Originally Posted by ampguy
Why are they a bad idea? Why is SPP 14-bit RAW better?
I don't want tricks of color for my mono files. That is like shooting Kodachrome, and converting to mono, using the additional color channels for unrealistic filtering.
RAW gives you more dynamic range captured, the ability to correct white balance after the shot, SPPs fill light, and a better jpeg conversion later on, more control over noise reduction and sharpening and so on. If you think the JPEGs from the Merril are good you need to try out some X3F conversions. They are even better.
As far as monochrome that is not what was intended at all. SPP (or RawDigger or Iridient Developer) will let you create monochrome conversions using just the top layer of the sensor. That layer has much less noise than the next two layers so you are able to shoot at a much higher ISO without running into noise problems. The top layer is called 'blue' but it is really full spectrum. Shooting this way is very much like shooting a monochrome camera, you can even use color filters the same way as you would on B&W film.
To do this you *must* shoot RAW. If you do the previews on the camera will look *horrible* at ISO 1600. Trust that the monochrome conversions will be dramatically better when you get back to your computer.
Here is an example showing the monochrome conversion....