I haven't seen any comments or analysis on this topic - I'd be grateful for any insights. Some cameras (which have standard internal recording in 8 bit) allow the user to choose between a standard and log-gamma curve when recording in 10 (or 12) bit. I have read reams of tests and results (particularly concerning DR) when recording in log, but nothing at all regarding results when recording non-log. For example, The Z6 can record 10 bit N-log externally (and very fine it looks too), but users can also choose non-log 10 bit (external) recording.
I can appreciate why reviewers and bloggers focus on log (given the desire to maximise dynamic range) but I'm perplexed that it seems nigh on impossible to find any tests/analysis for 10 bit non-log (ditto for the Panasonic S1 post firmware). People reading this might be perplexed that I am perplexed...after all, isn't the whole point to maximise dynamic range? That's certainly a major factor, but workflow and turnaround in post can also be major factors with some projects.
Shooting in 10 bit non-log versus 8 bit non-log produces four times as many gradations (2^2) in encoding the colour data. So, where there are the issues of crushing dark greys to black, 10 versus 8 bit at least provides for four times as much data and thus much better potential for lifting shadows to taste. Non-log 10 bit won't help highlights roll off smoothly per se, but that extra data care of 2^2 (four) times as much quanta would presumably allow the user to under expose somewhat ('expose to the left') such that those highlights one is comfortable with being on the verge of blowing are at 100% on zebras, then raise exposure of all but highlights to taste in post.
The workload in post would still be somewhat involved, but not as much as needing to tweak via all manner of inverse-mapping gamma curves (which bring higher orders of uncertainty). I'd stress that my question is not 'why are people shooting in log rather than non-log when in 10 bit?' but that, while I appreciate that log makes more sense most of the time, I can find no coverage or opinions on non-log (in 10 bit), which might make sense some of the time (also in terms of being able to shoot at base ISO and not need high order ND filter).
Please do say if I am misunderstanding something here!