Bit Depth from Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: Regarding the question [from Monday, January 10th] dealing with the 8-bit versus 16-bit bug, I just checked and when I open an image from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop it opens in 16-bits per channel. I see that you did state the Camera Raw workflow [was affected by this bug] but I wanted to make sure it didn’t also happen in a Lightroom Classic to Photoshop workflow as well.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The bug referenced in an earlier Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter only relates to Camera Raw in the context of Photoshop. If you send a photo from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop the bit depth is determined by the setting established in Preferences, with a default of 16-bits per channel.

More Detail: In the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter from January 10th ( I referenced a bug in Camera Raw that causes the workflow settings to reset to 8-bit per channel for the bit depth, rather than 16-bits per channel. This issue does not affect images sent to Photoshop from Lightroom Classic using the Photo > Edit In command on the menu.

Instead, Lightroom Classic sets the bit depth for derivative images created with the “Edit In” command based on a setting in Preferences, which defaults to 16-bit per channel mode.

To check this setting you can bring up the Preferences dialog, which can be access from the Edit menu on Windows or the Lightroom Classic menu on Macintosh. Within the Preferences dialog go to the External Editing tab. At the top of that tab you’ll find settings specific to Photoshop, including the bit depth setting, color space, and more.

You can also configure other external editors, such as for plug-ins that support Lightroom Classic. For each external editor that you use you can configure individual settings for how the derivative image should be created.