The Importance of Bit Depth
Each digital file you create (capture or scan) is capable of representing a specific number of colors. This capability, usually referred to as the ‘mode’ or ‘color depth’ of the picture, is expressed in terms of the number of ‘bits’. Most photos these days are created in 24-bit mode. This means that each of the three color channels (Red, Green and Blue) is capable of displaying 256 levels of color (or 8 bits per channel). When the three channels are combined, a 24-bit image can contain a staggering 16.7 million separate tones/hues.