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Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th
  
 
douglasf13
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


nehemiahphoto wrote:
+4 for lossless raw. I would think they wouldn't do that, but maybe.

Sony doesn't have a good history of listening to customers, but then again, they are fixing the start up time and did admit the the light leak issue before getting sued (take note Nikon). So hopefully--I guess could have an improved jpg engine (also complaints) or turning off NR entirely (Sony does this on many models) when we select "NR off"


Their history with listening to customers about firmware was actually pretty good with the A100/700/900 through the NEX-5, so maybe they're going back to that a bit.



Mar 07, 2014 at 07:41 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


I hope image quality improvement does not mean better JPEGs...


Mar 07, 2014 at 07:46 PM
douglasf13
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Fred Miranda wrote:
I hope image quality improvement does not mean better JPEGs...


That would unfortunately be my guess.



Mar 07, 2014 at 07:48 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Rickuz wrote:
How hard can it be? Just add a feature that stops the compression?


It may be more complicated than just offering a lossless raw option (which would still be compressed of course). It could affect operation speed, heat and who knows what else.

The other thing here is that if Sony basically "admits" to their compressed, lossy raw scheme being inferior, will they update all their other high end models - RX1, A99, A77 and so on? If they don't, how will these customers react? My bet is that if they do offer a lossless raw option - as they did in the past on the A900 - it will only be on future models. Hope I'm wrong on that but that's my suspicion.



Mar 07, 2014 at 08:01 PM
itai195
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


I suspect you're right, Tariq. This is probably an improvement for JPEG quality, which is so dearly important to the good folks at dpr.


Mar 07, 2014 at 08:11 PM
HEMIROTT
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


I don't this will be lossless compression. That means Sony is admitting that their compression is visually lossy when stating "Image quality improvement". I hope I am wrong though.


Mar 07, 2014 at 08:23 PM
Rickuz
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


They don't even have to admit it, since the lossyness has been proven and documented already. People are not blind.

Sony should just eat it and fix their compression.



Mar 07, 2014 at 08:41 PM
wfrank
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


I dont care too much about lossless RAWs, I wouldnt hope that it would change IQ in any significant way.

I bet improved IQ are JPG tweaks - ie not interesting. Faster startup time is welcome though the camera already is pretty fast when it only has been turned off for a short while.

What I lack is the ability to set limit of shutter times with auto ISO. That would be a significant change as opposed to everything else listed.



Mar 07, 2014 at 08:43 PM
thodge84
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


I believe in you Sony! Don't let met down.


Mar 07, 2014 at 08:45 PM
HopeIsEternal
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


The 2008 era Sony A900 could push 5fps at 25mpx and it offered choice between real raw and lossy compressed RAW (craw). There is no good reason why current Sony camera models using the latest 2013/2014 ASICs and processors can't handle 14bit uncompressed RAW.

But Sony generally does not listen to customer feedback or concerns so I doubt we'll ever see a firmware fix for this problem.



Mar 07, 2014 at 09:21 PM
 

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molson
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Rickuz wrote:
How hard can it be? Just add a feature that stops the compression?


For companies whose engineers and designers have no clue as to why anyone would possibly want this, it's probably quite hard.



Mar 07, 2014 at 09:57 PM
shelbystripes
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Is Fuji the only manufacturer that consistently adds new features through firmware updates?

I find it annoying that for most companies you're basically stuck with whatever the camera can do when you buy it, even if the hardware supports newer features available on other models. It's like having to buy a whole new car to get satellite radio.



Mar 07, 2014 at 10:05 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


HopeIsEternal wrote:
The 2008 era Sony A900 could push 5fps at 25mpx and it offered choice between real raw and lossy compressed RAW (craw). There is no good reason why current Sony camera models using the latest 2013/2014 ASICs and processors can't handle 14bit uncompressed RAW.

But Sony generally does not listen to customer feedback or concerns so I doubt we'll ever see a firmware fix for this problem.


Of course, that could be an Apples to Grapefruits comparison being that the A900 is a larger DSLR compared to say the A7/A7r and RX1. For instance, it could be that a tiny (for FF) body writing larger files constantly might cause heat issues unless other parts of the camera are slowed down? A 36MP, 14bit uncompressed raw would be pretty darn big for instance. Why would you even want an uncompressed Raw when we can at least get 2:1 lossless compression? Point being that there could be engineering issues at play as well.



Mar 07, 2014 at 10:34 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Although I would still welcome a true lossless compression option, after working with A7R cRAW files for while, I have to say that I couldn't really detect compression issues even when pushing the files in post. I do appreciate the image quality and small file size from the current compression. (Especially when bracketing, focus stacking, etc.)

Compression artifacts were only present when recovering shadows from files captured in extremely high contrast lighting as pointed out in my review.

Reducing start-up times and adding more bracketing options would be a big improvements.
Fred



Mar 07, 2014 at 11:25 PM
wfrank
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


molson wrote:
For companies whose engineers and designers have no clue as to why anyone would possibly want this, it's probably quite hard.


My bet is that the same clueless engineers have hardcoded compression and/or related functions in ASICs which among other things has given you 5FPS in the smallest FF cam ever.



Mar 07, 2014 at 11:52 PM
douglasf13
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


molson wrote:
For companies whose engineers and designers have no clue as to why anyone would possibly want this, it's probably quite hard.


Sony isn't really any worse than any of the other companies in this regard. Just about every camera maker makes bizarre feature decisions and omissions.



Mar 08, 2014 at 12:49 AM
_julian_
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


I'm not convinced that lossless raws would increase real SNR so don't care about that. On the other-hand, being able to remap the tiny c2 button for zooming, is something I would use every day.


Mar 08, 2014 at 01:26 AM
itai195
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Yeah... the image playback controls need a complete rethink. I'd like to remap C2 and I'd also like a way to zoom in without going straight to 100% (I'm willing to accept that this functionality might exist and I just haven't figured it out).


Mar 08, 2014 at 01:32 AM
snapsy
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Even if we don't get the changes we want this time, the fact that Sony is doing a firmware release so soon after the camera's introduction is encouraging for potential future updates.


Mar 08, 2014 at 01:44 AM
Taylor Sherman
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Sony A7 and A7R: New Firmware update on March 19th


Improving the JPG quality would be great, as I'm sure there are significant numbers of people who would care about that (maybe not so many of us, as we all shoot RAW, but I believe a lot of people will use JPG even with a camera like the A7).

Regarding lossless RAW and "how hard could it be", as others have pointed out, the way they have implemented the compression it probably saves their processor from doing some work, EG saves on internal bandwidth in a few places. They might not be able to support lossless RAW, at least not on the A7R. And it's done at a pretty low level (perhaps even hardware, as wfrank pointed out).

If they go lossless, I don't think it'll happen with the existing hardware. It'll be the next rev of the camera itself.




Mar 08, 2014 at 02:15 AM
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