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I am trying to figure out how many effective bits of color depth are carried in the red channel of a number of averaged pixels.

For instance, a single 24 bit pixel carries 8 bits per color channel (RGB). Therefore, you can generate 2^8 = 256 red levels, 2^8 = 256 green levels, and 2^8 = 256 blue levels. Now, let's say you take n pixels and average them together. The total number of averaged red values is the number of combinations you can generate with n pixels, where each pixel can carry 256 possible red values. If I knew the number of combinations I could generate then I could easily determine the number of "effective" bits. 2^b = # of combinations, where b is the number of effective bits.

So, how many combinations of red channel values can I generate with n pixels, where each pixel can have 256 different red channel values?

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# Effective bit depth of averaged pixels?

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