When I'm doing photography while traveling, many times I will shoot in JPEG with the highest quality setting on my Canon 50D. I understand that RAW is the best choice. However, I sometimes shoot in JPEG instead of RAW so that I can capture more photos and not run the risk of running out of disk space before my traveling is done.
I understand that if I was to apply adjustments and then save the JPEG file that data loss will occur due to the compression that takes place. So, usually what Iíll do is pick out the JPEG photos that I want to keep, convert those files to TIFF (uncompressed) and then apply Photoshop edits from there. I do this so that the photos donít suffer data loss as I apply adjustments and then save those adjustments.
Now, I'm learning about 8 bit dept vs. 16 bit depth. Someone once told me that it is better to work in 16 bit mode instead of 8 bit mode when making adjustments to photos in Photoshop. My understanding is that 16 bit depth allows for so much more tonal ranges/colors to be considered than 8 bit depth when applying adjustments. (Because 16 bit allows for trillions of colors vs. the 16 or so million colors that are considered in 8 bit mode) To clarify, I understand that Iím truly working on an image that originally was 8 bit depth and that I canít convert that original image to become a complete 16 bit image. I already know that JPEG is not as good of quality as RAW because the JPEG image was never 16 bit in the first place... With that said, Iím told that by converting to 16 bit mode during the editing process that Photoshop will not limit the ADJUSTMENTS to 8 bit depth; however, it will allow for 16 bit depth color to be included within the applied adjustments. Therefore, the adjustments will be of better quality than if I applied adjustments in 8 bit mode where adjustment colors and tonal ranges are more restrictedÖ I was just wondering if anyone has used this process or confirm if it is correct?
In addition to that, I have found that if I save my JPEG file as a TIFF file and then re-open that TIFF file, it will show that it as an 8 bit TIFF file in Photoshop. But, if go to Image > Mode > 16 Bits/Channel and then Save As a TIFF file again, the next time I open that TIFF file, it will then display as a 16 bit TIFF file instead of an 8 bit TIFF file.
So, if I do the steps mentioned above, does that mean my photo will now be treated as a 16 bit lossless TIFF file when additional adjustments are applied in Photoshop (without having to change the mode to 16 bit depth)? Is it correct to say that I won't encounter further banding or data loss as changes are saved (since it is an uncompressed TIFF file) AND I will be editing in true 16 bit mode which will automatically allow my adjustments to be 16 bit depth in terms of the optional color and tonal schemes within those adjustments. Is that correct?
The reason I am asking is that if Iím thinking correctly in all of this that I may automate a process that will batch my photos to be saved from JPEG to 16 bit TIFF files. This way, I wonít have to worry about forgetting to go to Image > Mode > 16 Bits/Channel during the editing process or forget to convert the JPEG to TIFF before applying adjustments.
I realize the file becomes very large but my reasoning is that this process would at least ensure that the file is no longer a lossy file and also ensures that Iím editing in 16 bit mode. Once Iím finished with all adjustments, I can then save the final version as JPEG to CD and then get rid of the large TIFF file. (In the end, I'm told that if a JPEG is saved only a couple of times at the highest quality setting that the data loss usually is very minimal and pretty much not noticable to most people...)
Anyway, if anyone can confirm this proces or provide other suggestions, that would be great. Thanks!