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GX7 Bit Depth

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by RzzB, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. RzzB

    RzzB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Dec 14, 2013
    I haven't been able to find a bit depth for the GX7.

    Can't see it in the spec or the manual. And Google isn't being my friend this time.

    Anyone know?

    Thanks,
    RzzB
     
  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    So, if it's 12 instead of 14, does that mean you won't buy it? Do you know what the visible difference is in an image that's been captured and processed in 12 vs. 14 bits? Especially when it's viewed on an 8 bit display device?
     
  3. RzzB

    RzzB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Dec 14, 2013
    First of all I have already bought it.

    Do I know the difference when viewed on an 8 bit device? Yes - nothing.

    But what if it were displayed on my 16 bit high end monitor? :)

    And what about if I print it on my high end wide format printer? :)

    Actually - Probably not much either! :)

    Anyway - just kidding. I don't own a wide gamut monitor - but I will early in the new year!

    The fact is, I just want to know what it is. Being very new to M43 it was just a sort of interest thing.

    Any idea?

    RzzB
     
  4. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Dec 8, 2012
    My Nikons (D3S and D600) have the option of recording 12 or 14 bit and I've done exhaustive tests with both, including pushing and pulling files by 5 stops in Lightroom and examining at 200%. I could find literally zero loss of quality with 12 bit, so that's what I use, and so it doesn't bother me one bit if my other cameras shoot 12 bit.
     
  5. RzzB

    RzzB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Dec 14, 2013
    Yes - I can believe that.

    However, me being the cautious type would still capture at 14bit - just in case, that in years to come, the algorithms and hardware might improve to a point where it would be able to make a difference.

    It doesn't bother me - I would just like to know what the bit depth is!

    RzzB
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am going to go out on a limb and say that it is probably 12-bit, since they would list it as a feature if it did 14-bit.

    My Sony A7 advertised 14-bit RAWs, but I now read that there is some lossy compression going on. It is probably a fair bet that I will never see the difference, but it would be nice to have the option for 14-bit lossless RAWs.
     
  7. Dogman

    Dogman Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Dec 23, 2012
    Maryland
  8. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Give me the make and model of the monitors and printers that support 16 bits per channel.


    Beside the fact that no one here gave the slightest indication of knowing what bit depth means, someone in the Luminous Landscape forums, who knows a great deal about analog circuits in IC's (before the signal is digitized) is of the opinion that the signal that goes into the last 2 bits are so low in value that it's lost in the noise.
     
  9. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Im pretty sure he didn't come here to fight.

    He is new to m43 and this forum. Its a legitimate question.

    Responding with "It doesn't matter" or challenges like "do you even know what you're talking about" or just assuming they don't, is rude and unwelcome. Go away.

    And for the record, posting the opinion of some random guy in another forum who "knows a great deal" and putting that out there as your proof does NOT make you look or seem knowledgeable.
     
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  10. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    Each bit of data means that the circuitry can represent an additional stop of exposure. 12 bit data can represent EVs 12 stops wide, 14 bits 14 stops wide. The sensor in the GX7 can't capture that much dynamic range, but having extra bit depth allows for various numerical calculations involving rounding to take place without loss of precision in the actual data.

    Like so many things in this technology, 14 bits or 12 bits is more than most of us (especially me) have the skill to utilize well. However, storage is cheap, and I run my Nikons at 14 bits much the same way I run my m43 cameras at the maximum sensor resolution in Raw. I do let my Nikons throw away redundant data using their lossless compression. I alway have jpegs set at Large Fine.

    No sense throwing away perfectly good data.
     
  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    This ^^^,
     
  12. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    The most we can say is that it doesn't matter today.

    Given the rate of change in digital photography, it could matter very soon - it is always better to have more data than less.
     
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I'm guessing that it is 12 bit ADC. My guess is based on the latest Panasonic sensor announcement of their future µ4/3 sensor with 4k video, and that is 12-bit and is probably an evolved GX7 sensor.
     
  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Reading that line is like watching a fish ride a bicycle. How many bits per color channel that comes out of the D/A converter has nothing, not a blessed thing, to do with dynamic range.
     
  15. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Your metaphor makes no sense :dash2:
     
  16. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    rubes, it's an AD converter. :redface:
     
  17. RzzB

    RzzB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Dec 14, 2013
    You are right of course. Even the top end monitors are probably only 10 bit.

    I seem to have touched a raw nerve with this question - if that's the case I'm very sorry.
     
  18. RzzB

    RzzB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Dec 14, 2013
    Thanks. No, I didn't come for a fight - not my style at all - I came to learn.
    I was beginning to wonder how I was getting myself into a flame war with only my second post to the group with what I thought was a fairly innocuous question!
    I'll just keep my head down for a bit....
     
  19. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    No, keep your head up and keep posting. You did nothing wrong. In fact I think you are owed a small apology or two, as a couple of people should have asked about your intention before assuming it was to bag the camera.

    Like I said, I think we can assume it is 12 bit until better evidence arrives.

    If I may, I have a couple of general points on your topic?

    1. A chain's links only need to be as strong as the weakest link. The bit depth that is referred to is talking about the analog to digital converter for the signal coming out of the sensor. It could be 20 bit technology but it won't improve the photos if the GX7 sensor has, say, 12.24 bits of dynamic range as reported by DxO Mark. My previous camera, the Canon 7D has a 14 bit ADC but the sensor's dynamic range peaks at 11.6 bits. Guess what the last 3 bits of that ADC are recording? And even if in the future we get sensors and ADCs with more bit depth, what about the other links in the chain? What about monitor technology, what about printer and paper dynamic range?

    2. Which leads to my second point: despite wishful thinking to the contrary, there are strict limits to the human visual system, too. When that becomes the weakest link in the chain, there is no point in making the other links stronger and stronger. At least, not in the mind of a practical person. The easy example is dots per inch, where printers have well exceeded the ability of the human visual system to discriminate. Personally I think, in a practical sense, if our intention is to capture and produce delicious or powerful images, µ4/3 delivers sufficient technology output. Now it is up to us. :tongue:

    But we need to keep posting, keep learning, and that includes you too!
     
  20. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Interesting that the potential bit depth is being directly related to output. A LOT happens between capture and output and a file of a higher bit depth will simply hold up to more pushing and prodding before it becomes noticeably damaged.The more data there is to start with the better.

    Plus, printers don't need to be 16 bits per channel to be able to reproduce a 16 bit file output. The way modern printers work means they don't even really have a bit depth, except for the DA converter. The magic is done by the dithering pattern and the equivalent "bit depth" is astounding. Most modern printers can emulate well over 24 bits per channel. It's really only gamut thats limited by model.

    I thought it was a good question.

    Gordon
     
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