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Old 02-23-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
groucho
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 490
Default Bit depths for cameras-scanners-printers these days?

One of these days I'm going to go fully digital, and I'd like to do it with no regrets.

Right now I'm still using a Nikon Coolscan LS-2000, which has a 14-bit A/D converter in it. And there are times when it simply cannot capture the full tonal range of a slide in one scan, either I lose the shadow details or the highlights.

So, to my eye, 14-bit A/D conversion is not good enough to get critical ranges.

The question then is what cameras these days (and I'm afraid to ask at what price) have reached 16-bit A/D conversion? 35mm film scanners? And then, how can you make sure that an inkjet printer is going to also be able to reproduce such a wide tonal range?

I'm not complaining--the 14-bit does some beautiful stuff. But before I cut over, I'd like to know that those extreme shots can still be recorded and printed, and if necessary, printed from films (scanned) as well.

I'm just looking at this as a starting point to the larger issue of "Well, how far do you have to break the bank to get real film quality out of digital these days?" and I won't even mention the Kodachromes I've been tempted to print at six FEET square.<G>
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