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The fastest, toughest, and most compatible portable SSD ever with speeds up to 2800MB/s.

Sony A7R V Poor Design: Pixel Shift Disallows Lossless Compressed RAW, Lacks 8-Shot and 32-shot modes

Sony A7R V

Amazing —  Sony still won’t shoot lossless compressed raw for pixel shift mode, wasting a huge amount of storage space on card and computer and backups for no reason at all other than bad design.

Instead, you get huge 124MB files when using pixel shift.

From the Sony A7R V user manual page 238:

In [Pixel Shift Multi Shoot.], some settings are locked as follows:
[ [RAW File Type] under [Image Quality Settings]: [Uncompressed]

For those unfamiliar with lossless compression, there is no difference in raw data vs uncompressed. Not one digital bit. It makes no sense to foist huge files on users for no benefit whatsoever.

This approach literally costs you money. You will need camera cards, main computer storage, and backup storage that is at least 60% larger (see below), depending on your mix of pixel-shift vs single-frame shooting.

In other words, if a 4TB internal SSD was enough for you, you might need an 8TB SSD instead, for another $2000 or so. Plus larger camera cards, and larger backup drives. This can cost you $thousands of dollars. Of course, if you don’t shoot with pixel shift, then lossless compressed raw can be used.

In other words, if you are happy with inferior results when better results are possible, you pay the $$$ penalty, thank to Sony’s bad design.

A firmware update could fix this lousy design choice, but Sony hasn’t done so with the A1 for 1.5 years now, and now the same poor design is now replicated in the A7R V. And as of Jan 2024, nothing has been done about it.

Sony A7R V file sizes, including forced use of uncompressed for pixel shift

Adobe DNG Converter shows us that space savings of 63% for ARQ files are possible, and about 50% for ARW files. Why should I have to $$$$PAY DOUBLE for my storage costs (main storage and backups!) because of an botched camera and software design? I’m already at 20TB hard drives for backups, and this wasteful Sony approach hurts me and every Sony shooter. But at least with ARQ, I can run it through DNG converter (a time-wasting burden), and one that makes it incompatible with Sony software. Oh, and if I convert ARW files, then Sony software can no longer process them for pixel shift.

Sony A7R V file sizes, including forced use of uncompressed for pixel shift

Not just for pixel shift

Pixel shift is useful for more than pixel shift: it is a way to automate exposures for frame averaging, albeit a costly one in space requirements. But when I pay a storage cost 4 frames X 1.6X larger frames = 6.4X greater than a single frame, it discourages me from doing either pixel shift or frame averaging.

* Why has Sony not automated frame averaging? It is trivial to implement: shoot N frames and record a single frame (optionally) plus an averaged frame. Incredibly accessible low-hanging fruit left rotting.

Thank you for for ordering your Sony A7R V and all gear all the time these links or any link on this site. It helps fund my work, and it also means that B&H Photo can make loaner gear available for review.

CLICK TO VIEW: Sony and Recommended Lenses (partial list)


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