Load 16 bit per pixel PNG image

I need to load a 16 bit per pixel PNG image and save it as 8 bit (with some processing done on the channels). How can I do this in processing. Any image that I load only has 8 bit depth (even if I crank up the colorMode to 65,536).
Is there some other way to access 16 bit pixel info other than PImage available?

Any help greatly appreciated!

I believe that you could use java.awt.image.BufferedImage – although I haven’t done it myself, I recall past forum posts on it.