4

Is there a direct relationship between higher video bit depth (10-bit vs 8-bit, for example) and higher dynamic range, i.e. HDR?

I'm somewhat confused regarding this particular aspect of bit depth. I know that more bits allows us to capture and recreate more colors and their shades, but where exactly does dynamic range come in?

  • 1
    Good question. Higher bit depth allows but does not guarantee greater dynamic range. – Jim Mack Jul 27 '15 at 13:59
2

More bits mean more possible values for each channel. So each channel in an 8 bit image has 256 possible values, from 0 to 255, while a 10 bit channel has 4 times as many: 0 to 1024.

Dynamic range however is the range between the brightest sample a sensor chip can encode and the darkest - it is a property of the sensor. So you could conceivably have an 8 bit sensor with a wider dynamic range than a 10 bit sensor if it could resolve very bright and dark images, it would just have fewer steps between these than a 10 bit sensor with the same dynamic range.

2

Dynamic range is the difference between extreme light and extreme dark, whereas bit depth defines the number of steps in between.

There is a practical relationship between the two, not a theoretical:

When you do some color grading on these videos (and with high dynamic range videos you will probably do some extreme grades), then you will easily introduce banding with 8 bit video. Only 10 or more bits give you enough headroom to avoid banding.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.