Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What's the difference between 48-bit depth and 24-bit depth in a scanner? I'm about to purchase a printer/scanner combo but there is a little difference between two possible candidates.

  • One has 48 bit depth, 1200 x 1200 DPI copy resolution (Black and white or colour)
  • The other has 24 bit depth, "up to 600 optimised DPI" (Both black and white or colour.)

The first item is two times more expensive than the latter. What will I miss if I purchase the one on the bottom?

share|improve this question
Are the printers also scanners? The bit-depth sounds like a scanner specification. And if the printers are also scanners, they likely have a different DPI for printing than scanning. – Bavi_H Nov 17 '10 at 2:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

from google:

share|improve this answer
Nice article. I always see it as good practice to cut and paste the text into the answer too, or at least the important bits, so if the page goes offline the answer still holds up. – Joe Taylor Nov 16 '10 at 12:07
That article has issues. "you should print using colour inks as well, which means that all three primary colours (Red, Blue and Green) will be mixed together to create 16 million shades of gray" In order to get an acceptable grey colour the RGB values should be reasonably close otherwise they look too red or green or so on, from an 8-bit colour range for each of the red green and blue I would expect several thousand acceptable shades of grey, but the full 16 million colour range would include bright red, bright green and bright blue (and mixtures thereof) which clearly aren't grey. – Mokubai Nov 16 '10 at 13:22
This was from about 5 second on google. The OP can likely find better with 10 seconds. – Sirex Nov 22 '10 at 7:53

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.