Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?

Started Mar 4, 2014 | Discussions
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Arnaud M
Arnaud M Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
1

If only Nikon could implement this functionality, the d800 really become an almost perfect camera.

With 36 MP, you could expect an M-RAM equivalent to a 24MP or 16MP, see both.

To work! Nikon

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Nikon D800
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diverroy
diverroy Contributing Member • Posts: 728
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
4

Why? The canon sRaw is not true RAW as it throws away information to make the file smaller.

The D800 has many options that makes the file smaller keeping all the information intact.

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Diverroy

falconeyes
falconeyes Senior Member • Posts: 1,333
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
5

Canon mRaw is a dumb format.

Anybody needing smaller raws should have a serious look at Adobe DNG 1.4. Its capability for downsampled compressed linear RAW is awesome and delivers higher quality at smaller file size than e.g., mRaw or Nikon's new small raw.

Moreover, conversion via dng converter is blazingly fast.

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Falk Lumo

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
3

This option seems to be talked about quiet a bit. And the idea of a smaller RAW file being available on demand sounds tempting. Perhaps very useful for some.

Pure speculation on my part:  My take as to why it doesn't seem to be on the mainstream wishlist for many D800 owners is that possibly the bulk of them purchased the camera precisely because of the large files. The idea of having a camera capable of producing large files, for some I would think, is contrary to the idea of ignoring a portion of the sensor output to produce a smaller RAW file.

I certainly wouldn't want to extrapolate what I want in a camera to be what the majority wants, but if the feature were available I probably wouldn't use it. The large files cause me no issues and I don't shoot subjects that require a high frame rate. I have no storage issues. Not to say others might not want more versatility from the camera, but should I need those capabilities I have other bodies.

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aut0maticdan
aut0maticdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
what are the other benefits?

There has been a lot of talk about this since the D4s has something similar. I wonder about some of the positive side effects of doing this besides just the smaller output. As an enthusiast, I'd like the flexibility without having multiple expensive and heavy bodies.

A lot of people have an immediate negative reaction to downsizing a file from the D800 because they think of it as sacred and jump to the conclusion that you've wasted money and 'don't get it.' That's fair enough, but I'd just as soon look to the potential upsides.

For instance, with enough processing power and the right algorithms, I'm sure you could boost noise performance to rival or even beat the Df/D4(s) at high ISO. I bet you could also have a high speed mode by activating only some pixels or combining multiple pixels to one to rival the D4 in speed.

I'm under no illusion that Nikon would ever do something this nice for us as a firmware upgrade, even if its possible with current hardware, but it would make an interesting D800s. I basically never shoot multiple frames unless I'm bracketing and the size of the D800 files don't bother me, but I wouldn't kick a 12mp | 16mp | 24mp noise reduction mode out of bed.

I'm unfamiliar with the way Canon does it and the D4s is not available yet. Do you get any of these sorts of benefits?

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aut0maticdan
aut0maticdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
meh... after thinking, kind of a dumb idea

The low noise 12/16/24mp output would probably only be beneficial if you could combine photosites at the hardware level and likely would require a specially designed sensor.  Way out of my depth there.

Any processing after the fact is better off done in post.  Assuming you have a good scaling algorithm when printing or downsizing for the web, you should see just as much noise reduction as you would with in-camera downsizing.  You also have a plethora of software at your disposal and the full raw 36mp for any future software that may come out.  I may spend a little time comparing different noise reduction and scaling algorithms to hash this out.  I'd like me some usable ISO12800 out of my D800.

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jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,309
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
1

diverroy wrote:

Why? The canon sRaw is not true RAW as it throws away information to make the file smaller.

The D800 has many options that makes the file smaller keeping all the information intact.

What full sensor options for smaller sizes other than pre-baked 8-bit JPEGs, does the D800 have?

The point of reduced RAW format is to still be able to shoot full sensor, still retain most of the adjustability advantages of RAW, but not be burdened with such large file sizes in processing.

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aut0maticdan
aut0maticdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
3

He's likely talking about lossless compressed, lossy compressed and 12-bit.

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dwight3
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,378
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?

coronawithlime wrote:

...Pure speculation on my part: My take as to why it doesn't seem to be on the mainstream wishlist for many D800 owners is that possibly the bulk of them purchased the camera precisely because of the large files. The idea of having a camera capable of producing large files, for some I would think, is contrary to the idea of ignoring a portion of the sensor output to produce a smaller RAW file...

I got my D800 to complement my D4. I got it because of the high MPx count.

However, if there were a way to combine pixels (probably at the hardware level for best noise handling) it would certainly broaden the utility of my D800. Right now it's a specialty body for use when I need high resolution (which is less than 25% of my photostream).

I don't want a RAW file that is produced by taking the normal RAW file and selecting appropriate pixels. That's a waste of image. I'd prefer a file that looks like a normal RAW file but takes all the available data into account.

Given the current Bayer pattern, I don't know just how that would be done. You would probably have to combine alternate rows somehow.

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inasir1971
inasir1971 Senior Member • Posts: 3,462
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
2

Arnaud M wrote:

If only Nikon could implement this functionality, the d800 really become an almost perfect camera.

With 36 MP, you could expect an M-RAM equivalent to a 24MP or 16MP, see both.

To work! Nikon

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You are aware that raw data needs to be demosaiced before reducing size?

Canon mraw promises file sizes of approximately 66% (Canon).

Nikon has 12 bit (non-lossless) compressed NEFs which gives approximately the same file sizes in relation to 14 bit lossless compressed in a far more sensible way than Canon mraw.

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Jim Keye Senior Member • Posts: 1,855
They do, it's called the D610
1

Or any other camera besides the D800.

Arnaud M wrote:

If only Nikon could implement this functionality, the d800 really become an almost perfect camera.

With 36 MP, you could expect an M-RAM equivalent to a 24MP or 16MP, see both.

To work! Nikon

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str8pipe
str8pipe Regular Member • Posts: 325
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
1

Arnaud M wrote:

If only Nikon could implement this functionality, the d800 really become an almost perfect camera.

With 36 MP, you could expect an M-RAM equivalent to a 24MP or 16MP, see both.

To work! Nikon

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noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 12,618
Small RAW almost same file size as 12-bit fullsize compressed RAW
3

jfriend00 wrote:

diverroy wrote:

Why? The canon sRaw is not true RAW as it throws away information to make the file smaller.

The D800 has many options that makes the file smaller keeping all the information intact.

What full sensor options for smaller sizes other than pre-baked 8-bit JPEGs, does the D800 have?

The point of reduced RAW format is to still be able to shoot full sensor, still retain most of the adjustability advantages of RAW, but not be burdened with such large file sizes in processing.

D4s manual:
- 14 bit uncompressed raw: 4928 × 3280 -> 33.6 MB
- 12 bit lossless compressed raw: 4928 × 3280 -> 15.4 MB
- 12 bit compressed raw: 4928 × 3280 -> 14.1 MB
- 12 bit small uncompressed: 2464×1640 -> 13.1 MB

So, for saving 1 MB, you loose 75% of the pixels (in terms of resolution) and most likely loose control over the demosaic process. Yeah, it's hard to understand why there has not been more vocal demand for this.

The only thing this presumably helps with is processing speed (but if you have a raw converter that offers a similar 2x2 binning, that point is moot as well).

olyflyer
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 23,953
Re: Why no D800 M-RAW equivalent to Canon?
2

jfriend00 wrote:

diverroy wrote:

Why? The canon sRaw is not true RAW as it throws away information to make the file smaller.

The D800 has many options that makes the file smaller keeping all the information intact.

What full sensor options for smaller sizes other than pre-baked 8-bit JPEGs, does the D800 have?

The D800 has several options, 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed. Read the manual.

The point of reduced RAW format is to still be able to shoot full sensor, still retain most of the adjustability advantages of RAW, but not be burdened with such large file sizes in processing.

12-bit compressed raw is still using the full sensor, just like 14-bits uncompressed.

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,527
Why no 5:4 crop with Canon?
1

I shot wedding for two years with Canon cameras and most of my second photographers also shot with Canon cameras and we all shot RAW. There was no reason to use M-RAW for this purpose and at the time the CF cards were 8x the price they are now.

What seems to have escaped people's attention for the past 5 years is the value of the Nikon only 5:4 crop. I love this for group shots as I get a file that enlarges without cropping for an 8x10 print or a 16x20 print. I can do this as an action in Photoshop with my RAW group photos and create JPEGs for the lab.

What is odd is that although it was first provided by Nikon in 2008 with the D3 this crop has not been implemented by Canon nor is it even universal with Nikon's cameras. The D300 which was released after the D3 did not have this capability and not even the D700 provided this option. Go figure.

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