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I have a GeoTIFF file which displays the following information when running gdalinfo:

Band 1 Block=10012x1 Type=Float32, ColorInterp=Gray
  Description = Layer_1
  Min=1638.991 Max=2577.040
  Minimum=1638.991, Maximum=2577.040, Mean=2063.003, StdDev=185.546
  NoData Value=-3.4028234663852886e+038
  Metadata:
    LAYER_TYPE=athematic
    STATISTICS_COVARIANCES=34427.3350382379
    STATISTICS_MAXIMUM=2577.0400390625
    STATISTICS_MEAN=2063.0031636173
    STATISTICS_MEDIAN=0
    STATISTICS_MINIMUM=1638.9908447266
    STATISTICS_MODE=0
    STATISTICS_SKIPFACTORX=1
    STATISTICS_SKIPFACTORY=1
    STATISTICS_STDDEV=185.54604560119

Based on this information, I understand that the minimum and maximum grayscale values are 1638.991 and 2577.040 respectively.

What I want to do is convert this GeoTIFF to a 16-bit PNG image which shows ~938 (2577-1638) different shades of gray. I'm attempting to achieve this with the following gdal_translate command:

"c:\Program Files\GDAL\gdal_translate.exe" -outsize 4096 4096 -of PNG -ot UInt16 -scale 1638.991 2577.040 0 65535 "GDAL_IMG_2_GeoTIFF.tif" "GDAL_IMG_2_GeoTIFF.png"

My understanding here is that -ot UInt16 allows me to create a 16-bit image and -scale 1638.991 2577.040 0 65535 re-maps the geoTIFF grayscale range to the full 16-bit range (0 - 65535).

This command does indeed produce what appears to be a 16-bit image however when viewing the image properties in irfanView, the Number of unique colors is showing as 256.

Full bit-depth info:

irfanView output

Is there any step that I have missed here for creating 16-bit PNG's which make use of > 256 shades of gray or perhaps a better method?

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I took bugmenot123's advice and trusted the GDAL output rather than IrfanView which seems to have issues accurately showing bit depth. I double checked the PNG images in QGIS which showed the correct 16-bit range.

0

Perhaps you should update your gdal. Using version 2.4.0 I can generate 16bit PNGs with this command:

$ gdal_translate -of PNG -ot UInt16 -scale 32.53501 767.4913 0 65535 goes16.abi-2019.0902.1510-C01_1km.tif k.png

$ pngcheck k.png
OK: k.png (2574x1591, 16-bit grayscale, non-interlaced, 35.0%).

The original data is Float32.

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