Advantages of 42-Bit Color
All of Panoscan's cameras including the original MK-1 model have the capability to shoot and save panoramic images in the 48-bit color space. While 24-bit color offers 256 levels per RGB channel the 48-bit color space offers 65,536 levels per RGB color channel. And now with the arrival of Photoshop CS these 48-bit images can be manipulated in their full 48-bit color space. (Unlike past versions of Photoshop this new version offers the full palette of tools for image editing in 48-bit depth.) Photoshop CS also updates the maximum file size to open panoramas up to 300,000 pixels in length.

Just like shooting with more resolution results in an image with sharper results, shooting in this 42-bit range of color allows a much broader range of adjustments to be made to an image without adversely affecting the image quality. Color artifacts such as color banding are drastically reduced or eliminated. The sunset example above shows a typical result from over correcting the hue & saturation of a 24-bit image compared with making the same adjustment to a 42-bit image. (Notice the banding in the sky is eliminated with the 42-bit range captured by the Panoscan camera.)

Although the MK-1 and MK-2 cameras have 14 bit A-to-D converters offering 16,384 levels per RGB channel (42-Bits total.) the control software offers a tonal response curve control that spans the entire 48-Bit output range. (Files are saved as TIFF files with 16 bits per RGB color channel.) Unlike the primitive linear curve control in Photoshop the MK-2's curve control offers much finer control that spans the entire EV range from -5 to +5. (11-F stops.) This non linear scale allows fine adjustments of shadow and highlight details that cannot be obtained using the Photoshop curve control. These custom tonal range curves are the key to capturing breathtaking images that contain a full 11-F. stop range. Of course these response curves can be saved and recalled for later use.