Will Sony A9 III get a converter like Photolab to freeze to ice

The text below is Google Translated into English from “Fotosidan” in Sweden (Sweden´s biggest photo site)

"The Sony A9 III has a new 24 megapixel sensor that works as a global shutter. This means, among other things, that you can use flash with all shutter speeds.

A global shutter reads the entire sensor surface practically simultaneously and therefore causes no problems with movement offset (rolling shutter) or flash synchronization. This means an extremely fast data readout and thus also the possibility of super-short shutter speeds. The Sony A9 III can shoot at 1/80,000 second in single shot and 1/16,000 second in burst. The latter speed is also the limit for flash photography without HSS technology that throttles the effect.

A mechanical shutter is not needed and the camera can take 120 images/s with raw format. A loop function allows the camera to store raw files in the internal memory which are then saved to the memory card when the shutter is pressed. In this way, you can store moments that happened just before you had time to react."

Sony A9III and its 120 24Mpixel images a second might be the final speed test for an application like Photolab. I think we have had quite a few complaints already both with version 6 and version 7 that have stated that Photolab can take 2-3 seconds an image when walking through our images. Photolab is already now facing a challenge opening a folder with 500 to 1000 images. Take a five seconds sequence with A9 III and we will have 600 RAW images to handle.

Isn´t this a real game changer?? I can´t see anything else in the future than all present converters need to get much faster to cope with data flows like that.

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Hi there Stenis

Yes, change, discipline and an open mind of alternative paths are needed on many different levels.
By the photographer as well as for the application developers unless the users will drown themselves in storage and edit problems and the apps will struggle with real time data processing. :slight_smile:

BTW it’s one heck of a camera!

Yes this must be a game changer. These speeds have been rare even with camaras with small sensors but 24 MP RAW, that´s a whole new level! The photographers that used Sony A1 at the last Olympics said they came home with Terabytes of data but despite the A1 has twice the number of pixels that will be nothing to this when they get home from the next big world sports event if they go there with an A9 III.

As you wrote, it will take some discipline not to end up in a hopeless situation when they get home.

OM has been shooting 120 fps for a while at 24 mpix and no one ever complained about that speed, just bring a handful of memory cards if you going to shoot sports like a happy shooter =]


This. Nothing new under the sun in terms of the amount of data created. I think the bottleneck will be the photographer having to cull insane amounts of file, not PL’s ability to load these files.
120 fps is a nice feature to have, however very few people actually use it (the king of people that always carry a wheelbarrow of SD cards with them).

Well even I have experienced a lag especially in PhotoLibrary of 2-3 second when walking through the images and experienced Photolab freezing when opening folders with many images.

Photolab isn’t the right tool to cull that amont of data
That’s one reason I and a lot of others use PhotoMechanic as a photo library instead.

There is a reason why we haven’t seen full frame sensors before capable of these speeds. Not many professionals use OM but now it will become mainstream among sports photographers and the data volumes will soon become a real trade of when these photographers have to meet their tight deadlines.

Scott Kelby a well known Lightroom guru that have written quite a few books on the subject wrote this:

" I don’t use Lightroom. Or the Bridge. Ever.

I’ve tried both. It’s a death-trap for pro sports photography. Every pro sports shooter at an NFL game (or otherwise) uses a program called Photo Mechanic (by a company called Camera Bits). If there are 40 photographers in the photo work room, you see 40 copies of Photo Mechanic open on their laptops."

Here is the full story:

My Sports Photography Workflow (so far) - Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider

… and it has to be said: Lightroom is faster than Photolab and so is Capture One.

It is not just about culling, even metadata editing have to be efficient:

Scott Kelby again:
(1) Absolutely insanely fast drawing of full screen previews.
As soon as the thumbnails appear (which is really quick), you can instantly view the images at full-screen size. I’m talking lightning fast. I’m talking so fast that you had no idea any program could possibly load full-screen images at this speed, but somehow it just does. I know what you’re thinking: “Does Adobe know about this technology?” Absolutely. “Have you talked to them about adding this to Lightroom?” Many times. “Do you think we’ll ever have fast-loading thumbnails like that?” Nope.

" (2) A very well-thought out and designed system for adding metadata to your images
Every photo you submit needs a full description of what’s happening in the photo, where the photo was taken and when, including each player fully identified by team name, player name, position on the team, and jersey number. You need this for every player in the shot. Three players, three full IDs.

(3) An automated process, using keyboard shortcuts, that lets you do all the stuff you have to do in #2 above really, really fast (with the help of a website I’ll mention in a moment).
Plus, you can FTP right from the program straight to the server of your local wire service."

Scott Kelby was NOT talking about the speed related to full processing of raw file … PM workflow he talks about is all about dealing with metadata to send images to be published ASAP and culling reviewing embedded OOC JPG on screen ( for actual raw view FRV is faster ) and if you look @ ACR screenshot in his article it is like a decade old post… v7.2 ? that is from ~2012 ( more than a decade ago )

So pleas stop plugging this old geezer again and again

I was always under the impression that PhotoLab is designed for quality of RAW conversion and output not editing and selecting and viewing thousands of photos. There are dedicated programs that are designed to handle that part of the workflow in a production pipeline. Quite popular one is Photo Mechanic or similar types programs. You would not process thousands of photos in Photoshop, you would process the chosen ones one by one, but that is why we have separate apps to handle different jobs. Any company that tried to put it all in one app, inventively will sacrifice the strengths for generalization, leading to bloat and bugs.

With something like Sony A9 III or similar camera you would selection and pick images in a app such as PhotoMechanic, than you would select the ones you want to properly develop and do that in lets say PhotoLab and than if there is any extra work needed that require retouching or compositing, you would do it in Photoshop or something like that.

Photolab have to live and handle everything between culling and thefinal polishing of the image quality like all other integrated solution with rawconverter/image libraries that is on the market. In in order to mange that they have got to scale in one way or another. If they don’t they will get replaced and become margialized when people need that scaling they can’t offer.

Sure most people might not understand really what PM Plus can do for them and just the costs of it over 300 U$ now will put off most of the people here complaining over having to pay 200 for upgrading Photolab and Filmpack from buying it despite 300 U $ is nothing for people valuing their time.

PhotoMechanic that I have used since the Plus version hit the market with a built in database support also have a pretty high learning treshold too that might put some off despite it’s very rewarding once passing that.

That old software have been polished for more than 20 years to become as efficient as it is today. Old in that case means mature, a thing version 1.0 of PictureLibrary just isn’t yet either when it comes to speed and metadata management. PhotoLibrary is worse in that case both than Lightroom and the new version of Capture One.

Remember we have had a discussion in several treads here the last years just about how slow PictureLibrary can be even with new pretty powerful computers like my own just when walking through images in PhotoLibrary and that was before some users will have to handle three, five or ten times as many images then they do today.

On top of that it freezes when having to face image folders with thousands of images thrying to render a new fresh sets of high res previews in Developing-mode. We will have to excause Kelby for his lack of Photolab knowledge and not lifting that subject in his article but that’s why I’m doing it now since I happen to have that knowledge after using Photolab handling my image archives with over 70 000 images.

Some will get back here to complain over the fact that they feel Photolab is too much of a frustrating bottle neck when it comes to be used in a professional sports photo workflow even with cameras like A1 and A9 III or maybe Nikons D9 and even DXO and Photolab will have to face this new situation if DXO shall manage to be relevant in a close future that already is here.

Luckily Photolab is integrating and scaling very well with PhotoMechanic. So, inorder to stay on top of this situation they could always promote this together with Camera Bits and see it as a selling point instead of trying to solve all these problems all by themselves in the short sight.

No modern professional sports journalists will survive using Lightroom, Capture One or Photolab culling those new amounts of image data. Kelby calls Lightroom and Camera Raw fors “death trap” for sports photographers and that goes to an even higher degree for Photolab/PhotoLibrary.

… and if you read the article more closely you can read that the next step in the workflow after culling was to seamlessly call and open Camera Raw for a quick control of the image quality. So even a sports photographer have to look to the whole workflow before sending in his images.

That 11 year old article is more relevant than ever.

right, PL isn’t developed to support high numbers of pictures including but not limited to sports and wildlife photographers, that’s why PM exist and thousands of people use it, because that’s what it does and it does it the best you can get.

Photo software have integrated “library” in their program because people wanted that, because Lr and C1 has them. many don’t know how to make their own library and that’s fine, that’s also why photo software added library and they use the folders you have on your computer where you put your files.

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for as long as there is no wrong claims vs today’s reality that it displays raw image faster than somebody else :slight_smile: … PM is a great tool to deal with metadata of course for people who really need that - but I need to cull raw files based on what is in the raw data I will take FRV over PM any time

Yes. Exactly. Also, the type of photographers who shoot professionally thousands of photos, for sports, wildlife, weddings, events etc. Already have workflows that include dedicated programs for their needs. PhotoMechanic or something similar for indigestion and so called culling process. Although there are some AI type solutions on the market lately. Than programs like PhotoLab or something similar for developing raw files to max quality if that is the goal and finishing in Photoshop or similar application. That’s just how it works. To demand one app to do it all, would only ensure bloated buggy mess that does none of it as good as dedicated apps. And it would make the process worse. Only amateurs ask for such things. Working professionals know better. And speaking of working professionals, there are many genres in photography where not many photos are needed, but quality is paramount and that is where DXO shines. Landscapes, product photography, certain type of portrait and fashion, etc.


I think you a very right when talking about the fact that we all have to consider the complete workflow that suits the individual photographers need and that AI is more and more finding its way into these flows.

I think Capture One has an interesting AI-tool targeting the need for event and wedding photographers needs to quickly get an even handling of white balance and exposure done quickly. With the “Smart Adjustments” in CO the photographer just needs to adjust white balance and exposure on one image and the the progam applies that setting automatically on as many images as you want in no time. This smarter and more than just a simple copy/paste.

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Automatically applying global corrections to AI-stacked photos would be a nice addition.

The important thing is the interoperability between applications but that is rarely covered by reviewers and it is very rare that interoperability is lifted by company A with a product from company B, as a selling point unless it´s something like a plugin for product B or so.

What kind of interoperability? There are standard image formats all apps should be able to read. That is pretty much all you need. Anything beyond that and its mostly either in-house solution, like Adobe products and dynamic link, or LR and Photoshop compatibility, but that is because its one company behind it. Otherwise beyond able to read standard metadata and standard file formats I doubt you need more. Its pretty straightforward. You guy app by app, using it for what it does best, and you move down the production pipeline.