HEIF/HEIC format crippled?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2018
When I first heard about Apple supporting HEIF (HEIC), my initial reaction was VERY positive.

Why? Untill now photographers have only able to export high quality RAW images to either 8bit JPEG, or gigantic (size wise) 16 bit TIFF files (briefly ignoring other formats, which are either 8 bit, or also huge in file size).

The real power of HEIF (HEIC) is, among other things, full support for 16 bit color depth, while maintaining an acceptable file size (close to JPEG).

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Apple crippled it's support, by not adding 16 bit color depth to MacOS's native frameworks.

As a result, solutions like Pixelmator Pro, can only export HEIF (HEIC) in 8 bit.

Sure, the file size of the image will be smaller than JPEG, however photographers won't be able to make use of the most important quality of this format (read: 16 bit).

Especially on prints or larger screens, the benefit of 16 bit color depth is clear.

To be frank, I really wonder WHY Apple refrained from adding 16 bit color depth, and truely hope this will change rather sooner than later...