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Thread: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    I have a laptop computer that is about five years old. It has a 32 BIT; not the more recent 64 BIT capability.

    Can I use this computer to download my RAW images from my 7D CF cards? While I am on my trip to Europe and Turkey? I would plan to use the Canon software to download the images and save them to a pair of small physical size but, large capacity external hard drives. I have one 500 Gb and one 1 Tb hard drive.

    I don't have any desire to edit the images on my trip other than just taking a quick look at them to spot any obvious camera or lens malfunction..

    My wife will bring her newer and more capable Lenovo notebook computer. However on my trip to China, she and I fought over computer time since we had only one computer and she wanted to email and search the web while I wanted to download and copy my images. Since we were on a tour that kept us very active, we had little down time to work on the computer.

    I will download my CF cards, most of which are UDMA capable using a Lexar USB3 UDMA capable card reader plugged into the USB2 port of the computer...

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    Whether you can use the computer with your reader CF card reader depends on the latter's drivers. Card readers are normally simple enough that compatibility issues are rare. But the short version is that there is nothing about a 32-bit operating system and processor that should prevent you from downloading your shots.

    Your thread title makes me wonder if there's another question in the wings regarding the bit depth of a RAW image and the instruction length of a computer. Essentially, a RAW file's colors are described by 12 to 16 bits, and an operating system's processor instructions can be 32 or 64 bits long. But there's no relation between the two. Any 32- or 64-bit operating system or processor should be able to read a RAW file with any bit depth. However, since your card reader is USB3 (max ~5Gbit/sec), it will be slowed down (but still functional) when plugged into a USB2 port (max ~0.5Gbit/sec).

    If there are any semantic or technical errors in this description, never fear. I'm sure Manfred will be here soon.
    Last edited by RustBeltRaw; 23rd May 2013 at 06:37 PM.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    Thanks Lex. I will of course, test it out first but,I just wanted to get of at the right track. I don't have a USB port on the computer I will be using so, I have to suffer with the slower speed.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    If there are any semantic or technical errors in this description, never fear. I'm sure Manfred will be here soon.
    Thanks Lex.... I think your overview probably as good as anything I could offer. The card reader really looks like another drive to your computer. Data is data and the computer really could care less as to what it is used for.

    I have run into issues with the card readers not being compatible with data cards written by different cameras; the reader I had been using with my D90 could not read cards written by the D800, for some reason. I got a new one and everything works fine. Prior to getting a new reader, I ended up plugging the camera into the USB port.

    The best thing to do Richard is test it to make sure it works before you head off on your trip.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    Fortunately, Richard has a USB3 card reader. So it should be fairly future-proof and will likely be compatible with all modern cameras and card technologies. Can't say I've ever run into compatibility issues, but I only own one camera, one reader (with a second built into my laptop), and a small handful of cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcprowe
    I don't have a USB port on the computer I will be using so, I have to suffer with the slower speed.
    I assume you mean you don't have a USB3 port? Because if you don't have any USB ports, you're in trouble! I'd recommend bringing your camera's download cable as a plan B so you can plug it right into the computer if something goes screwy with the reader.

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    My card reader caught fire, so I used the cable that came with the camera and I don't know why I didn't do that from the start. It is totally automatic, just plug in then turn on the camera, choose a download point and from then on the software creates folders with date format. Just select all and click File/download.

    The bit depth thing confused me a bit, since RGB has three bytes of either 8 or 16 bits for every pixel, however Raw is saved as 12-16 bits per pixel and it is the first time I have every thought about it. I suppose Demosaicing yields the extra bytes.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    The bit depth thing confused me a bit, since RGB has three bytes of either 8 or 16 bits for every pixel, however Raw is saved as 12-16 bits per pixel and it is the first time I have every thought about it.
    My understanding is that the data is packed with zeros to create the 16-bit from 12 and 14 bit output.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Does BIT of a computer relate to BIT of an image?

    The Lexar card reader works on my desktop computer and notebook, both of which have only USB2 ports. I also carry my PNY Technologies Compact Flash USB2 reader as a backup. I am a firm believer in redundancy. I even carry extra lens caps and hoods.

    I replaced my side-pinch hoods with center-pinch models but, carry the set of side pinch hoods with me. In case of loss. I lost a lens hood shooting through a tight window from a hotel in China. I carry almost all of my photo gear in my carry-on luggage but, the extra hoods and lenscaps go in the bag that is checked on. They are not pilferable to any great extent.

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