A Helpful Explanation of Why Bit Depth Is an Important Camera Specification

Bit depth is one of those camera specifications that gets a little less attention than things like frame rate or ISO, but it has a huge impact on the quality of your camera's output. This helpful video will give you a quick introduction to what bit depth is.

Coming to you from Videomaker, this great video talks about bit depth. The thing about digital cameras is that while the electromagnetic spectrum is continuous and thus contains an uncountably infinite number of wavelengths of light, a camera discretizes that spectrum and can only record a finite number of distinct color values, and just how many values it can record comes down to something known as "bit depth," which is a measure of the length of the binary string that records a value of luminosity in each color channel. Thus, the longer the string, the more room you have for finer gradations of color. And while jumping from 8-bit to 10-bit doesn't sound like a huge change, you go from about 16.8 million colors to well over a billion when you switch. While that might seem like overkill, having those extra colors can make a huge difference in the smoothness of transitions, particularly as you start pushing files around. Check out the video above for more! 

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