But read a chart multiple times and you won't get exactly the same values for each patch.
Sure, this is an issue of *tolerance* isn't it? At what digit do we see variations? If we always saw variations at the first digit ofter the decimal then I'd agree the additional digits aren't helpful. However, I'm finding that the measurement variations occur (with my instruments) at the second and third digits after the decimal. From this I'd conclude that the additional information, particularly the first digit after the decimal, is valuable extra precision/information. Your results may vary especially if you're using a device with looser tolerances, like an EyeOne Pro.
My argument is that you would actually be better off.....
Have you tested your argument or is it just theory? Have you compared repeated 16bit measurements from true 16bit targets?
No, we're talking about synthetic charts here, not real-world photos where a 16-bit capture loses data when converted to 8-bit.
When we ask i1Profiler to render profiling target patches it can either render them at 16 bits with greater precision or round the numbers to an 8 bit scale. In a manner of speaking, one might say that prior to rendering the targets, the reference colors *are* at a high bit depth. So your analogy to a 16 bit capture workflow is intact with this comparison along with the potential benefits.
There's no data loss from 8-bit here because the chart values are exact 8-bit values to start with.
That's incorrect. Make a set of patches in i1P and save them as a patch set file. Open the txt file at look at the RGB sample numbers - they *are* recorded at a high bit depth with multiple digits after the decimal! 8 bit targets are rounded and bastardized versions of these colors.
I think it's fair to say true 16bit targets and measurements and reference files offer greater precision. What's harder to quantify is how much benefit there is to using them. When I compared Canon's 16bit output with 8 and 16 bit profiling in Monaco Profiler I actually saw slightly smoother results with the 16 bit profiles. I need to repeat this test in i1Profiler - with their smoothing the benefits could be negligible if any. Either way I'm starting to think I'm the only person with a true 16 bit profiling workflow that's capable of showing any potential benefits...
Iíd agree, its probably a lot better to just sample a number of targets and build the profile.
Probably? Don't assume - test it! I've tested and seen benefits in the past, allbeit small. My demanding clients that have used lots of other profiling services say they are crazy happy with these 16 bit profiles. Let's talk real world results - not theory.