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Author Topic: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?  (Read 1636 times)

Arlen

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10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« on: August 25, 2016, 04:37:42 PM »

I've recently upgraded my older NEC LCD2690Wuxi monitor to a PA272w, which supports a 10 bit processing workflow. I'm using the latest versions of Windows 10 and Photoshop CC, both of which support 10 bit processing, on a fast machine. The only missing link appears to be the graphics card; my relatively new Geforce Nvidia GTX 960 with 2GB ram only supports an 8 bit PS workflow. It looks like my best bet for a new GPU that fully supports Photoshop's 10-bit capability would be an Nvidia Quadro; the least expensive of which seems to be this PNY K620 model for about $160, although stepping up to the more capable K2000 model almost doubles that price.

So my question is, to those of you who have moved up to 10 bits:  is it worth spending $160-300 to get there? How much of a difference does it make in your image processing?  Especially if, like me, most of your processing is done in Lightroom, only going into PS when something needs to be done that can't be accomplished in LR. And also considering that I don't have a 4K monitor, and don't plan to get one soon.
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tonyrom

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 04:55:34 PM »

The added GPU perf maybe enough to be worth the money.  Although LR only has GPU support in the develop module, once the image is "loaded" (more on that in a second), the adjustments are much snappier and super smooth.  On my Mac Pro (2013), with the GPU on, the actual image takes longer to "render" fully.  You see the image right away but it's a lower resolution while it loads(transfers all the data) the image to the GPU pipeline.  Depending on the cache size, it will cache these images so when you change to another images it's instant.  Bigger cache will hold more images.  The point about the load is it appears to be slower with the GPU on and it's for all the reasons I mentions.  With the GPU off, the images loads instantly because of all the CPU I have but the adjustments are choppier.  People can think the GPU offload is slower because of this. 

LR is suppose to get more GPU support moving forward but that will depend on the LR team's triage process (perf vs feature decisions).

Just a little more to think about,

Good Luck!

-tony
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digitaldog

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 05:19:14 PM »

So my question is, to those of you who have moved up to 10 bits:  is it worth spending $160-300 to get there?
Frankly IMHO no. Especially if you're always working with high bit data anyway. IF you see the tinniest bit of on-screen banding, it's not in your image data.


Open this file on your high bit display as you have it now, is it really that bad?

https://imagescience.com.au/knowledge/10-bit-output-support


 http://digitaldog.net/files/10bittestramp.tif
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 05:25:11 PM by digitaldog »
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
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Arlen

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 11:42:41 PM »

Andrew, with that test file, I do see noticeable banding with my current setup.

I think this test file is a rather extreme case, good for demonstrating the effect. But in real photos I don't encounter obvious problems very often with my current setup. The most typical exception is when skies are darkened during processing, where sometimes posterization sets in. So when that happens, how much of it is "real" and will print that way, and how much might be due to a video path that has insufficient bit depth?

So I guess the bottom line for me is, does a higher bit video path lead to a better match between screen and print a significant portion of the time?

As a test, I printed the 10 bit test ramp on my Epson 3880 via a color managed work flow in PS. I could see some slight banding in the print, but considerably less than what I could see in the soft proof on screen. Maybe a 10 bit video path would have allowed a better match?
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Osprey

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2016, 12:10:37 AM »

I just bought this k420 from Dell for $80. I don't game and I was using a real low end graphics card for my NEC 4K monitor though. I figure for $80 it's worth a shot.

http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=490-BCIT&dgc=BF&cid=22740&lid=4279737&acd=12309198376456750&ven1=12664808-806314-1v7d96baf8a0c44b5b761cafc4b48acbd3&ven3=473303461385093032#Overview
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Rhossydd

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2016, 03:10:04 AM »

Andrew, with that test file, I do see noticeable banding with my current setup.
You have realised that the test file is a step wedge ? It's not strictly a gradient. What you should be looking for is any tones that match.
Quote
I could see some slight banding in the print,... Maybe a 10 bit video path would have allowed a better match?.
Are you actually using a 16bit print driver ? If not, you're only printing in 8 bit, so worrying about 10 bit monitoring is a bit futile.
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Arlen

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2016, 10:48:42 AM »

Thanks, Rhossydd. I'm printing through the Epson driver on Windows 10, and as far as I know it's 8 bit. So would it be accurate to say that there isn't much potential practical benefit to a 10 bit video path, if you're not printing at 16 bit?
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Rhossydd

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2016, 11:44:53 AM »

So would it be accurate to say that there isn't much potential practical benefit to a 10 bit video path, if you're not printing at 16 bit?
I think that's correct.
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digitaldog

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2016, 12:20:14 PM »

So I guess the bottom line for me is, does a higher bit video path lead to a better match between screen and print a significant portion of the time?
No! The only affect would be seeing a 'smoother' gradient. And without the full high bit path, much depends on the display. On my PA272W which has high bit internal LUTs, looks pretty smooth in Photoshop, at 100%. What I found curious was invoking the Crop tool and clicking on it; I saw banding! I suspect this is Photoshop however, getting ready to update the review's effect on the crop. With the crop tool not active, the gradient magically updates much smoother.
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Andrew Rodney
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http://digitaldog.net/

digitaldog

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2016, 12:20:58 PM »

Thanks, Rhossydd. I'm printing through the Epson driver on Windows 10, and as far as I know it's 8 bit. So would it be accurate to say that there isn't much potential practical benefit to a 10 bit video path, if you're not printing at 16 bit?
There's no "16-bit" option for the Epson driver on Windows. And on Mac, I see no difference using it or not, upon the output under a very, very good loupe. We need to send the 'best' 8-bits per color to the driver. In the future? That might change.
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Andrew Rodney
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Arlen

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Re: 10 bit Processing Workflow: Worth Upgrading?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2016, 12:35:46 PM »

Thanks guys, this helped clarify the issues. I think I will stick with what I have for now, and reevaluate again in the future if the technical situation changes substantially.
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