Sunday, November 18, 2018

What is the advantages and disadvantages of using medium or small RAW files

Today I ready a question about will different RAW format (small or medium) going to effect the image quality? I believe question is totally valid. So lets get dive into the techie details.

If anyone knows how sensor, SNR firmware and how different form of sampling works when you do file compression then these full size RAW, mRAW & sRAW practically doesn't matter at all when it comes to image quality. Allow me to explain how.

Image quality depends on per pixel, NOT the total number of final pixels you are getting, and how you extract data from the sensor using SNR firmware. When you press shutter release, camera sensor exposes ALL pixels and it goes into the buFree. From there you filter out the data PER PIXEL which came from the sensor and then start packing the bits of each pixel into medium and small BOXES (medium or small RAW) using compression algorithm. So in short, what you getting from the full sensor is what you going to pack ultimately into medium and small packets .... Right!

And that perception that full raw image looks more sharper than medium and small RAW, is depends on many factors like your display resolution, lens fadility, software glitches which is suppressing the full RAW information into medium and small RAW which is causing loosing quality of the image as we are downsampling it. Many people don’t know that when you downsample any information, YOU CANNOT CREATE INFORMATION WHICH IS NOT THEIR AT THE FIRST PLACE WHICH WAS DISCARDED AT TIME OF COMPRESSION and making medium/small raw file. Therefore if you see that your images are not as sharp and full with quality the way it is in full size raw then now you should know why.

So in short, who ever using D850 with small or medium raw file size is basically not utilizing the full potential of it. If you really feel like you need 25 or 11 MP from D850 then better buy a used D750 or D700 to get the similar 24 or 12MP in more efficient way at very cheap price in compared to expensive D850. In this way you will be having at least back of D850. Keep your D850 for exclusive shots and use D750/700 for regular stuff. Note that processing D850 files itself makes you to upgrade your computing resources. So yes having D850 is basically a blessing and curse at the same time depending how you take it and how deep your pockets are.

Babar Swaleheen
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