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Canon patent to improve raw file burst rate through lossy compression

canon patentCanon patent application US20170359471 describes an algorithm to improve raw file writing performance during burst shoots. This is an example of patent that likely will be found on a future Canon DSLR.

The patent abstract:

An imaging apparatus according to the present invention includes: an imaging unit configured to generate RAW image data by imaging; a generation unit configured to generate record RAW image data from the RAW image data; and a recording unit configured to record in a storage unit the record RAW image data, wherein the generation unit generates the record RAW image data by performing Lossy compression on the RAW image data in a case where consecutive shooting is performed, and generates the record RAW image data by performing Lossless compression on the RAW image data in a case where single shooting or bracket photographing is performed.

The interesting aspect is: raw files are compressed and saved lossy only when burst shooting, during normal operation raw files will be saved lossless. The patent literature states the algorithm:

  • record RAW image data is generated by performing lossy compression on the RAW image data in a case where consecutive shooting is performed, and
  • record RAW image data is generated by performing lossless compression on the RAW image data in a case where single shooting or bracket photographing is performed.

I am not sure if I want lossy compressed raw files on my camera. What about you?

  • SteB1

    A possible 7D mkIII feature.

  • PatB

    If this is included in a camera body, the photographer should have the option of turning lossy compression ON or OFF. Personally, I would not use it.

  • Abrianna Rossi

    NO! Please don’t compress RAW files!!!!

    • RAW files are already compressed. But it’s a lossless compression. They need lossy compression to compete with Sony most likely. Sony uses lossy compression from the beginning. Now they offer either lossless uncompressed files (which are huge) or lossy compressed (which are also 12bit).

      • CW Steve

        I’m confident this will be an option you can activate/deactivate in menu, to have or not to have lossy compressed raw files.

        • Most likely. I personally don’t mind to have such an option on the 5DsR successor.

  • mice

    This smacks of trying to keep up with the competition by feature degradation.
    It also makes Canon look terribly dated AGAIN – we seen a similar issue with Sony’s lossy implementation 3 years ago. [search for “Compressed vs Uncompressed vs Lossless Compressed RAW Option” as an example] Your competitor demonstrated the problem long ago and the best solution is patenting an obvious flowchart?
    If this is truly the route Canon is taking, they will absolutely put the last nail in the coffin for us and make the transition to another system.
    Canon: get with Samsung and incorporate a user-switchable P3608 Series SSD (5Gbps) – 10 full 14 bit RAW per seconds. Yes, up the battery size. Put it in the M5 successor. Put in two for better fps. Your welcome.

  • Joe Blow

    Well … JPEGs are a lossy compression. Does Canon really need a patent?

  • Gilvan Moreira

    No need to compress RAW files, simply evolve, forget the CF cards and go to SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD recorders, reduce internal space and improve performance. There is no shortcut.

    Não é necessário compactar os arquivos RAW, simplesmente evoluir, esquecer os cartões CF e partir para unidades gravadoras de SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD, reduz o espaço interno e melhora o desempenho. Não existe atalho.

    • CFast 2.0 is faster than SDXC UHS-II.

      • Gilvan Moreira

        2 questões.
        1 Porque a Canon não usa leitores de CF mas rápidos que os SDXC ?
        2 Você fabricaria uma máquina apenas com CF e XQD ( Sem suporte ao SD ) ?

        1 solução viável.
        Nós entendemos e os fabricantes parecem não querer entender: Arquivos de 30 MPx com a mesma qualidade gráfica dos arquivos de 18 MPx são naturalmente maiores. Se a questão é economia de espaço fabrica a máquina capaz de fotografar a 30, 20 e 15MPx em RAW para quem assim desejar. Quanto a velocidade para mim não tem jeito ao invés de artifícios de compactação com perdas utiliza-se unidades gravadoras mais velozes, os cartões existem os que atendem a essa demanda.

        – – – – –
        2 issues.
        1 Why does Canon not use CF readers faster than SDXC?
        2 Would you manufacture a machine with only CF and XQD (Without SD support)?

        1 feasible solution.
        We understand and manufacturers do not seem to want to understand: 30 MPx files with the same graphical quality as the 18 MPx files are naturally larger. If the question is space saving manufactures the machine capable of shooting at 30, 20 and 15MPx in RAW for whomever wishes. As for the speed for me, there is no way to use it instead of lossy compression artifacts. The faster recording units are used, the cards exist that meet this demand.

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