Q. Is there an easy way to see the difference in quality between color bit depths for a picture?

A. When evaluating color bit depths to use for various technologies, such as a Remote Desktop Connection or mobile platform, it may be useful to actually look at a picture and see what the difference in quality would be between 16-, 18-, 12- and the original 24-bit.

A neat application is available at http://windowsmobile.members.winisp.net/colordepths.zip that opens and displays the picture in all the different color depth versions, as shown below (my new puppy makes a great test subject).

Click to expand.

Note that while the 12-bit image looks significantly degraded in quality, there's little difference between the 16- and 18-bit images. I have another example below with more colors (Cookie Monster was shielding my eyes from a 60-year-old lady in a nurse's uniform that was way too short at a Halloween party).

Click to expand.

Related Reading:

Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.