Sony Announces 14 Bit User Selectable Uncompressed RAW Image Format for New Alpha Models

One of the hotly debated issues with Sony Alpha users is the way Sony decided to implement a compressed RAW format, with some photographers arguing that this compression could prevent photographers from taking full advantage of the image quality the Sony sensors are capable of capturing. Others argue that the quality loss is negligible from the compression, with benefits like smaller file sizes allowing more photos in a given amount of storage space.

So, beginning with the upcoming a7S II, Sony says they will give Alpha users a choice with new camera models, allowing them to set the cameras to save images using an Uncompressed 14 bit RAW format if they prefer not to use compression.

That way, users can decide if they want to use compression or not, and we suspect that users will also make comparisons of images converted from both 14 Bit Compressed and Uncompressed formats, with the debate about which method is best to use moving forward.

Sony also plans to release firmware updates for some of the existing models, like the a7R II, allowing users of those camera to use an Uncompressed RAW Format if desired, too.

Related Article from Steve's Digicams:

Sony Announces Full Frame a7S II DSLR with 4K Internal Video, 5 Axis Stabilization, ISO 409,600 Sensitivity and More

See the below press release for more details about Sony's plans to include 14 Bit RAW image capture in new Sony Alpha models and upgrade firmware to add that feature in some of the existing Alpha models:


Sony Announces Addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW Still Image Capture for New α Cameras

New α7S II to Feature Selectable Compressed and Uncompressed 14 Bit RAW at Launch; Free Firmware Updates Coming for Additional Models Beginning with α7R II

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2015 - Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world's largest image sensor manufacturer, has today announced user selectable Compressed and Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW image capture will be featured in the new α7S II once it arrives in stores this October.

Additionally, they have announced plans to add user selectable compressed or uncompressed 14-Bit RAW still image capture via firmware update to additional cameras beginning with the recently introduced α7R II full-frame mirrorless model.

"The voice of our α community remains the most important guiding force of our product development plans," said Neal Manowitz, Deputy Vice President for Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. "The addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW processing is a direct result of customer feedback. Widely requested by photo and video enthusiasts, we believe the choice of RAW processing types will further elevate the performance of these extraordinary cameras."

The α7S II and α7R II are compatible with Sony's growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 64 different models including 13 native 'FE' full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 21 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to over 70 different models.

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new α7S II and a7R II cameras plus other Sony α products can be found at, Sony's new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

Please follow #SonyAlpha on twitter and visit @SonyAlpha on Instagram for all of the latest α camera news and content direct from Sony.