Is it possible to work with a range bigger than the standard 0-255? Or is there any other way to detect finer distinctions?
The images are cv::Mat types, which can be 8 bit or 16 bit or floating point etc., so in that sense you can most certainly have a bigger range. Your source (camera, image format, etc) might or might not be capable of providing beyond 8 bits of depth. Look for a raw format capability on your camera - but if you are able to get raw data, be aware that you will probably be responsible for all of the image processing (bayer demosaicing, white balance, color balance, etc.)
Depending on what you mean by “detect finer distinctions”, you might be able to get what you want by adjusting the gamma value of the camera.
Also you might be able to get a camera capable of producing high dynamic range (HDR) images, or use your camera with different exposure values to turn multiple images into HDR images.
8 bit images are very well supported throughout OpenCV - if you use higher bit depths you might run into support issues for some functions.
Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll see what my camera can do, but I don’t have too much faith in it.