Just a quick report for those who are wondering about the Sony A7R II file sizes and storage options after upgrading to firmware 2.00 and enabling uncompressed RAW. First of all, file sizes in fact do look much bigger in comparison! Here is a short summary of Lossy / Compressed RAW vs Uncompressed: 43 MB vs 86 MB – the file size basically doubles! Ouch, that means not only slower write times to your memory card, but also twice less images to save on them too. And if you keep the original RAW file, it will also double your storage and backup requirements. If you do not like this, there is one workaround – to use Adobe’s DNG converter. If you import your images into Lightroom, you can convert uncompressed RAW files to DNG upon import, or you can use the free Adobe DNG converter software before you start the import. The good news is, this process will create a lossless compressed DNG file, which means that you will end up with a much smaller file. How much smaller? Take a look at this small table:
|Scene Details||Compressed RAW||Uncompressed RAW||Lossless DNG (JPEG Med)||Lossless DNG (JPEG Full)|
|Few Details||43 MB||86 MB||37 MB||39 MB|
|A Lot of Details||43 MB||86 MB||57 MB||71 MB|
As you can see, DNG conversion can bring a lot of benefits to Sony A7R II files. When there is not a lot going on (blue skies, empty areas), the compression is very impressive – even better than Sony’s lossy / compressed RAW! However, if you have a scene with a lot of detail (fine landscapes, etc), the lossless conversion to DNG still makes pretty big files, although they are quite a bit smaller still than Sony’s uncompressed. Please note that the file sizes changed quite a bit when switching from embedding full-size JPEG images to medium-size JPEG images into DNG files – by up to 14 MB for a detailed scene.
In summary, until Sony finds a way to losslessly compress its RAW files, you should convert to Adobe’s DNG format to potentially save a lot of disk space. Yes, I have personally abandoned the DNG format for a while now, but in this case it seems like it would be a good idea to use…
@ Nasim important question to you!!!
Does the update fix also the “bad issue” of having only 12 bit files when shooting in silent and continous modes?? I guess not and as other articles on the web already stated…..
So finally Sonys fixing is only halfbaked not fully satisfying for me at least!!!! Why cant they implement this as well ?? It seems for me that the hardware the processor engine is the reason…he is two weak and cheap! This is one of the worst parts in order to save money and use cheaper parts imo…
Her is what Sonyalpharumors and diglloyd have already stated:
“And here are two key insights he shares about the new A7rII uncompressed RAW format:
1) The Sony A7R II captures 14 bits per photosite. The Sony uncompressed raw format then stores these 14 bits in 16 bits, bloating the file by 14%. In other words, Sony wastes about 9MB per image for no value or purpose at all. So Sony users lose triply: wasted storage, degraded camera responsiveness, fewer shots before the camera buffer fills.
2) A lossless-compressed format can save far more than even the bit packing mentioned above. Nikon and Canon use Huffman encoding. But it might be that the CPU in the Sony cameras is not fast enough for Huffman encoding?
In short, we would all save space, time and have a faster camera if Sony could add lossless-compressed files and not use the 16bit format. Let’s hope Sony has this on their todo list for the next firmware update!”
+ my addings that the uncompressed file option does not work within continous and silent modes!!!
Sadly its so annoying and a big bummer! So we have to wait for the next firmware update if it is technical possible with the limitations of used cheap/weak porcessor (engine) at all!!!
Well there you go… When Sony announced the 42 mpx mirrorless, so many people abandoned their Nikon’s, Canon’s and others. Some vitriolically announced Sony to be the best as they make everyone’s sensor. I argued that there is more than just the sensor, it is how the sensor works with all the other components and processors. It appears I may have been right. While I believe this issue will resolve itself, I am happy as pie to hold on to what I have and my investments. Instead of a new camera, I purchased a 200-400 f/4. I know I made the better choice. When the time is right and all the parts and pieces work, I might consider a camera. But that being said, technology is overrated. If you want to be a great photographer, go to great places and master light and composition. That is the best investment of all.
It’s a good upgrade, but 14-bit RAW uncompresssed is it really necessary? I shoot weddings with two D600 and only use 12bit compressed for maximum speed buffer, and I see no quality difference when photographed with loslless 14bit two years ago. Perhaps LANDSCAPES or night sky photography is a good idea! I am right?
Note: I’m a big fan of you website, good and up to date content! Don’t miss a post… :)
I think 14 bit is all about getting the best from the images you take. You are paying over $3,000 for that camera, why would you take less than the best for that kind of money? Where 14 bit becomes an issue is in the details. Print large and the little details are now big details. Cameras are very much a part of every one’s ego. Nikon is shooting 14 bit uncompressed, Sony is shooting 12 bit compressed. It is that second class status that many egos can’t tolerate. Over all it was a good move by Sony.
Similar to the Lightroom question above, is it safe to assume this is not a problem for Capture One version 8 Pro?
Well . . . now that Sony has given us what we asked for–uncompressed RAW–we need to ask for what we should have asked for in the first place: Lossless compressed RAW. In the meanwhile, I am holding off on updating my A7RM2 software
You may upgrade. The new version allows you to select the existing compressed raw or the uncompressed raw.
I upgraded to version 2.
I suspected, but now it is absolutely clear why Sony avoided supporting uncompressed RAW.
It takes about 2-2.5 seconds to store one compressed raw file in the (very fast) memory card. It takes the same 2 – 2.5 second to magnify a photo. This is almost unacceptable.
Now, with uncompressed raw , the files are twice as big and it takes 4 – 5 seconds to store one file or to magnify it. This is completely unacceptable, at least for semi – proffesional or proffesional usage usage.
The camera, as well as most FE lenses (I have the 35mm F1.4, 55mm F1.8, 28mm 2.0, 16-35 F4 are producing amazing pictures. I am using Nikon D810 (as well as D4s) for kite surfing photography as well as for general photography. The Sony is capable of producing pictures that are comparable and even better then the D810 with the best lenses available for the D810. When it comes to movies, the Sony is a generation ahead.HOWEVER, the slow processing, slow memory access, small capacity battery (and a few secondary issues like single memory card, the menu), make it impossible to rely on it as the prime camera for professional or semi-proffesional use..
Sony says that “it listen to its customers” and since customers want uncompressed raw, they developed it. Unfortunately, Sony is lacking in processing power and raw compressing algorithm knowhow and this is the true reason why they have avoided uncompressed raw format as long as possible.
Until they come out with a practical and useful solution to those issues, the Nikon D810 will remain my primary camera despite the many advantages that the Sony A7R2 advance technologies offer.
Why did you purchase the Sony of you had a Nikon D810? The Sony does not have the lenses that Nikon has. Only Sony native lens use all the features of the AR7 II. Without Sony natives, the full 5 axis stabilization does not work and neither does the face recognition feature. The adapter is big, heavy and does not support all of the bigger prime lenses, especially for Nikon. With 14 bit uncompressed, it is likely you won’t get the 5 fps either. The DR in both cameras are comparatively equal. Why did people switch?????
I did not switch. It is in addition.
I do a lot of travel worldwide and always carry a camera plus fast wide angle and a -50mm primes.
The fantastic D810 with such two lenses is heavy and shooting movies is not practical.
The Sony is addressing these two issues very well with photos quality as good as the D810 (See DXO MARK sensor review).
I do not intend to use an adapter.
In the attached family movie, most kitesurfing stills were taken using the D810 with 300mm F4 lens. All movies and non kiting stills were taken with the Sony A7R2 with 16-35 mm F4 during the day and with the 55mm f1.8 during night.
Both cameras were used hand held.
All music was recorded by the Sony internal mic as part of the movies.
Most stills were processed using Optics Pro (highly recommend!).
Okay, I understand the appeal. I am going to wait until Nikon releases their mirrorless. It will happen. When, I am not sure. But I can wait. I have a D800E is my backup. I really do like all of my Nikons but if you don’t know light and composition, no camera, lens compressed or uncompressed is going to make a difference. I really is hardly ever the equipment. It is almost always the photographer.
When Nikon releases a full frame mirror less, I am definately will buy one to try.
I am not a professional photographer but it is a serious hobby for the last 50 years…
I do understand Business and it is clear that Nikon camera business is in bad shape and they are not investing as much (as Sony) in new development and as a result, they are falling behind. The serious quality issues on each and every new product release is one of many indications.
Hopefully, I am wrong.
I am a photographer. I am not worried and why should anyone be worried? What is there to worry about? In a few years, there will be self driving cars and cameras. Remember than hike up Yosemite’s Half Dome you never were able to do? Just send in the drone with 10k video that you’re controlling with 16 satellites on a 240 ” wrap around display. Don’t laugh ….
Can the uncompressed 14-bit files be processed in Lr or do we need to wait for an update to Lr?
Yes current LRcc works fine
But keep your ARW files as backup! DNG files are fully supported by Adobe apps but support in other apps is spotty at best. In a few years you could find yourself stuck with the choice of renewing your Creative Cloud subscription (when you’ve found less expensive tools you’d rather use) versus losing the ability to read your raw files.
There are many applications that read DNG files. You do not need to use Cloud. Older PS and LR applications read DNG. LR is also a stand-a-lone application as well as part of the subscription plan and will read not only current but older DNG and PSD files. You can also batch convert DNG files to TIFF files using Bridge/PS Image Processor. There is no fear that you are locked into a particular format. But that being said, I have been using PS for 15 years. I don’t see me changing for any product out there. Many products provide paths to LR and PS or are themselves embedded plugins such a Topaz or Nik. There are work-arounds and solutions everywhere. No need to fear..
Once again the quirky company Pentax, has an option to shoot in camera .DNG!!!! What a great idea that should be adopted by all camera manufacturers.
Well there you go… DNG is becoming a very acceptable format convert to or now shoot. Pentax is not a non-nondescript manufacturer and the DNG move is very much the future.
I use ZFS for my data storage which has compression LZ4 compression built in. No need for DNG.
I convert all of my files to DNG. I have been shooting with Nikon for years. I do like that XMP files are embedded with the image. It does not really increase my workflow time. Once converted, it is never again an issue. There is no loss in image quality when converting to DNG. I am not worried the Canon and Nikon have not embraced the DNG format. That is not a good reason to abandon DNG. Neither Nikon or Canon have ever released or published any any information challenging the DNG format. Likely because there was nothing to challenge. Both Nikon and Canon are entrenched in their culture, policies and politics. I would never see them adopt DNG. In part such action would have them reliant is some ways to adobe’s process. Nikon years ago upgraded their NEF software and abandoned an older format (NX-D vs NX 2). I believe some users had issues with that. That being said, there is risk in remaining NEF.
As for future compatibility, myth or not, Adobe has made DNG open sourced and license. It would be insane for anyone to abandon the DNG format. There are just too many users. As much as you indicate that software providers have not adopted DNG, I have seen them add DNG. DxO OpticsPro 10 now supports your camera’s JPEG or RAW files, as well as DNG files. They have been slow to come around but they have and do.
There is no reason NOT to convert to DNG. Reduced file sizes is indeed a good reason to adopt the DNG format. And if you are like some who own Nikon, Canon and Sony cameras having one universal file format like DNG makes incredible sense.