DPReview: Raw bit depth is about dynamic range, not the number of colors you get to capture


“Raw bit depth is often discussed as if it improves image quality and that more is better, but that’s not really the case. In fact, if your camera doesn’t need greater bit depth then you’ll just end up using hard drive space to record noise….

… if your camera doesn’t capture more than 12 stops of DR, you probably shouldn’t clamor for 14-bit Raw: it’s not going to increase the subtlety of gradation in your final images (especially not if you’re viewing them as 8-bit). All those extra bits would do is increase the amount of storage you’re using by around 16% with all of that space being devoted to an archive of noise.”