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07-23-2015, 10:15 AM   #1
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Question about Sony Raw file quality

Hello, I'm a Pentax guy but am looking at switching systems. So, I'm researching Sony cameras. To be a second camera for me to start with until my K3 II dies.

One thing I find disconcerting, whether looking at Phillip Bloom's page or searching on 500px, that the images from Sony camera's are quite flat or lack depth in the color space.

Now I know that could be PP & peoples preferences. I know many who like the bleach bypass type of look. But I don't. And I'm used to great depth, especially from the K3 II.

My question, are the .arw files as good as .dng's??? Meaning, I can edit or color grade the crap out of a dng... would I be able to do that same for the Sony files?

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.

07-23-2015, 10:18 AM   #2
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Have you looked at the Sony A7R thread here? Maybe seeing pics developed by (some former) Pentaxians will help?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/76-non-pentax-cameras-canon-nikon-etc/243...es-thread.html
07-23-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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I own a Sony a6000 and enjoy it quite a bit. I only use it for casual pictures because I only have the kit lens but I like the quality of the files. You should take a look at Trey Ratcliff"s photos The Photography of Trey Ratcliff. He uses the Sony A7 line of cameras and thoroughly processes the files. I like his style, but even if you don't, you can still see the amount of information he has to play around with.
07-23-2015, 12:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
My question, are the .arw files as good as .dng's??? Meaning, I can edit or color grade the crap out of a dng... would I be able to do that same for the Sony files?
.arw vs .dng as formats are immaterial, i often convert a7r .arw to .dng so that i can edit sony raw files in my older version of photoshop, instead of opening the .arw up natively in dxo.

this will give you a better idea of what sony raw files are capable of: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass

canon continues it's trend of weak d.r. sensors with the 50mp 5ds: Canon EOS 5DS / 5DS R First Impressions Review: Digital Photography Review

those are the type of things to look at in a camera.

if you want to edit some sony raw files, see for yourself, i can upload something for you to experiment with.

07-23-2015, 07:42 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone. I spent the day looking at all the material. Its still different from Pentax but it looks like I can be my bold colorful self after all. :-)
07-23-2015, 09:54 PM   #6
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There's the whole lossy compression with Sony raw you may want to see if that's going to bother you. It's pretty much a deal breaker for me personally.

RawDigger: detecting posterization in SONY cRAW/ARW2 files | RawDigger
07-24-2015, 06:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
There's the whole lossy compression with Sony raw you may want to see if that's going to bother you. It's pretty much a deal breaker for me personally.

RawDigger: detecting posterization in SONY cRAW/ARW2 files | RawDigger
I feel somewhat the same way. There is no excuse for a camera manufacturer to be using a lossy Raw format. With all the advances Sony has done with sensors and hardware innovation, they are in the dark ages with their software and firmware and I think that's what has hindered their camera sales.

07-24-2015, 06:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
One thing I find disconcerting, whether looking at Phillip Bloom's page or searching on 500px, that the images from Sony camera's are quite flat or lack depth in the color space.
those photos may look lacking but that's just phillips bad habit of approaching photography with the rules of film making (when it comes to video, neutral/flat/low contrast is easier to grade in post production) its a hard mindset to break

QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
There is no excuse for a camera manufacturer to be using a lossy Raw format
sony's main market is the consumer not the professional which is why the a6000 is selling so well
07-24-2015, 01:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
There's the whole lossy compression with Sony raw you may want to see if that's going to bother you. It's pretty much a deal breaker for me personally.
whenever that subject comes up on the sony forums, it's almost always people like you, who have never used sony, and know nothing about raw compression, that are doing the complaining.

people who shoot with these cameras day in and day out tell a different story.

they are happy, because that compression saves a lot of space on the sd card and on hdd's.

---------- Post added 07-24-15 at 01:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Ratcheteer Quote
sony's main market is the consumer not the professional which is why the a6000 is selling so well
my a7r cost $2,300, the a7rii costs $3,200, and most of the fe lenses are not cheap.

those are not consumer price points, it's pro gear pricing and performance.
07-24-2015, 02:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I feel somewhat the same way. There is no excuse for a camera manufacturer to be using a lossy Raw format. With all the advances Sony has done with sensors and hardware innovation, they are in the dark ages with their software and firmware and I think that's what has hindered their camera sales.
I'd take a Sony firmware over a Pentax firmware any day. They may be too aggressive with the raw compression, but are miles ahead in other areas in terms of firmware. And Sony talked about offering a higher quality raw mode as a firmware update, IIRC, as people demand it. Hell freezes over the day that happens at Pentax.

The professional market does shoot Sony too. Though perhaps more on the video side.

Flat picture profiles are common in the video world because raw is not common there, and a flat image is the closest they can get to that.
07-24-2015, 03:31 PM   #11
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Maybe I'm not fussy enough, but I've never really had any complaints with Sony RAW's or image quality, and I've owned/own 4 Sony's (NEX-5, NEX-F3, A5000, RX-100).

Feed any Sony .ARW into Lightroom/DxO/Capture One etc and it's all good.
07-24-2015, 10:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
my a7r cost $2,300, the a7rii costs $3,200, and most of the fe lenses are not cheap.
still cheaper than what nikon asks for single digit line of products (D4/s, D3x) and sony pricing is about selling all there products not just the a7's (making it too cheap would cut into other product lines sales)

as for the fe lenses sony has to pay a licencing fee to use the zeiss name

and if you don't like the price of sony zoom fe lenses you could always use Canon EF lenses via metabones af adaptor
07-24-2015, 10:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
whenever that subject comes up on the sony forums, it's almost always people like you, who have never used sony, and know nothing about raw compression, that are doing the complaining.

people who shoot with these cameras day in and day out tell a different story.

they are happy, because that compression saves a lot of space on the sd card and on hdd's.
On the flip side, there are always people like you who deny it's a problem at all. Don't expect me to spend thousands of dollars and have to worry about this kind of issue that doesn't exist elsewhere. Space is cheap; that's not a good reason for the compromise. I've borrowed and used it enough to know it's an issue for me for the type of shot I tend to take, therefore I will never buy one until it's fixed. Thanks for assuming everyone complains about it has never used the product before.

Last edited by ruggiex; 07-24-2015 at 10:59 PM.
07-25-2015, 01:17 AM   #14
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I've not found the compressed RAW to be a problem.
Beyond what a single file can do, I'd always do an exposure blend anyway (thats with any camera)

That said, I compared it with my friend's D610 RAW and it was only 4mp size difference.
I would have thought Sony can be more generous and just offer uncompressed RAW.
Not that the A7 series shoots fast anyway.

Last edited by pinholecam; 07-25-2015 at 04:58 PM.
07-25-2015, 06:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
On the flip side, there are always people like you who deny it's a problem at all. Don't expect me to spend thousands of dollars and have to worry about this kind of issue that doesn't exist elsewhere. Space is cheap; that's not a good reason for the compromise. I've borrowed and used it enough to know it's an issue for me for the type of shot I tend to take, therefore I will never buy one until it's fixed. Thanks for assuming everyone complains about it has never used the product before.
I think we all can agree that it is stupid of Sony to continue to use the lossy compression with certain settings when it upsets so many potential buyers. I have followed these discussions on several boards, have used most of the Sony mirrorless cameras including the A7M2 and I still do not see why it is such a big deal for people. Can you explain what it is about the Sony compression method which you find so objectionable? I do not see how Sony's compression would have cause problems with the beautiful photos you have posted on Pentax Forum. I am genuinely curious and not interested in a debate.
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