steve, the only reason why this 16bit myth has so much relevance is that noone of the manufactors and sellers never has admitted in the various discussions about (e.g. in forums as this one) that his mf backs arent 16bit. as happens now again. rounds and rounds are made without a clear statement, even the dalsa data spec couldnt be more clear as it is..... and even if this was now posted since years. how you can say that you dont see clear if the a22 ( and others ) are 12, 14 or 16bit? its very clear and its easy to see, isnt it?
next week the 16bit statement will come up again and the same discussion will go on and on, creating this myth which you say is the reason that you have to say its 16bit, because it explains so nice the quality difference between mf and smaller formats. r.
Happy New Year everyone. Now that my head has cleared a bit.... I have to admit to a brain cramp in my posting about the bit depth of the sensor itself, as that is not what I meant when I brought up the question of 14 bit vs 16 bit, Kodak, Dalsa, etc. I was discussing the processing and ADC conversions themselves, which in the case of the Leaf product (as Doug has also stated) are 16 bit (this is true
). I haven't spoken with Doug, so I'm not sure how the term "true" was intended. But again, in the case of ADC, I believe there may be imaging products that have 14 bit ADC's, but the data sheets themselves state 16 bits. I'm not sure of this, though, and there's a very good reason for that. Because frankly, when it comes to determining the right product for a user, it is far from an important statistic to me. There are indeed certain enhancements that the 16 bit processing and 16 bit ADC creates for the Leaf product that positively affect the outcome of the image quality. No one can definitely prove that it doesn't, because your only argument would be scientific or theoretically-based, you are not part of the development team for Leaf Imaging. The inclusion of the term "True 16 Bit" certainly could be treated as an accurate statement, but only if one were to understand that the reference is to the processing chain and ADC. From that standpoint, we're more than happy to omit that, given the limited 10 character space for the term.
The ramifications of what Leaf does with this architecture and how it affects their image quality (and in particular compared to a competitor's image quality) would make for a great stand alone article. It is relevant. It is not necessarily appropriate as the emblazoned #1 reason to choose a Leaf product. But then again, that is quite a subjective choice, is it not? Does large sensor size matter to everyone? No. If someone desires more depth of field, or sharper results from the edge of their frame, perhaps not. Etc, etc.
So, at the end of the day (and this far too long thread) with all of the concern over 16 bit vs 14 bit, etc, what matters most is how someone intends to use the product and what the final image looks like. And that is what is discussed with a client. We, Capture Integration, are not guilty of pervading the 16 bit anything. We grabbed a statistic and posted it as a differentiating feature (which it may very well be, in terms of what it allows the final image quality to become). I would like a show of hands - how many here have purchased from us and had discussions which were reduced to "Leaf has 16 bits, so it is superior, and that is why you should buy it"?
What I know is that when someone calls us for information on the potential purchase of a medium format digital back, the resulting initial
discussion lasts an average of 40 - 80 minutes, sometimes longer. And in that time, what 16 bits as a statistic does is rarely discussed, much less even mentioned. Friday night I left the office at 8:30 pm, our last business day of the year, because during the course of the day, in addition to everything else that was happening, I spent several hours with a client picking up a system, going over some final quick start tips, and among others, took 3 phone calls that lasted 40 - 60 minutes each. One call was from a client who had purchased elsewhere and was wondering about the quality of some of the lenses he had been sold that didn't seem to hold up. With nothing to gain, other than the hope he might choose to do business with us in the future, we spent nearly an hour discussing real world performance of various lenses. No technical statistical data came up once. And that is how we do business. We're sorry that in advertising a product, the actual spec from the manufacturer was used and treated as a significant feature (regardless of whether you believe it is and can be easily measure it or not).
I just find it astonishing that because we stated a statistic as a feature (in a questionable or vague context, granted) turns into an attack on the integrity of how we do business as a company. While I understand that perhaps some of you have had experiences with dealers who relied on simple technical specifications from data sheets to sell you a product, to broad-brush our company with the same stroke is insulting. We'll take part of the blame for this very rare occasion of a questionable attention grabbing banner on a pretty damn good deal for a Leaf Aptus 22. But there is an abundance of evidence available that points to how we do business as a company, some may just not realize (and we certainly strive to improve), while some have just taken the opportunity to randomly trash.
For Thierry -
Yes, Thierry, my friend, as a former employee of SinarBron, I can attest to the tradition of Sinar being very literal in their documentation. If the Sinarback 54H, being a Kodak sensor, is stated as 14 bit on the data sheet, is this referring to the native bit depth of the sensor, or the ADC? What about the Sinarback 54LV? This product used the same sensor as the Leaf Aptus 22, yet on the Sinar data sheet it states 16 bit per channel. http://www.sinar.ch/en/products/digital-backs/146-sinarback-emotion-54-lv