A few questions about the 10 bit workflow

Aug 9, 2012
315
5
52
Milano, Italy
#1
According to a few rumors, in the next few days an upgraded iMac will be announced.

I could
A) replace my old iMac, or
B) buy
- a small Windows PC with Quadro Graphics Card (e.g. HP Z2 Mini or Lenovo P330 Tiny),​
- a good 10 bit monitor (e.g. Eizo CS2730),​
- a calibration tool,​
for - more or less - the same price, and enjoy the 10 bit post-processing.

My (first?) two questions are:
- does 8 bit and 10 bit post processing differ in a significant way?
- in case I switch to 10 bit post processing, which software supports it (Photoshop does: what about Photoshop Elements. Lightroom, Capture One, Affinity Photo etc.)?

Thank you in advance for your help!
 
Aug 1, 2017
153
71
#2
I think you are referencing 10 bit color displays which is not the same as editing your files in 10 bit or having a 10 bit workflow.

I believe Apple added support for 10 bit color with El Capitain. My 2017 iMac has 10-bit color. The problem is that Adobe's apps don't support 10 bit display so that limits it's value for editing photos if you are an Adobe user. Not sure about some of the others. Capture One might. 10 bit for this context is strictly for displaying colors on your monitor.

You can edit (post process) at higher bit depths regardless of the bit depth of your display. Editing in 16 bits in photoshop should create fewer banding artifacts if you are heavily editing your files but you will still only see an 8 bit version of the file on your display. Lightroom uses dynamic colorspaces based on what module you are in. I don't think any of them display in 10 bit but I'm not certain.

You can see 10 bit color depth in Apples preview app if you are concerned about banding in a particular image.

Choosing between Apple OSX vs Windows for photo editing is more about personal preference than anything else IMO. If you are editing video than it's a question of which apps you want to use because some are not compatible with both platforms and Apple doesn't support quicktime for windows anymore. ProRes is based on quicktime so if that's something you use OSX is the obvious choice.

Good chance we will also see a new higher performing Mac Mini this year which may be an option if you want to stick with OSX but would like to use an external monitor such as the Eizo.

Hope that helps.
 
Last edited:

LDS

EOS 80D
Sep 14, 2012
1,382
40
#3
which software supports it (Photoshop does:
AFAIK among Adobe CC applications only Photoshop supports 10 bit depth (although it calls it "30 bit display" in Advanced Graphic Processor settings). You'll need to enable it on a supported graphic card as well, and use a supported connection (i.e. DisplayPort). LR AFAIK doesn't. About others, I don't know.

With 30 bit display some subtle transitions will look better - if it's worth the expenses and effort you have to judge yourself with your images.
 
Likes: stevelee
Aug 1, 2017
153
71
#4
News to me that Photoshop supports 10 bit but apparently it does if you have a supported graphics processor. My 2017 iMac appears to be displaying Photoshop in 10 bit mode. Guess I'm getting something for my $10 a month. Good to know. My Older Mac Pro which I use for printing and scanning doesn't seem to have a supported GP. My 25 year old eyes might be able to tell the difference. The ones I have now not so much.
 
Likes: stevelee
Aug 9, 2012
315
5
52
Milano, Italy
#6
Thank you for your replies.
i. Of course I'll wait for today's Apple event (Mac Mini and iMac).
ii. I was inaccurate: I was referring to 10 bit display on monitor, as Graphic.Artifacts inferred.

I'll try to decide in the next few days, or as soon as I read the reviews of the new Apple products.
 
Aug 1, 2017
153
71
#8
Yes, that mini upgrade was long overdue. Looks like a nice little computer. I've always been a fan of those. Clean, simple and get the job done. I bought one for a family member in 2012. That mini has been running nearly continuously for 6 years without so much as a hiccup.

We should get some tear downs and benchmarks in the next few weeks. Probably not for gamers due to integrated graphics processor but they should be great for creatives who don't want or need an iMac. Four TB3/USB 3.1 ports is nice. Thought we might get an update on next years Mac Pro but they are still keeping the lid on that.
 

cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,731
42
#9
Yes, that mini upgrade was long overdue. Looks like a nice little computer. I've always been a fan of those. Clean, simple and get the job done. I bought one for a family member in 2012. That mini has been running nearly continuously for 6 years without so much as a hiccup.

We should get some tear downs and benchmarks in the next few weeks. Probably not for gamers due to integrated graphics processor but they should be great for creatives who don't want or need an iMac. Four TB3/USB 3.1 ports is nice. Thought we might get an update on next years Mac Pro but they are still keeping the lid on that.
I've seen hints that you can somehow wire up multiple minis together for multi-processing, rendering, etc. I was wanting to try to look into that and see what the realistic possibilities are and what performance you could get out of something like that.

I've been working many years on a late 2011 MacBook Pro...and it is starting to show its age...but I do believe I'd been doing 10bit on Photoshop CS6 on it ever since I got CS6.....?? I believe I was doing 10bit too on After Effects?

anyway, looking at the multiple minis vs just getting an iMac Pro fairly loaded up. I'm hoping to hold out on this a bit longer to see if the iMac Pro gets a bit of an upgrade in the near future.

cayenne
 
Jul 6, 2017
845
65
Davidson, NC
#10
Even the regular 5K iMac fully tricked out is a powerful machine. Mine is four years old and is still quite speedy with Photoshop CC, Final Cut Pro X, and Compressor. Editing 4K video doesn't seem to faze it. You'll see a big performance increase from even newer MacBook Pros to a 5K iMac. If you can afford the iMac Pro, though, go for it.