Rawsie: reimagining imaging
Rawsie allows RAW image compression by up to 80% without compromising on quality
Who will benefit most from Rawsie
We mostly target professional photographers working in areas where you normally take a lot of pictures and want to keep your RAW archive for years. This specifically includes, but not limited to, wedding photography, reportage and events, street, family and portraits, sports, fine art.
What's the story behind Rawsie
Rawsie was created in partnership between professional photographer Eugenia Balysheva from Geneva and quantum physicist Dr. Bruno Sanguinetti of University of Geneva.
Why bother?
Contrary to the common belief, storage is not getting dirt cheap for pro professional photographers. Current prices are not expected to drop lower than a certain value and are already getting near to their plato. On the other hand, pro photographers prefer to create multiple backups, so it's not about the price of just one drive. Moreover, average image file size is constantly growing year-to-year. When we started developing Rawsie, a typical raw photo was just 20-30MB, now it's getting close to 80MB and will certainly go higher than 100MB in the coming years.

But Rawsie is not just about saving space, but it's a lot about saving time, and making life easier. For example, Rawsie makes cloud backups 5x faster (and cheaper). Or you can use SSDs instead of HDDs for the same price, as files are now smaller.
Is it Rawsie's own technology?
Yes, Rawsie is a product of Dotphoton, we hold numerous patents for RAW image compression algorithms and algorithm-based software solutions.
Who are Rawsie and Dotphoton
Rawsie is a pro photography outlet of Dotphoton, a deeptech startup reimagining imagery for biomedical labs, space and research, based in Zug, Switzerland. Dotphoton is lead by co-founders CTO Dr. Bruno Sanguinetti and CEO Eugenia Balysheva with a group of scientific researchers and a product team. In B2B we develop customer image compression algorithms for camera manufacturers and critical applications: biotech labs and space. Please see our main corporate website.
Validated by 2k+ professionals from Canada to Malaysia
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See how you save tons of $ in a few minutes.
Real magic in front of your eyes
Fer Juaristi @ferjuaristi

An essential tool for any wedding photographer
María López @marialopezphoto_

Because of Rawsie I won't be buying new HDDs anytime soon
Govinda Rumi, Terralogical @govindarumi

All of our work has gone through this. There is a workflow before and after Rawsie
Theresa and Dado of @artemagna

Exactly what I wanted. I run every photo through Rawsie for serious storage savings
Sam Hurd @iamthesam

Rawsie let's me take all my favourite photos with me on just one hard drive and that's been amazing!

A revolution for me who travels a lot and take 10—12k photographs per session. I was speechless when I compared the original raw file and the one from Rawsie
Eric Rene Penoy @ericrene.penoy

I use it for all my portraits and landscape/travel shots. Does a damn good job
Chris Zielecki @sturmsucht

Thanks to load time, Rawsie made it possible to entirely operate from the cloud
Rawsie optimizes RAW Bayer data and encodes it into a DNG raw file with full dynamic range and resolution preserved
Are optimized images fully editable in photo-editing software?
Yes, in any photo-editing software supporting DNG, basically most of the professional apps out there.
Is it a new RAW file format?
It is not another proprietary raw format. Compressed images are converted into DNG, the format trusted by Leica, Sony, Apple, Pentax, Ricoh and other leading brands.
Is it a lossless or a lossy algorithm?
Most of the modern compression algorithms tend to be «visually» lossless — meaning that they are lossy — but the reduction in quality is only noticed on close inspection. However, at Dotphoton we believe this is not enough for professional photographers. Dotphoton algorithms create no artefacts and retain image information, so they are as suitable for post-processing and archival as regular raw files.

Technically, Dotphoton introduces a small scientifically controlled loss of 0.3 bits of information per pixel at most. Bits are a logarithmic scale, and 0.3 is a very small amount. In fact, this value is so small that the difference between the original pixel value and the compressed value is always strictly smaller than the noise. But the usual lossy vs lossless dualism does not tell the whole story for our solution.

For example, if you take two identical pictures, one after the other, they will not be bit-for-bit an exact replica of each other and the noise structure will be different, but they are still the same picture. Similarly, Rawsie guarantees that the difference between the original and compressed photo is smaller than the natural difference between two "identical" photos.

By stating "preserving full raw quality and resolution" we mean that we preserve details, dynamic range and fidelity of a raw file, i.e. all raw parameters you normally want to tweak in your raw images in a photo editing software are still available and fully supported in Rawsie-compressed images and we don't change bit count of your image.
What's the best compression ratio achieved in Rawsie?
Boris, our head of product, reports 85.3% as our all-time record in this product. We achieve much higher values in our custom b2b solutions.
Why is compression ratio not the same for all images?
Unlike most compression algorithms, Rawsie guarantees not the fixed compression ratio, but the highest compression ratio for a particular image from a particular sensor at the highest quality of that image.
This means, for example, that information rich images, for example from drones, will have a lower ratio.
Why does it support some cameras, but not the others?
It is a common practice: as you probably know, Lr or C1 need to have camera model to be integrated into the software before we can use it.
When will this or that camera be supported?
We prioritize our camera support backlog based on upvotes on our website combined with camera market analysis among professional photographers from our partners. We do our best to add at least one new camera a month, sometimes combining them into a single software update.
Why Rawsie's output format is DNG?
We use open format DNG that can be read by most photo editing and archival software. Your regular camera raw formats are proprietary, potentially we can integrate Dotphoton's compression in most proprietary formats, with up to double the compression ratio, but only in the framework of an official collaboration with manufacturers, hopefully, in the nearest future.
If you reduce file size by as much as 80%, you are definitely throwing information away?
In the past, this would have been a fair assumption. But as it turns out, in recent years, sensors have improved so much that they are close to being sensitive to single photons. The result is that most of those example 100MB of your image consist of quantum noise, which can be carefully removed with minimum effect to the image quality.
Why Rawsie installation process includes Adobe DNG Converter installation?
As mentioned above, we reencode optimized image data into open format DNG. This last part relies on ADNGC processes as Adobe is the author of DNG format. We are planning to develop our own converter as soon as possible.
Are you simply embedding JPEG into DNG?
Not at all. DNG can embed JPEG data, but JPEG quality is far from sufficient for post-processing photos.

We do something different: our DNGs embed the raw Bayer data. We reuse some of the infrastructure for DNG Bayer compression to implement our own compression in a way that is compatible with most implementations of DNG.

DNG is an open format and can be read by most photo editing and archival software. Potentially we can integrate Dotphoton's compression in most proprietary formats, with up to double the compression ratio, but only in the framework of an official collaboration with manufacturers.
Rawsie vs Common raw compressing algos
Sony compression
Posterization, visible typically as horizontal bleeding of high-contrast vertical edges appears.
The raw image pixel values are mapped to 11 bit. Pixels are 1-dimensionally grouped into chunks of 32 pixels, which are then quantized to an effective 8 bits per pixel. You lose some image information, in particular close to high-contrast edges. Posterization artefacts appear.
Lightroom-generated lossless DNG
Basically nothing happens: all the original data is still there.
Some photography software may produce slightly different colors compared to files in the native camera format.
Nikon lossy NEF
Raw pixel values are mapped to a bit depth that is about 2 bits lower than the original. No artefacts.
Canon lossy CRAW (CR3)
Introduction of structure in chroma noise when trying to compensate in software for significant underexposure.
Algorithm is not really known. An initial guess is that wavelet transform with weak losses is applied. Noise pattern artefacts may appear.
Reduced image dimensions. Aliasing artefacts.
Pixel count is reduced by a factor of 4 for SRAW. MRAW is similar, but only reduces pixel count by a factor of 2. Color values are converted into a different color space, roughly separating brightness from actual color, and color information for every second pixel discarded. You lose pixel count, some color information.
Lossy DNG
The raw image color range is mapped to 8 bit and lossy JPEG compression applied. You lose part of the original data from the color filter array of the camera. Strong edits of colors and contrast may reveal artefacts such as color banding and blocking.
15% of original size
Most of the random quantum noise of the image is processed. No pixel count loss. No artefacts, the final image may appear slightly sharpened for some camera models.
MacOS based, perpetual license or yearly subscription
What's the price of using Rawsie?
You can either purchase a perpetual license or subscribe for a year, please see current pricing here. There is also a free version where you can use DPR for 30 images a day.
We do not charge for the amount of disk space saved as our core mission is to allow photographers forget about numbers.
Why both subscription and perpetual plans?
We realize Rawsie is a new thing on the market and we want to provide a flexible way for photographers to give it a try without paying too much. On the other hand, recent subscription pricing experiments on the photography market had a negative impact on people's trust in subscription. That's why we prefer to have both options.
What will happen to my photos if I cancel my subscription plan? Nothing
Nothing will happen: the optimized images are stored in the directories where you've put it under your full control. You will just be unable to optimize more new files.
Can I use Rawsie on more than one Mac? Yes, two
Yes, all licenses will work for two machines: e.g. your travel laptop and your office iMac.
Will there be a Windows edition? It's coming
Yes, we are working on it. Thing is, our core target audience is wedding photographers and MacOS has been enjoying the biggest share in this industry recently. You can now apply for PC version pre-order here.
Product team
Contact us
Press and media
Please reach out to Boris: boris at rawsie dot co
Urgent requests and product support
Please use the Intercom chat on our homepage.
Authorized videos
Independent video reviews
Video review (EN) by Auckland-based photographer Chris Turner
Video review (EN) by UK-based wedding photographer Rob Tarren
Video review (FR) by Quentin Decaillet, beauty and commercial photographer, Fstoppers staff writer
Video review (IT) by Roberto Panciatici. Junebug Wedding the Best of Destination Wedding photoraphy 2017. Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars
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