The Sony RAW Issue


The Sony Alpha RAW Issue from Joerg Niggli on Vimeo.


In some of my recent time lapse sequences from La Palma I have discovered a strange issue with RAW files from a Sony A7S and a Sony A7RII camera.

From one shot to another there are sudden vignetting changes or magenta shifts in the shadows. The pictures were taken only a few seconds apart with the exact same settings (shutter, ISO, aperture, White Balance).
The vignetting change only happened in sequences shot with Sony Batis 85mm 1.8 and Sony-Zeiss 55mm 1.8 lenses.
The magenta shift also happens with manual lenses (e.g. Samyang 24mm 1.4).

I have checked the original files with three different RAW converters (Lightroom, Capture One and DXO), but they all show the same problem.

I don't know the cause and I cannot reproduce it. I have other sequences without the problem.

I can only assume that both issues are linked to the internal processing of RAW files in the Sony cameras. It is known that Sony applies some corrections to the data (e.g. lens correction data) before the RAW file is written to the card.

Sony has not yet replied to my complaint filed a few weeks ago (Case ID 15043449).
I have contacted Zeiss Germany as well. They said, they will look into the issue and may discuss it with Sony people.

The fact that it happened with two different camera bodies and various lenses makes me very cautious to use Sony gear for critical time lapse projects for the moment.

If you have similar issues with your files let me know in the comments or send me a message.

© Copyright 2016 by Jörg Niggli