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Relationship between color processing and number of bits per pixel

KB Number: 10024
Last Revision Date: 2/28/2014
Created Date: 7/29/2015

This article describes how color processing, performed on the PC, can affect the number of bits per pixel of the image. 

When selecting different stipple formats (with the flycaptureSetColorTileFormat() function), this does not affect the programming of the CCD sensor’s Bayer tile mapping. The Bayer tiling on the chip is fixed - when setting different stipple formats, this simply changes the interpretation of the image pixels for color processing.

When color processing is disabled via the flycaptureSetColorProcessingMethod()function, an 8-bit per pixel image is delivered (unless the camera is in 16-bit mode, or Y16, then it's 16 bits/pixel), so for a 640x480 image, 640 * 480 * 1 byte of memory is used. Also, when calling any of the flycaptureStippledTo*() functions, the 8 bit image is upsampled to 24 or 32 bits. For example, the flycaptureStippledtoBGR()function yields 24-bit BGR (in Windows format, where R and B are reversed), whileflycaptureStippledToBGRU() yields 32-bit BGRU pixels (where U stands for Unused - although it usually stands for Alpha, but the byte doesn’t contain any meaningful information).

The call to flycaptureGrabImage() always returns the raw 8-bit Bayer stippled image (unless the camera is in Y16 mode), then as a secondary processing step, a call toflycaptureStippledToBGR*() retrieves the color buffer. 

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