Currently I use IrfanView to display and quickly delete cloudy satellite images (by pressing delete button). But, unfortunately, some 16-bit, 3-band images are not displayed properly as RGB.

I tried to use this software to solve my problem, but all of them do not display satellite images properly:

What software can I use to quickly display and quickly delete 16-bit, 3-band tiff images?

Here is the original tiff image (with LZW compression)

Here is how it should be displayed correctly (screenshot of ArcGIS Desktop with raster metadata): enter image description here

Here is what I see with IrfanView (and other software):

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Use QGIS. It can display 16-bit TIF files and has many different band rendering options. It's basically the open source equivalent of ArcMap.

enter image description here

  • I already do but the point of the question is not to use GIS because it is slow in doing my task (quickly sorting and deleting cloud images). Feb 4, 2023 at 9:56
  • Tough problem. Your images show up very dark in Irfanview etc because the max pixel value of your image is ~9000 in the 16bit range of 65535. ArcGIS and QGIS display the image better because they're using advanced histogram stretching (see Symbology tab under Layer Properties in ArcMap). Irfanview has plugins to do some of that histogram modification (Image->Adobe 8BF Plugins->SmartCurve) but it seems to only work in the 8-bit range (0-255) which doesn't help in your case.
    – A. Mort
    Feb 5, 2023 at 15:43
  • I still think QGIS is the way to go (added image to my answer). Have the Browser pane docked to the left and the Layers pane below it. Double click image in Browser tab to view it. If it's bad, delete it from the Browser tab.
    – A. Mort
    Feb 6, 2023 at 15:57

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