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Chapter 3. Startup > 16-bits-per-channel mode

16-bits-per-channel mode

An average-quality scanner can capture 10 bits of accurate data per channel from an image. A high-end scanner can capture up to 16 bits of accurate data per channel. If the 16-bit scanner also has a wide dynamic color range and good optical density (at least 3.3), then those extra pixels of data will capture even finer details of color and shade—even in shadow areas. Photoshop can open a CMYK file containing 16 bits per channel (a 64-bit total for four channels). All the image’s original pixel information is preserved, and the image can be edited and adjusted.

There are some restrictions to keep in mind. First, a 16-bit image can only have one layer. Second, not all of Photoshop’s editing commands can be used on it. And third, you have to convert a 16-bit image down to an 8-bit one before printing (Image > Mode > 8 Bits/Channel).


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