to be able to change it back if I desire.

                Not sure what you mean here. PSE never alters your original raw file's bit depth. If you shoot 14 bit raw, the actual raw file is 14 bit forever, no matter how you convert it. If you mean you want to reduce a converted file to 8 bits and then raise the bit depth of that converted copy back up, it doesn't work that way. In either PS or PSE, once you convert an image file to 8 bits, you have lost the additional color information.

                • 5. Re: Bitdepth in Elements 11.
                  MichelBParis Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Bradley Elmer Butler wrote:

                   

                  I have been using CS3 but found out after I received my D800 that it won't open the raw files and can't be updated to do so. I shoot 14 bit raw because I want the best image I can have, but I don't want to loose that in processing. Even if I have to turn it into 8 bit to work on it, I want to be able to change it back if I desire. Also, to do HDR's in Photoroom HDR or Artizen HDR, the files have to be in 32 bit mode.

                  Don't get be fooled by numbers.

                  Like most modern DSLR cameras, your raw data is recorded with 14 bits for the analog/digital conversion for each photosite of the sensor. That's better than in my old Canon 20D ('only' 12 bits). I'll leave expert to compare the 14 bits of linear capture to the 16 bits in the image format... I think that most experts agree that 14 bits are at ease to take advantage of the sensor qualities. Same for the 16 bits : 8 bits is perfectly ok for our eyes. 10 or 12 would be better, but computers work on 'words' of 8 or 16 bits. Once again, you can't lose quality with 16 bits. The real advantage is that you can do 'heavy' edits of digital pictures without creating 'posterization' (banding) which could be visible in the output picture.

                  The important thing to keep in mind is that the kind of edits which can produce 'posterization' is done first and foremost in the ACR conversion stage. They are 'global' edits which you still can process in 16 bits in Elements. The usual final edits with layers, local tools and sharpening don't gain anything visible with 16 bits : there lies the theoretical difference between the full Photoshop and Elements.

                  If you want to be able to 'go back' for a new editing session, you don't lose anything to start from the raw file again, and if you save a 16 bits .psd or .tiff version before creating the 'output' 8 bits jpeg or tiff, you can still start from there. But going back from 8 bits to 16 bits would not recover the initial qualities of your pictures.

                   

                  For HDR, which is not available in Elements, the dedicated softwares take care of the 32 bits conversion which is necessary to 'merge' several pictures with 'high dynamic range', which means extreme contrast range.