I cannot get my head around this. Having exported the same 14 bit NEF Nikon image, firstly as 8bit TIFF, then a 16 bit TIFF (both uncompressed), I applied identical extreme level adjustments to both images. Surprisingly, I cannot see ANY difference in final image quality between the two. Both 8 & 16 bit images look the same, with the same artefacts like gradient banding. Logic dictates that raw 14-bit files saved out to 16bit should retain more fine tones compared with a "clipped" 8-bit. Applying photoshop tools like airbrush and grad fills makes an obvious difference - the 16 bit file is much finer, but this only applies to photoshop-rendered objects and not the original photo. It almost seems like the 14bit RAW is in fact only 8 bit. Am I missing a major trick here? Equipment used: Nikon D5100 in RAW mode / View NX2 to convert / Photoshop CS5 to edit. Also used a D3 in RAW mode. Same results. Any comments welcome.