We can now directly compare 5d Mk 3 to D800.... Imaging Resource

Started Mar 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
Wayne Newland Forum Member • Posts: 99
Re: Are these raw conversions or in camera jpgs?

bobn2 wrote:

ron purdy wrote:

All I know is that I do not want to deal with D800 RAW files which are 30-70MB in size!

The Canon has RAW files around 21MB, which is much easier to deal with IMO.

46,953,086 bytes
60,012,586 bytes

13MB (28%) more for 63% more pixels. Sounds good to me.

I would like to point out that one is not just dealing with the, even at 60 MB, relatively small file size compared to processed images. Let's imagine I'm the landscape photographer that want's the most data I can get from that 36 mpix file. I'm going to take the raw file and open it in my favorite program, Photoshop. And because I want to have the most, I'm going to have it open as 16-bit smart object, most likely ProPhoto RGB but the color space doesn't matter unless you really want CMYK which will be even bigger. Now I've got a file in memory taking up well over 200 MB that will save as a .psd of close to 500 MB or more. The actual memory use at this point just for this image will be approximately three times the file size. The moment I touch it, even using smart filters, memory usage, due to history and temp file settings, will jump to 1 or 2 GB in just a couple of clicks. A couple of more non destructive edits or changes to one of the smart filters I've applied, now I've hit, or very nearly so, the limits of my 8 GB of RAM and am swapping memory to disk, a very real drag. Now I'll save my file and it ends up a 553.04 MB file that I'm storing along with my 46 to 60 MB raw file.

I'm not saying that I don't have some 500+ MB files from my 21 mpix 5DMII and run into some processing slow downs on my system occasionally, I do and I do, but it certainly isn't with each and every single image I open. And yes, my next computer upgrade will most likely have 16 GB of RAM or more rather than 8 GB that I currently have. Perhaps a 6 core processor rather than the 4 core I currently have as well. But that new system will come at a dear cost too.

There will be those that point out that files can be shot smaller. However, that goes against the initial premise of my wanting the absolute most detail and editability in every image. My base image will always be the 16-bit full res image. I'll process other images from there and those images will be saved for posterity along with the base. But even the downsized images for the smaller 11 x 14 and 16 x 20 prints and the 14 x 19 canvas wrap are going to be quite large, 100 to 300 MB, perhaps larger and stored with my 60 MB raw and 550 MB base. I'm pushing 1 GB storage for one single image.

Lastly, don't anyone think of this discussion as an argument against any camera one desires or aspires to obtain. It is just a discussion of file size considerations that directly relates to the mpix size of the starting file.


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