Christo256

Joined on Mar 3, 2012

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Well done Sony, all is forgiven. I will now reward you with a purchase of the 35 1.4 that I have thought about for a long time!

Link | Posted on Sep 15, 2015 at 08:21 UTC as 24th comment
In reply to:

Frank_BR: After examining the details of ARW, the Sony RAW format, I am convinced that it is a very good RAW format. In particular, I don't think a lossless RAW is absolutely necessary.

The ARW format has the following strengths:

1) High efficiency, just one byte per pixel
2) effective resolution of 13 bits for small levels
3) great simplicity, which allows on-the-fly encoding
4) virtually invisible artifacts, except in very special cases when artifacts are provoked by a heavy/forced PP

The criticisms of the Sony RAW format are concentrated on item 4, and these criticisms only appeared after a few experiments revealed the visibility of artifacts in underexposed images of startrails that were submitted to strong pushing. It is very important to note here that the artifacts always appeared in combination with noise, which became highly visible because of the pushing.

A proposal to fix the "defect" of the Sony RAW format is next.

I can honestly say that 'heavy / forced pp' as you have somewhat negatively described it is a totally acceptable and common procedure among us who earn our living from photography. In fact it is why I switched from Canon to Sony to have that ability. If I didn't need to do that on a regular basis I would still be using my Canon gear! It is rather annoying when people keep posting in defense of Sony as if to push the images in software is something wrong and we are bringing on these problems ourselves!!
I only ever shoot in manual mode so I know exactly how far I am exposing in any direction and it is with an end goal in mind that I do this to overcome contrast and exposure issues in environments where I cant take lighting. If you never have to deal with these situations that's fine you won't have a problem with your images but trust me there are plenty of working pros who do and the compression is not acceptable.

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2015 at 00:22 UTC
In reply to:

exapixel: We still need to understand Sony's raw problems better than we do. Dropping down to 12-bit precision, posterization due to a tone curve, and bit loss due to the isochromatic 16px encoding -- all of these should only reduce the value of a pixel. Yet the worst effects seem to be brightened blotches in dark areas. Something else, or something more, has to be going on.

To test our (well, my) understanding of the effects of these bugs, I've hacked DCRAW so that it can apply them to any image; i.e. I can see what images out of a Nikon camera would look like if Nikon's raw formats also did these three changes to the data. And the artifacts do show up in bright regions, but not so much in dark ones.

My theory now: these artifacts show up in dark areas near saturated regions because Sony's raw format is exacerbating, via blocky posterization, the visibility of an optical effect and/or problems with full well leakage that brightens some pixels that should have stayed dark.

You obviously understand the technical aspects of this far more than most on here. Do you think this problem is fixable??

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2015 at 06:13 UTC
In reply to:

naththo: Seriously guy this has gone too much conversation and too much worry about RAW compression, its time to move on guys. I have had not yet seen one of problem in A7 with normal editing and no extreme editing at all. I don't intend to do so stupidly underexpose to use shadow to recover so massively, its not natural to me for photography. Software also has it limit too you do clearly know.

I have an A7R, and A7 ii and an A7R ii and I see artifacts on images on a weekly basis for shoots for clients. Extreme editing as you call it is because we no longer need to do two exposures and blend them in photoshop but rather take one exposure and use the recovery tools in Capture One / Lightroom etc to speed up the workflow.
Yes, the conversation has gone on a lot but there is no response from Sony on this issue so are we all to just shut up and put up??

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2015 at 06:10 UTC
In reply to:

guyfawkes: @Biological_Viewfinder.

Well said. The criticisms have mainly stemmmed from a minority of professional photographers or technical review sites who give me the impression they have all the answers in the search for the Holy Grail. Then the internet bloggers go on high alert, and as you say, the herd follows.

And what makes me laugh, if it weren't a serious matter enough, is all the fuss over Sony's 11+7 RAW (which I have to confess is utterly meaningless to me) arose because someone took a 31 minute (!) exposure of star trails, and found the proverbial needle in a haystack. So if star trails are your forte, by all means don't buy a Sony. However, for the rest of us judge the camera on how it suits your particular shooting style/habits. Be your own man, or woman, and stand by your own assessment, not what someone else says you should avoid.

I suppose I'm now going to be attacked for supposedly being a Sony fanboy.

The whole reason for wanting 42 megapixels beside the ability to crop is to be able to display large prints. If large prints then show artifacts it becomes a pointless exercise. Do you have an A7R ii and if so have you never had the need to push your images to save the highlights or have you bought a high res camera just to shoot jpegs for low res web use??? If you don't understand what the fuss is about that just says it all, you just don't understand what the fuss is about.

Link | Posted on Sep 6, 2015 at 06:12 UTC

I really don't think Sony are in the head space of the professional photographer. I spent a fortune not to long ago on a medium format digital camera that was heavy, had bad auto focus in comparison, dreadful high iso, huge mirror slap, really slow write times - especially on very long exposures, weird battery issues in comparison (one for camera and one for back) and multiple times more expensive than the top end Canon and Nikon offerings at the time but all because it would give the best RAW output that was available. I currently own the A7R ii and think it is fantastic but to cripple the quality of the RAW is to grossly misunderstand the needs of many pros. Honestly, this camera is so so close to being the most perfect camera I have owned only to have some stupid decision that puts a dampener on everything!!

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 23:43 UTC as 85th comment
In reply to:

Everlast66: Its interesting how people are criticising Sony here, as if they have been the market leader for decades and have just released a sub-par product. Or maybe they have already started thinking about Sony in this way following the continued innovation in the last few years.

This raw compression issue has totally been over-blown. Sony improved the A7R camera in so many aspects that we rarely see from Canon and Nikon when they update their cameras.

This new camera has the worlds first BSI full frame sensor, innovative new AF system, best AF points spread, best Eye AF mode, can focus another brand's (Canon) lenses virtually as good as their native bodies, has the largest FF camera viewfinder, and its EVF as well. The body has been totally reconstructed, completely new 500k rated shutter, IBIS, even small but important features like minimum shutter speed and full electronic shutter were added.

Now lets find an area where Can/Nik still have some perceptual advantage and put innovators down.

Well its all very good listing the sales spec sheet but if there are problems with the final output on a camera aimed and priced to win over the pro's then it is a problem. Especially when it could have been avoided quite easily. Bells and whistles are great and I love using this camera but when I see the artifacts on some of the images it just doesn't feel such a pro piece of equipment. If you take the lead from what a medium format digital camera is all about you will see what I mean. They are heavy, large, have rubbish auto focus in comparison, a huge mirror slap, untill recently terrible high iso, none of the bells and whistles and yet we would pay a fortune to own one because the RAW file it gives you is as good as you get!!

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 23:29 UTC
In reply to:

ldog: Great and well balanced article! RAW compression is actually significant. I'm a professional landscape photographer making and selling big prints and I always strive for stellar print quality. I have been loving the Sony sensor equipped Pentax 645Z which has rather insane DR with extremely low noise. By exposing for the highlights it is possible to pull shadow detail cleanly out of a single RAW exposure that was unthinkable only a few years ago. The A7rii has been promoted as a truly pro uber cam and as the low noise, high DR champ. But in the trenches with a gnarly high dynamic range situation the compressed RAW file will not deliver the advertized low noise or DR like the Z actually does. You can not expose for the highlights and push the shadows 4 or 5 stops and still expect to have clean shadows. I suspect that Sony's noise and DR claims are willfully misleading and should be asterisked with "most of the time". This is not a truly pro tool to trust a lifetime image to just yet.

I think he is just making a comparison as they both have Sony sensors, one compressed and one uncompressed so it does relate to the article.

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 08:02 UTC
In reply to:

tesch: I don't come to this website very often but when I do I find all of the talk is about why Sony isn't a real camera. Very strange!

This is a good article about a lot of things that really have no effect on the images taken by people on this site. If the photographers on this site spent as much time researching composition and color theory they wouldn't have to worry about this nonsense. But that would mean they would have to think which seems to be an issue..........

Get over it!

How can you say it has no effect on the images taken by people on this site? As if you know their every picture? And who is to say they haven't already sorted their composition and colour theory and now want uncompressed RAW??

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 07:59 UTC
In reply to:

Christo256: Keep hearing people say things like 'expose correctly' and 'this never happened to me and I would know' etc etc. Do you really know what you are talking about?? I often shoot interiors where there is huge contrast and I'm not allowed to set up lights, this is a perfect example of when you will purposely under expose because you want the highlight detail knowing you will bring it all back to where it should be in post later. Only you then notice these nasty artifacts and start to ask questions to yourself like 'how large is this image going to be reproduced?' 'Will it show up in the final print?'
There is a very interesting TED talk by a journalist exposing how the large corporations now have employed bloggers and forum posters filling the online communities with counter arguments in cases like this masquerading as the unpaid public voicing an opinion. Has really made me think about some of the posts being put up hear!!
Great article, deals with facts not opinions or feelings!

Will let you know as I've just switched back to Capture One after not using it for about five years....this version 8 is really really good, especially if you do a lot of grading of your images.
I to hope the decompression is the problem and can be fixed, either way I come across these artifacts a lot when doing heavy adjustments and unlike noise you can not remove them without an actual retouch.

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 00:28 UTC

Keep hearing people say things like 'expose correctly' and 'this never happened to me and I would know' etc etc. Do you really know what you are talking about?? I often shoot interiors where there is huge contrast and I'm not allowed to set up lights, this is a perfect example of when you will purposely under expose because you want the highlight detail knowing you will bring it all back to where it should be in post later. Only you then notice these nasty artifacts and start to ask questions to yourself like 'how large is this image going to be reproduced?' 'Will it show up in the final print?'
There is a very interesting TED talk by a journalist exposing how the large corporations now have employed bloggers and forum posters filling the online communities with counter arguments in cases like this masquerading as the unpaid public voicing an opinion. Has really made me think about some of the posts being put up hear!!
Great article, deals with facts not opinions or feelings!

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 20:29 UTC as 113th comment | 8 replies
In reply to:

Frank_BR: What the article did not say was that the picture of the luminous sign was pushed 5 stops in post-processing! If you doubt it, compare the picture in the article with the picture taken with ISO 200 and shown here:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7450523388/sony-alpha-7r-ii-real-world-iso-invariance-study

No surprise that some artifacts appeared after such extreme PP. But a photographer does not need to push 5 stops, unless he has committed an extremely gross exposure error.

The article seems to ignore that the compression used by Sony is very effective in reducing the size of files. For example, the RAW files shown in DPR Studio Shot Comparison for ISO 200 have the following sizes:
Sony 7RII: 41.4MB
Nikon D810A: 74.3MB

It is clear that the Sony 7RII stores RAW images at higher efficiency than the Nikon D810A, for example.

Any compression algorithm incurs a tradeoff between efficiency and appearance of artifacts. If you look closely enough, you will always find artifacts.

Who is to say how much a photographer may want to under expose to preserve highlights in a contrasty scene? Besides which you expect to see noise in the image when it is pushed not these types of artifacts. I have seen nasty artifacts in my images without pushing to those extremes many times.

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 20:15 UTC

Come on Sony, RESPOND!!!!! We are the people who are putting you back into profit!!!! If we can walk away from Canon and Nikon we can walk away from you to!

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 06:57 UTC as 170th comment
In reply to:

Christo256: I'm just amazed at some of the comments here saying this isn't an issue. To professionals who do take their cameras to the limits regarding dynamic range and exposure this is really important. This is different to the noisy shutter or shutter shake issue because this can be changed with firmware and it's what a lot of loyal money paying customers want! Since 2003 I have owned Nikon, Fuji, Canon and Phase One systems and this is the only time I have felt the need to get on a forum and make myself heard!! Great article, lets not get upset about the frustration aimed at Sony, people are acting like we are insulting one of their children!! Its a huge multi national electronics giant, it can defend itself....though I'd rather they just gave us uncompressed RAW!!

I guess that is why people aren't as in love with Sony as Fuji. Its frustrating, I have bought 4 Sony Cameras in under 2 years and the loyalty they show in return is to be quiet and say nothing!!!

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 06:54 UTC
In reply to:

canonvaggio: So, the A7r II has jaggy artifacts with a +4 stop push, but dxomark gives it the highest rating ever, a ‘98’? So, are their scores simply not connected to reality at all?

It wasn't the highest score for dynamic range though and it even scored lower than the original A7R for dynamic range

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 06:50 UTC

I'm just amazed at some of the comments here saying this isn't an issue. To professionals who do take their cameras to the limits regarding dynamic range and exposure this is really important. This is different to the noisy shutter or shutter shake issue because this can be changed with firmware and it's what a lot of loyal money paying customers want! Since 2003 I have owned Nikon, Fuji, Canon and Phase One systems and this is the only time I have felt the need to get on a forum and make myself heard!! Great article, lets not get upset about the frustration aimed at Sony, people are acting like we are insulting one of their children!! Its a huge multi national electronics giant, it can defend itself....though I'd rather they just gave us uncompressed RAW!!

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 01:02 UTC as 198th comment | 4 replies

The facts speak for themselves, why argue against them on behalf of Sony????? The compression causes issues that aren't there on other camera files. Granted the Sony files are way better than Canons but lets just deal with the truth at hand which is that the compression causes issues which are visible on the images in certain circumstances.
What we really need is a firmware update that allows the camera to switch from the present compressed files for those who prefer speed over final quality to uncompressed for those who want the extra dynamic range and no weird effects showing in their images. This would then ideally allow us to save these as different memory settings and we would all be kept happy.

Link | Posted on Sep 2, 2015 at 21:48 UTC as 226th comment

I swapped from Canon to Sony and while the cameras keep getting better this compression of the RAW files goes against what they are trying to achieve as a company. They are trying to produce the best camera then crippling the final output somewhat, its like getting Usain Bolt to run with his shoelaces tied together. I am a professional photographer and I can say that there are times when you need to shoot to extremes to protect highlights and eek out as much dynamic range as possible and this puts the Sony behind the Nikon still if you want the best files.
I would rather have the uncompressed Raw files at the cost of frames per second any day, this just isn't a sports photographers camera so it should stop trying and let it really shine with its RAW output.
Also, I have to say that I'm highly sceptical of some of the more pro Sony comments here. I'm guessing that these people either don't fully understand the issues here or are posting on behalf of Sony

Link | Posted on Sep 2, 2015 at 21:14 UTC as 231st comment | 1 reply

I use Camranger quite often when tethering to a laptop is impractical. Although you don't see your image with any adjustments applied it is great for the client to approve the shot etc. Works well in environments where discretion is needed as well so the client can review what you're doing from the next room. I keep an eye-fi for when I'm not shooting to Canon, say on a reccy but I find it unreliable at times and just stops for no reason. The other time I use the Camranger is when I get the camera somewhere that I can't see behind like on a high stand or pushed right into a tight corner. To be able to change the focus point live through the iPad while the camera is 6 metres above you is a great feature. I just wish they would change the interface a little to make it full screen and implement the virtual horizon on cameras that have that feature. I highly recommend it but as a different tool to shooting to your laptop, it isn't a processing or image adjustment tool!!

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2013 at 19:51 UTC as 22nd comment
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