Greg wrote:
> I've read a few msgs. that talked about how GIMP only does 8-bit
> processing.  Does that mean if I load, say, a 16-bit image, Will GIMP
> display and/or save the image as an 8-bit image?  If that IS the case,
> that's a rather serious short-coming for photographers and such.
Probably should be in a FAQ somewhere.
1. I don't know of any current DSLR whose raw file format is more than
14bit per RGB value per pixel or 42bits per pixel.
2. Better flatbed scanners can do 16/48 bit, but there's some debate as
to any observable increase in range.  I think drum scans are usually 48 bit.
3. Currently, PS CS2/3 are 16/48 bit but not all plugins are.  I think
Corel PSP11 is also (not that I'd use it)
4. If you are going to use GIMP to do image processing from camera raw,
then use the UFRAW plugin to GIMP.  Pull the raw image in, and do the
first pass at color balance and exposure correction (which is where
having the extra bits are the most useful).  UFRAW will then pass an
8/24 bit file to GIMP for further processing
5. If you hand GIMP a 16/48 bit file (like a TIFF) it will convert it
down to 8/24
6. An upcoming version of GIMP will support 16/48bit and non-destructive
editing, but it's not a near term release last I heard
7. There are other FOSS editors such as Krita that support 16/48, but
they're not very mature yet

Even with it's bit depth shortcoming, I'd still take GIMP's mature tool
set over anything OTHER than PS CS2/3 (at a mere $649US)
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