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More Megapixels per Megabyte

Yakim Peled , Apr 13, 2009; 07:43 p.m.


Looks very interesting.

Happy shooting,



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Peter Blaise , Apr 14, 2009; 12:06 a.m.


Have you used it? Are the files immediately compatible, or do they require uncompressing before re-use? Hard drives are so cheap, I hardly see the need to spend my time to make files smaller, then larger, then smaller, then larger ... just to actually use them. Can Picasa still load them on a hard drive search? Please share some more information and user experience, thanks!


Kari Vierimaa , Apr 14, 2009; 02:58 a.m.

Computers with 2-8 cores have so much oomph that real time pack-repack isn't a problem.
Then again, Rawzor doesn't mention anything like that. Looks like a normal archiver app. And version 0.4b really isn't something I'd feel comfortable with packing all my images.

Jamie Robertson , Apr 14, 2009; 05:28 a.m.

What a complete waste of time. I can't see it being much of a success. You may as well use Winrar unless there's something startling about this new software. As already mentioned, hard drive space is so cheap and it will only get cheaper.

Michael Willems , Apr 14, 2009; 06:22 a.m.

This might not be a waste. RAW images are probably not that easy to compress, and optimising your compression routines to RAW images could yield real gains.

As someone with 50,000 images in a couple of Terabyte drives (and now in need of more Terabyte drives), this would be of some interest to me if the process is transparent. Terabytes are not all that cheap. Every time I come back from a shoot it's 20 GB (1Ds MkIII), so I use up the space quickly.

But it's Windows only - so, no cigar.


Walt Flanagan , Apr 14, 2009; 06:33 a.m.

They are working on a filesystem driver so that compression/uncompress would be transparent and programs would not have to be modified to read the format.

It is not Windows only, there is a Linux shared lib on the web site and it says Mac support is coming.

Of course hard drives get cheaper and larger but RAW files also get larger from more MP, 12-bit to 14-bit, etc.

If you don't think this software is useful nobody is making you use it.

Peter Blaise , Apr 14, 2009; 11:28 a.m.


Space wise, I find the slack after the end of the file is more of a waste than any standard compression algorithm recovers. I use Windows NTFS compression and find it sucks and does little of benefit. Old Stacker would create a zip-based operating system where the end of one file was immediately occupied by the beginning of the next file -- no slack in Stack! THAT is were future (and past) space-saving is hiding. So, when we Zip-compress entire directories, we may not gain much per-file because the files are already dense, but we gain more because there is no more wasted space in slack between files if all files are in one Zip archive per directory. So, I'm not looking for another zipper, I'm looking for a slack-remover enhancement to the operating system, and if Microsoft doesn't come up with one, we're screwed, and we will fill our 2 terabyte drives with only 1.5 terabytes or less of data.

My Raw files are already smaller than any other lossless image file format. I'm curious what problem Rawzor thinks thay are addressing? I imagine the goal is to mature the technology then sell it to either Microsoft or Apple or Nikon or some other one-sale profit, or multiple sales the way Apical sells it image processing chips to each camera maker wanting D-Lighting/DRO/and so on. Like Sysinternals, perhaps Sachin is looking for a career within one of those companies, or is looking to build a suite of products of similar focus?

Sachin Garg
B-442, Meera Bagh
Paschim Vihar, Outer Ring Road
New Delhi, New Delhi 110063 India


Walt Flanagan , Apr 14, 2009; 01:17 p.m.

Peter, what you are talking about is a problem due to the block size of the filesystem. Assuming 4K blocks and a 5K file you use up 2 full blocks. Another file that is just 1 byte would also use an entire 4K block. If you want to store data more efficiently you need a filesystem with block suballocation or tail packing. The extra sub-blocks or "tails" of different files like the 1K extra in my example would be stored together. I used to use ReiserFS on Linux which supported this. I think the disk space used was about 10% less for the type of data I had. More at wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_suballocation

As for what the Rawzor creator is trying to do, he says the software saves 20-60%. You're either interested or not. Since he hasn't open sourced his software I'm assuming that he plans to try and sell it to some other software companies. He does have a forum on his web site so if you're really interested then ask there.

Yakim Peled , Apr 19, 2009; 02:52 a.m.

Peter, I have not tried it myself but a friend of mine is very enthusiastic about it. He passed it to me and I thought I'd share it.

Happy shooting,

Kelly Flanigan , Apr 19, 2009; 10:02 a.m.

As a REAL TEST I took a directory that has 8 raw files and the directory is 77.1 megabytes total

(1) WINRAR . Then I compressed these to one BIG file using winrar and the directory is now 53.0 megabytes for the one file; this took 252 seconds; this made one file of 53 megs

(2) PK ZIP . Then I compressed the raw files with old PK ZIP for Windows 4.00 and it makes one BIG file of 63.2 megabytes; 19 seconds time; this made one zipped file of 63.2 megs

(3)RAWZOR .Then I tried Rawzor 0.41 with the same 8 files and one has 37.1 megabytes with the 8 individual files; 56 seconds time

****All this was done on an old computer at home that has many versions of Photoshop and Illustrator; a Pentium III with a 1 Ghz CPU and 1 gig of ram; bus is a 133Mhz speed. During the three compression runs the CPU is at 100 percent; used ram is zilch say 30 to 50 megs. Thus a conversion probably speed probably varies with CPU speed.
****A modern computer would probably convert these is say 1/3 to 1/4 the time.

****During the test there was 14 firefox windows open; I am downloading some stuff; wordpad; PK zip and winrar are open; plus task manager; plus Photoshop CS2 ;plus Bridge; plus OSLO. Unit has windows 2000.

The 8 converted raw files are from a Epson RD-1/S and are this type roof image BELOW and variants. The compression of Rawzor of a raw file varies with the images content; the 8 raw files are each 9.60 to 9.65 megs; the compressed created new 8 Rawzor files vary between 4.28 to 5.01 megs; imges with more details and tones make the bigger Rawzor files.

cropped section of above; 15mm VC lens was used; raw allows reducing the vigneting.

Old Piii box has 6 versions of full bore Photoshop; 3 versions of Elements; 2 versions of Illustrator; plus Photostyler 2. The disc space *consumed* by Photoshop 3 equals one raw file off a Epson RD-1. Version 3 will open rare obscure variants of files that will not open with newer Photoshop.

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