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Sony A1 Pixel Shift: Inexplicably Writes Uncompressed RAW —  Fails to Respect Lossless-Compressed RAW Setting

In pixel shift mode, the A1 insists on writing uncompressed raw files, ignoring user settings to save as lossless-compressed raw.

Lossless-compressed raw is bit-for-bit identical to uncompressed raw. That distinguishes it in a critical respect from Sony 8-bit-per-pixel lossy compressed format (lossless most of the time, but not with ultra high contrast edges).

It cannot be a frame rate thing since the A1 is still puzzlingly slow for pixel shift shooting, at roughly 2 fps, which is 10 times slower than burst shooting lossless-compressed raw (20 fps). So it cannot be a processing power consideration for the compression aspect.

Two bummers remain with Sony pixel shift, no progress made since the A7R IV:

  • Pixel shift is still relatively slow to take all the frames, perhaps 2 fps. That increases the risk of lighting or subject matter changes. Maybe this relates to how fast the sensor can be precisely positioned?
  • Huge waste of space in uncompressed raw format.

Could Sony add lossless-compressed raw for pixel shift via firmware update?

And while we’re on the topic, it seems to me that Sony cameras could have an "auto" setting such that regular compressed raw (always 8 bits per pixel) could be used when the subject matter allows fully lossless capture, and lossless-compressed raw when the subject matter is out of range.

BTW, 16-shot pixel shift is always less sharp than 4-shot and far more prone to quality issues from lighting or subject changes, so I never use it.

CLICK TO VIEW: Sony Mirrorless with Extreme-Performance Lenses

File sizes for Sony A1 pixel shift — uncompressed raw only
(camera configured for lossless-compressed raw)

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