I use rawstudio to deal with raw images that I shoot on my Canon 600D(T3i).

I don't understand why the raw image's RGB color only displays values in a 8bit base (0-255) when I put the mouse over the photo?

How is the raw data distributed, how many bits are used for each RGB component?


1 Answer 1


You're not looking at the "raw" values, you're looking at the "developed" values, given the current settings, in an 8-bit-per-channel colour space. And that's the case with most image software — when you're working in an RGB colour space, the values you use are 8-bit values, even if the image you are currently working with is in a 16-bit, 32-bit or arbitrary-depth colour mode. The higher bit depth is used behind the scenes for computation, but the image you are actually working with in the UI is an 8-bit image.

Knowing the actual value wouldn't help a whole lot either, since it only has meaning when you also know the min and max values. The same camera may be capable of recording at different bit depths under different circumstances, so what (7567, 8993, 2214) means is a moving target. (59, 70, 17) in an 8-bit space, is always olive drab no matter what the underlying image depth might be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The higher bit depth is used behind the scenes for computation... Can I know this min and max bit value? This min and max is an per component value right? Is there a physical unit associated? \$\endgroup\$
    – apinhal
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 20:05

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