A RAW-format introduced by SONY.

Sony RAW is a proprietary file format deployed in the F65 camera . As typical for other RAW formats, Sony RAW captures the entirety of the data output of the image sensor in a digital camera with minimal processing. However, Sony RAW is different in that it creates a RAW output in 16bit linear.

This signal is stored in the F65’s external SR-R4 recorder with data rates up to 2Gbits/s on SRMemory Cards. The SR Memory system is the flash memory alternative to Sony HDCAM SR tape and is very high performing. While the RAW output of the F65 currently achieves a bandwidth of 2Gbits/s, the SR Memory cards have a potential bandwidth of up to 5.5 Gbits/s, and can support capacities up to 1TB.

Using the Sony ASXR5 external recorder and ASXM memory cards, RAW recording is also available on the Sony F5, F55 and NEX-FS700U. The specific workflows differ, but the general information on the Sony RAW format remains valid.

Like other raw formats, Sony RAW images are taken through an ‘image development’ process and converted into a variety of file formats for storage and manipulation. In this context, the process of converting RAW recordings into viewable images involves debayering, the adjustment of  parameters such as white balance, noise reduction, colour space, or sensor sensitivity as part of the post production process. Because these settings are only metadata, the process is completely non-destructive. Debayering also offers a general advantage. In the future, if advanced algorithms for image development from raw data are created, the process can be re-applied to the original material to achieve higher quality results across a production or scene.

Other advantages of using RAW include its ability to deal with unfavourable lighting conditions as well as material that requires heavy colour correction or visual effects.

The Sony RAW format uses no separate gamma curves. By using 16-bit quantisation, it is possible to capture the whole 14 stop contrast range using linear data. In addition, the resolution of the image generated from the RAW RGB signal can be anything from HD up to 8K, because the CMOS sensor of the F65 provides a native, horizontal resolution of 8182 pixels. Through this oversampling process, the creation of an image with a lower than native sensor resolution, has a number of qualitative advantages associated with post-processing, such as stabilisation and compositing.

The Sony RAW format on the F65 offers an SQ mode with a small compression of 3.6:1 and a data rate of 250 MB / s as well as a lite mode with a slightly higher compression of 6:1 and data rates of approximately 150MB / s. All figures relate to a sensor output of 8K.

Sony RAW may be monitored, viewed and processed with additional software such as the RWV-10 RAW Viewer. Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere support the Sony RAW format with native use on the timeline.

SONY RAW Summary

  • Quantizing: 16 Bit
  • Compression Ratio: 3.6:1, 6:1
  • Chroma Subsampling: 4:4:4
  • Aspect Ratio (Sensor): 17:9 (1,89:1)
  • Resolution: up to 8192x2160
  • Framerate: 1-120fps variable framerate, 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 59.94p, 60p
  • Video Data Rate: 1.2 - 2GBit/s
  • File Format: MXF
  • Recording Media: SR Memory Cards (F65)