I just upgraded to PSE 2020 and no longer find my RAW images are in 16 bit. In the prior version they were. Some edits, though not all were allowed. Now with the 2020 my files are 8 bit by default. Or so it seems. Googling has yielded no results. Nothing in Preferences. Any help?
At the bottom of the Camera Raw window where it says Depth you can select between 8 or 16 bits/channel.
That's it! I just never noticed that option before. Thank you.
Keep in mind that every edit in the ACR module is calculated in 16-bits depth, and wide color gamut (kind of Prophoto, not sRGB or aRGB).
- The menu option shown by Jeff_Arola decides how to open the edited file in the Elements pixel editor, not how the calculations are made in the ACR module.
- Original raw files have 12 or 14 bits precision, while jpegs are only 8-bits.
- If you care about optimal quality, also think about color modes. The Elements editor recognizes more than sRGB/aRGB color spaces (including Prophoto RGB) as the 'working space' but you can only convert to either sRBG or aRGB for your output. That choice is not made in the ACR, it depends on your color preferences in the editor (optimize for display or for print). When you click on 'Open', the preference is read and used for the conversion so all the files edited in ACR are either sRGB (limited range) or aRGB (wider range if your output (display/printer) supports it).
Michel, I've been totally out of graphics land for over 18 months from surgery. With a new 10-bit monitor (admittedly, the first I've ever worked with), AE work in 10-bit works as expected, and you've got Camera RAW covered for my Canon R (amazing).
Can you please help me to simply work in the 16-bit realm in Photoshop 2020 - using normal .PSD files, and all of my 16-bit grad tools and weaponry that helped so much in 8-bit land. I feel like an idiot, but I cannot figure out how to use Photoshop in 16-bit mode to save my soul!
Michel, I of course work in 16-bit mode in Photoshop just fine, as all of the 16-bit .PSD files display a gorgeous 10-bit image from AE.
Photoshop simply has me stumped trying to SEE the 16-bit work displayed in 10-bit form on the (BenQ PD3220U) display. I'm obviously missing something fundamental.
If you shoot raw, here is some information about the bit depth precision available:
The internal calculation is made in 16 bits, which is overkill.
Most displays are only 8 bits. For critical work there are pro displays like yours in 10 bits, which makes a significant difference. My understanding is that you would not be able to see the difference with more than 10 bits.
Back to Elements: anything you edit in the raw module of Elements is calculated in 16 bits and you have the option to open the file in the pixel editor in 16 bits. Then, you lose the ability to use layers and many detail adjustment tool. If you open a 16-bits layered tiff or psd, you'll be prompted to choose between keeping 16 bits and flattening the layers, or keeping the layers and converting to 8 bits.
If you keep in mind that by far the most important advantage of 16-bits is to avoid posterization, you no longer need 16-bits after the raw editing stage, so many users set the export to the editor to 8-bits. Do a test and convert a 16 bits to 8 bits and see if you can tell the difference by swithching between the two versions.
If 16-bits is what you are after, consider subscribing to Photoshop; after all if you have a super display, that may be worth it.
Just wondering out loud, if it's not too rude but, I have a question too. If (according to this), pure green is 0/255/0 in 8 bit but 0/32768/0 in 16 bit (which can only be printed using special wide gamut equipment, or viewed on special purpose monitors) a supplanting of precise 16 bit values must take place in order to convert them to 8 bit. That way the Sams Club grade setups most of us use (not all) know what to do with them. In the case of pure Green, Red and Blue, a side by side comparison of the same image in each their own bit depth may not appear so different but what of all the colors in between? Are those values not also restricted by the 8 bit color space? How could a hobbled 8 bit version possibly look as good as the original 16 bit? You don't have to answer, I don't need to know and wouldn't understand anyway. Color management has always gone right over my head no matter the bonifides of the teacher as was the case with Dear Mrs Raynes who, despite a year of effort, couldn't even make a mediocre piano player out of me.