NEF (RAW) Recording
Explanation: For pictures stored in RAW format you can define here if the data is compressed and which color depth is used.
A „color depth“ of 12 bit means that each of the three colors red, green and blue is stored with a differentiation of 212 = 4 096 levels; with 14 bit there are 214 = 16 384.
Tips: If you use the RAW format leave the standard setting „lossless compressed“.
Also it cannot do any harm if you leave the predefined color depth of 14 bit – although the additional accuracy will hardly bring you a visible improvement.
Last but not least: Do not overestimate the advantage of 12 or 14 bit color depth compared to JPG format with 8 bit (28 = 256 levels). Every monitor displays pictures in 256 levels of brightness for each of the three basic colors red, green and blue – you will not see any difference just because of the color depth of 12 or 14 bit compared to 8.
Only when you modify your pictures afterwards, especially when you brighten or darken them heavily you will get better quality in the end result and benefit from the finer gradation of brightness.