I have thousands of digital prints I plan on scanning, restoring in Lightroom, and then cataloging. I have an Epson V600 scanner and plenty of raw computing power.
I plan on scanning at 600dpi to tiff but trying to decide between 24bit or 48bit. On one hand 48bit is of course better and allows for theoretical better editing when I'm restoring any at the cost of significant more storage use. I'm fine scanning at 48bit as long as it will actually allow for improved quality/editing. If they were negatives I'd choose 48bit in a heartbeat since the benefit (even small) would be clear. But in my case, almost all of these scans will be roughly 4x6 most of which were printed in the 70s, 80s, and 90s (some are older prints).
The prints such as the ones from the 90s at least were taken I imagine mostly on throw away cameras and printed at drug stores, so my thinking is if I scan at 48bit is it attempting to scan more detail than actually exists? If so, would I be able to scan at 24bit without any loss of quality when scanning those types of digital prints?
Update - Incase it's relevant, wanted to note most of these photos are being borrowed from family members so I only have one time to scan them and attempting to future proof the files incase future generations want to print or use on higher quality screens. The higher bit in this case would make sense if there is even a chance that it results in a higher quality file for either editing, viewing or printing. But I want to make sure I'm not scanning data that doesn't exist. For instance if scanning these in 16/48 would be the same as if I scanned in 8/24 and later simply converted to the higher bit then it wouldn't make sense to scan higher now since in would just be extra fake data the computer is generating. But if scanning at the higher is able to capture more data even for these drug store 4x6 digital prints then will do so. To note they are roughly 73MB each. If I convert to a zip tiff then 64mb if zip tiff with the lower bit then its only 21MB. I use SSD drives storage on my Mac (and traditional drives for backup and online backup). So would ideally like the drastically smaller file size but not at the cost of losing actual data in the images if that makes sense?