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Minor reason #3: Higher bit depth

When geeks and nerds are trying to explain the benefits of Raw, they’ll invariably tell you about bit depth. Jpeg data is 8 bit, while Raw data can be 10, 12, 14 or even 16 bit, depending on the camera.

“Greater bit depth is better”, they’ll say. And they’re right. Absolutely right.

When you ask them why more bits are better, they’ll explain that it’s because it retains better quality when making aggressive adjustments of exposure etc.

But when you ask them why they need to make aggressive adjustments, they’ll shuffle sheepishly and admit it’s because they can’t get it right in camera!

It all comes back to the first (wrong) reason I discussed. No amount of amazing Raw data is a satisfactory substitute for getting the shot right in camera. If you were the best photographer in the world, you’d never need high bit data.

However, none of us are the best photographers in the world, so we’re grateful for the extra bit depth from time to time.

(I’ll discuss bit depth a little more in later modules. And there’s some information here.)

That was an okay reason. Let’s look at a better reason >>

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