For a machine vision application, we take short duration (50uSec) monochrome pictures with IR flash. The images we get are decent quality however the light color subjects (light blue, light green, yellow) are all lost or become less visible.
We convert these 10 bit images to 8 bit and look at them that way which already contributes to the problem. This is something we can probably solve with a non-linear 10-8 bit companding, so I am not worried about this part. If I look at the images on a display that supports 10 bit I still see them very very weak. My objective is to boost them.
In the raw data when I look at them, assuming surface average is 800 (pretty white), these light color subjects are 760-780 range, so the info is there but not visible. (A side note, if I take a picture of the same object under normal light with very long exposure time, 1msec, I see all details, so flash is also contributing to the problem).
What is the best way to gain these lost info back? We still have access to the 10 bit raw image data, what type of algorithm I can use to gain them back.