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Term: Bit depth (image)

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Term: Bit depth (image)

The number of bits used to represent each pixel in an image. The term can be confusing since it is sometimes used to represent bits per pixel and at other times, the total number of bits used multiplied by the number of total channels. For example, a typical color image using 8 bits per channel is often referred to as a 24-bit color image (8 bits x 3 channels). Color scanners and digital cameras typically produce 24 bit (8 bits x 3 channels) images or 36 bit (12 bits x 3 channels) capture, and high-end devices can produce 48 bit (16 bit x 3 channels) images. A grayscale scanner would generally be 1 bit for monochrome or 8 bit for grayscale (producing 256 shades of gray). Bit depth is also referred to as color depth.
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