These are rather important and saving your images in the correct format is a good idea. It may help if you consider these facts:

duke lmcf image is made of pixels Images are made of pixels, and each pixel has a certain brightness
duke lmcf 8 bit 12 bit 16 bit graylevels The range of brightness (number of greylevels) within an image varies with microscope and file format. Here the same range of brightness can be quantified in either 8-bit, 12-bit or 16-bit. Same range, different numbers of greylevels between pure black and pure white.

(8-bit, 12-bit or 16-bit images actually look the same on a computer screen as they are generally on capable of displaying 256 greylevels for each colour).
duke lmcf image histogram It is often useful to consider the range of intensity values within your image. The image histogram is graph of this information.

The range of intensities (ie number of gray levels) in an image is important. Generally, the more greylevels the better.
duke lmcf metamorph image histogram scaling
	You will get much better contrast in the displayed image if the black to white range is matched to the range of intensities within the image.

Here is the histogram and image scaling from MetaMorph (you might have done this with "levels" in photoshop).
duke lmcf example of bad and good image scaling These are the same image displayed with different scalings. The image only has a fraction of the total dynamic range of the camera -

The one on the left is set to display the entire range of intensities (even though the brightest pixel in the image has an intensity of 819)

The image on the right is displayed so the black-to-white scaling of the display better matches the range of intensities in the image.
duke lmcf lookup tables The same image can be displayed with different lookup tables.
  • Black to white
  • Black to red
  • Rainbow
  • Under/over (blue=0, red=saturated)