File Size- Worth the Investment?

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Bryan Carroll

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I am looking to upgrade from the a6500 to FF, and have been looking for the best option that'll last a few years. I do mostly landscape, with some wildlife photography. I also do some video work for my business.

I'm looking at the A7RIV as the option to go with, but I'm worried about the file size of photos. How large is each shot, and do the benefits of the camera outweigh the cost of more photo storage?
 

Kevriano

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An uncompressed RAW is 175mb, once processed to JPEG, about 30mb. It's big but storage is very cheap, and YES the benefits are worth it, especially for your type of shooting. That resolution is incredible and you will be able to take full advantage of every pixel.
 
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Bryan Carroll

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What's your favorite ways to keep all those stored images? RAID? I'm setting up a RAID tomorrow. I usually don't delete any images in case I want to try and edit them later on, but I could see myself going through and getting rid of images that aren't worth keeping at all to save storage.
 

Kevriano

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What's your favorite ways to keep all those stored images? RAID? I'm setting up a RAID tomorrow. I usually don't delete any images in case I want to try and edit them later on, but I could see myself going through and getting rid of images that aren't worth keeping at all to save storage.

I just use Hard Drives for back ups, I'm no whizz so RAID and NAS set ups are something I've not ever done. I have 2 - 5TB drives, so everything I shoot is backed up twice. Also, as Amazon give you unlimited cloud storage if you have Prime membership, I use that to back up my processed images (though it's very slow to upload).
In case you are interested, a compressed RAW on the memory card is 59mb, and an uncompressed RAW is 117mb. I can't see any difference in quality using uncompressed so have reverted to using compressed, it's a smaller file to store.
 

Clix Pix

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For me the A7R IV is worth every penny I paid for it! Yes, the file sizes are large but, oh, that resolution! If you shoot a lot of situations which may require cropping afterward, you truly benefit from the high resolution and great croppability of this camera.

I use a combination of HDD and external SSD to archive, back up and temporarily stash files and completed images. This system works well for me so that I don't fill up my 2018 MacBook Pro's 1 TB drive with them. Typically, I'll shoot, then use the SD memory card reader to get the files into my computer, then will review them quickly and sometimes process a few of them almost immediately, or at other times will put that off until I have more time. After those first few images have been processed I then plug in one of my external SSDs and stick the RAW files into it, and also the freshly-edited images as well, while keeping only copies of the edited images on the computer itself. I do regular backups and keep one set of archived and backup files in my safe deposit box at my local branch of my bank.
 

Ziggy

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A couple of reviewers I trust have said that over 400 ISO the resolution advantage of the 7R IV is lost to noise over the R III.
Technique and glass have to be better as well.
 
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Kevriano

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A couple of reviewers I trust have said that over 400 ISO the resolution advantage of the 7R IV is lost to noise over the R III.
Technique and glass have to be better as well.

Poppycock :D It does demand good technique and accurate exposure though.
 

Tregon

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As Kevriano has said, I also had concerns about the uncompressed images being around 120mb and I used to think the same as you - I’ll keep all images just in case. Having had the A7R4 for a couple of months now, I’m getting into the habit of only keeping the better images and it’s working well for me. I’m not sure what software you intend to use, but I’ve downloaded fast raw viewer and it works better than anything else I’ve found in order to quickly cull the files I don’t need.

In terms of storage, i do have a NAS setup (12TB) that also houses my music collection for streaming to the rest of the house, however I wouldn’t think it’s necessary unless you need a great deal of image backup locally. I’ll investigate the Amazon prime option for cloud storage too (thanks for that tip Kev).
 

Kevriano

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^^ You're welcome. It's a damned good deal really, as Prime is worth the money IMO, and where else would you get unlimited cloud storage for £79 a year!
 
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Ziggy

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Poppycock :D It does demand good technique and accurate exposure though.
If you're interested in evidence rather than faith, look at the images in Gordon Laing's YouTube review of the IV.
And in his tests of lens suitability for the body, Marc Alhadeff says that the resolving power of the 61 MP sensor "will only be achieved in ideal conditions with speed of min 1/250 handled and low ISO <800 ISO."
And diffraction starts at under f7.
 
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Kevriano

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Well, it's all very interesting, and I have read that in the past, but, from my own experience, the 200 600 in full frame mode and good light, gives perfectly good results at far higher ISO than that. It depends on the subject of course too. High ISO on any camera will ruin fine details on feathers and fur for example, but I've got shots at 5000 and above that have plenty of detail and shows the resolution well, far better than my 21mp Nikon. To be honest, it's way better than I thought in low light too. I think that statement is a bit speculative.
 
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Ziggy

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The point is comparative performance.
The OP is tossing up FF v APS-C and makes the assumption that many do that the highest res FF must be the best. And the answer is as so often that it depends.

Even if your ISO, lenses and technique can exploit that high resolving power, are you going to publish your shots on the net or as poster size prints? Because ultimately sharpness is a perception dependent on pixel density and distance.
 

Martin Harrison

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I am looking to upgrade from the a6500 to FF, and have been looking for the best option that'll last a few years. I do mostly landscape, with some wildlife photography. I also do some video work for my business.

I'm looking at the A7RIV as the option to go with, but I'm worried about the file size of photos. How large is each shot, and do the benefits of the camera outweigh the cost of more photo storage?

Hi, I made the same jump from a a6500 to an A7RIV about a year ago, and my only regret is not doing it sooner ;) I really enjoy using this camera.

I also do mainly landscape photos, with the occasional wildlife shot, and I love the ability to crop and still maintain the resolution.

On file sizes, I use a 2018 MacBook Pro and have no problem with performance using Lightroom and Photoshop on the RAW images. I copy the photos directly to a SanDisk Extreme 2TB SSD which I've found works really well.
 

Drewid

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'640K Ought to be Enough for Anyone'

The reality is that storage is cheap and more storage is getting cheaper.


Icedrive are cloud storage, cheap and doing the job for me.
 

Ziggy

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Some people assume as I did that a 61mp sensor gives you c. 50% more resolution than a 42mp one - comparing the R IV and R III. So you've got all that extra scope for cropping.
But resolution is measured on one sensor axis, so the increase is actually around 25%.
 

AlphaWorld

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An uncompressed RAW is 175mb, once processed to JPEG, about 30mb. It's big but storage is very cheap, and YES the benefits are worth it, especially for your type of shooting. That resolution is incredible and you will be able to take full advantage of every pixel.
That is not my experience. The uncompressed RAW files from the A7R4 vary a little, but average around 122MB, not 175MB. I get just over 1000 of them onto a 128GB SD card (the camera predicts 1002).
 

Kevriano

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That is not my experience. The uncompressed RAW files from the A7R4 vary a little, but average around 122MB, not 175MB. I get just over 1000 of them onto a 128GB SD card (the camera predicts 1002).
That's 122mb before you open them in Photoshop and process. Here's a screen shot of a compressed RAW, opened in Photoshop CC using 32bit colour profile. Its 344mb before any processing. The final finished image is 246mb. This is your storage size on your laptop/back up for the PSD file, plus your saved JPEG on top.
IMG_20210408_215415.jpg
  • PRA-LX1
  • 3.8 mm
  • ƒ/2.2
  • 40000000/1000000000 sec
  • ISO 400
IMG_20210408_215756.jpg
  • PRA-LX1
  • 3.8 mm
  • ƒ/2.2
  • 40000000/1000000000 sec
  • ISO 400
 

AlphaWorld

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That's 122mb before you open them in Photoshop and process. Here's a screen shot of a compressed RAW, opened in Photoshop CC using 32bit colour profile. Its 344mb before any processing. The final finished image is 246mb. This is your storage size on your laptop/back up for the PSD file, plus your saved JPEG on top. View attachment 8610 View attachment 8611

The statement to which I responded was that an uncompressed RAW is 175MB. It isn’t, it is around 122MB (Which is hardly surprising at 2 bytes per photosite, and 61M photo sites).

How big it gets after processing varies. I use 16bit processing in Photoshop, and I save images in multiple resolutions. I have stopped saving the uncropped file as PSD (those are huge) - I only save the cropped version, and it looks like you have cropped this one to 5977x3989 - I often crop that far or further. I think the smallest image I cut from an A7R4 frame was 1200x800. That’s not a whole left from 9504x6336.
 

Kevriano

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The statement to which I responded was that an uncompressed RAW is 175MB. It isn’t, it is around 122MB (Which is hardly surprising at 2 bytes per photosite, and 61M photo sites).

How big it gets after processing varies. I use 16bit processing in Photoshop, and I save images in multiple resolutions. I have stopped saving the uncropped file as PSD (those are huge) - I only save the cropped version, and it looks like you have cropped this one to 5977x3989 - I often crop that far or further. I think the smallest image I cut from an A7R4 frame was 1200x800. That’s not a whole left from 9504x6336.

It's 122mb on the card, yes, not once opened (a compressed file is 59mb). We are discussing how much storage you need to keep your images, so 122mb isn't accurate for that purpose.
 

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