I am wondering when creating a new document in Photoshop about the color mode options. If you choose RGB Color there's another option via a drop-down which you can chose 16bit.

When I create a 1300px × 5000px 16bit document and save, the file size is already 32mb compared to 371kb with an 8bit document.

Why is there such a difference in file size and what is the use of 16bit vs 8bit?

  • You just want to earn points, it's basically understandable question
    – Fil
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 8:56
  • 1
    If you are referring to my edit @Fil I don't earn any reputation from edits.
    – Cai
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


16 bit color uses double the amount of memory for color information than standard color. This means that instead of getting:

  • color in 0-255 range,

you get:

  • color in 0-65535 range.

This is obviously much more precise in terms of color resolution. As for wether you need it read:

Basically if you do heavy (many) color manipulations and/or your source is more than 8- bit it does make a difference.

PS: 16 bits is a bit restrictive on what image formats you can use. There are not many good compressed formats for 16- bit and the higher bitdepths/floats. As they are not delivery formats but rather master stores for people with reason to do so because they make money out of the extra quality.

  • @Fil Added a comment on why the files are big.
    – joojaa
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 8:11
  • I used to create a mock-up design for website
    – Fil
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 8:26
  • but I'm not using 16bit, I just try
    – Fil
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 8:26

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