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12 or 14bit on the D300?

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by G2EWS, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    Going through the settings on my D300 and thought I would select 14bit which took the available pictures on 4gb CF card from 156 down to 139. This is set in RAW and JPEG fine.

    I also noticed a marked slowing down of how long it takes for the shutter to open/close and record the picture.

    Does anyone use 14bit and how much improvement do you realistically get?


  2. Jez


    Jun 22, 2005
    Hi Chris,

    The slight increase in shutter lag is a known drawback of 14-bit shooting on the D300.

    Personally, high fps aren't important so I always shoot in 14-bit mode. Does it make a real difference? I have no idea - I haven't done a comparison myself - but I'm of the opinion that more bits must be better.... :wink:

    There's a technical look at what it means here. That shadow recovery is enough to convince me that it's a good thing to use!
  3. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, there's some extra shutter lag and a lower max frame-rate. The upside slightly cleaner shadows. I think if you aren't shooting high FPS it's worth using 14-bit especially if you're going to use ADL or recover shadows in post-processing.
  4. I try to shoot landscapes and most stable scenes at 14-bit and action and snapshots at 12-bit to avoid the issues you mention. I could care less about the difference in consumed memory. The answer is to carry an extra or a bigger CF card. I like you use 4gb cards and I prefer the Lexar UDMA cards although others are probably just as good.

  5. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    FWIW - A noted photo and s/w expert wrote on this recently. He determined that although 14 bit does contain more information, it is very difficult to see that difference. He equated this to the "law of diminishing returns". He concluded that for most photos 12 bit is almost as good without slowing the capture rate, increasing file size, etc.

    Still undecided -take several shots at each setting and decide for yourself! :smile:
  6. Karen,

    What you wrote is so very true and great advise, the best given here yet.

  7. PeteZ28


    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    What you said. 12 bit for most shooting, 14 bit if I know I won't need the FPS.
  8. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    after 6 or 7 months ive decided to shoot 14 bit.i noticed a slow down but for most of my photograghy thats a non issue.the feww times in shooting my dogs jousting ill switch back to 12 bit to get faster fps ect.
  9. YES, Pete728, YES!

  10. Hi All,

    Many thanks for the comments.

    I think I have decided that I will also go with 14 bit. As mentioned I also record jpeg fine, this is as my network is connected to my Play Station 3 and I can play the pics on my projector with music overlaid. The PS3 obviously does not recognise RAW files.


  11. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    14 vs 12 bit

    Supposedly the firmware update reduced or eliminated the lag associated with the 14-bit selection. I have not tried mine yet but that is what is being reported.
  12. kays


    Aug 9, 2008
    My feeling that unless it is preventing you from taking a shot, shoot in 14 bit mode. You may not notice the difference today, but should you go back, that extra quality information is there. You'll never be able to replace that information.

    Of course, you need the FPS, and the card capacity, that answer is clear - 12 bit - or even JPG, depending on the circumstances.

    Like the RAW vs JPEG question, there is no one correct answer for everyione.
  13. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    bingo.thats why you can easily change from one to the other.
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