Today is a good day in the Sony world, because the firmware 2.00 containing 14-bit Uncompressed RAW is available for download for the Sony A7R II! Finally, Sony added this option to the camera, which means you can now take a full advantage of the 42 MP Sony sensor in the A7R II, without damaging image quality. While the uncompressed RAW images will be much larger in size (roughly 2x the size), it is definitely worth using this option for critical shooting, particularly when shooting night scenes where sky posterization issues and artifacts around subjects are most pronounced. With the uncompressed option, you can enjoy seeing images that look like the ones from the Nikon D810 below:
I have been intentionally delaying the review of the Sony A7R II, because I wanted to incorporate the tests showing IQ differences between compressed and uncompressed RAW for the camera. Most of the review is ready, so after I complete the camera tests, I will publish the review, hopefully sometime later this week!
Firmware Download Link
You can download the firmware directly through Sony Australia. The total download size is 236 MB. Don’t forget to charge your battery before the procedure, or it won’t work!
The big question is, why is Sony only providing the uncompressed RAW option that results in unnecessarily large files? Providing a lossless-compressed option would be a no-brainer, wouldn’t you agree? Well, for now we should be happy that Sony is even adding the long-ignored request for true 14-bit RAW files (after so many cameras have been released), but going forward, it seems like Sony should seriously consider adding the lossless compressed option in the current and future cameras. And speaking of current, what a heck is going on with the Sony A7 II and all the previous-generation Sony A7 cameras?
Sony A7 II and Others
I very much hope that this particular firmware update is NOT limited to Sony A7R II and A7S II. Sony should make it at least available on the A7 II and preferably, on all the previous-generation Sony A7-series cameras. If it never happens, it will speak of how badly Sony treats its existing fan base and will definitely serve as a negative sign of potential investment in the Sony system by those who are considering it. Every Sony A7-series cameras should have come with this option in the first place, so it makes perfect sense to go back and retro-fit it. Based on this firmware update, providing a similar firmware update to previous generation A7 cameras should be easy, as long as Sony is willing to do it…