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…