Imaging Resource has an interview with Kimio Maki of Sony Corp. The interview is stunning in a way—Sony sensors were already the best and this latest sensor looks like a technology tour de force.
KM: Sony RAW is compressed, not uncompressed. But if we're getting a lot of requests for it, we should make such a kind of no-compression raw. Of course we recognize that. But I cannot give you a guarantee when we're going to fix or not fix.
DE: Right. When you're going to address that, yeah.
KM: Sure, sure. And so we recognize the customer's requirement, and actually we are working on it.
DE: So it's something that you're aware of. I'm sure that the image processing pipeline is optimized for the way that it is now, but it seems to me that, while it might involve some trading off some performance, that it could just be a firmware change. Could it? Would you be able to provide uncompressed raw as a firmware update, or would it require new hardware?
KM: Right, yes. So... not hardware.
DIGLLOYD: Sony raw today is *lossy* compressed (data is thrown away).
This interview content is great news, but I hope that it is just a bad language translation: it would be disagreeable to have to deal with 75MB *uncompressed* raw files.
The key missing adjective is “lossless”. What is desirable is LOSSLESS COMPRESSED. An uncompressed format is a waste of space offering zero benefit over lossless compressed. Perhaps the reason (also) that Sony is contemplating a lossless format is the use of copper in the sensor (vs aluminum), which reduces noise in other words makes a higher quality image.
Also note confirmation of my longstanding writings and assertions that oversampling is the way to go for image quality:
KM: Super 35mm gives the best picture quality, from oversampling 15 megapixels down to the eight-megapixel 4K size. The picture quality is better than a professional video camera.
It’s about time a camera company figured this out. Kudos to Sony.