The magic behind Dotphoton Raw compression
Part 1
The Fall of the Sensor
Modern compression algorithms assume that everything captured by the image sensor is useful. After years of research in the group of applied Physics and Optics at the University of Geneva, we've learned that it's not the case: there's actually a lot of quantum noise that gets collected and a lot of the data in your photo files is taken up just by that noise.

According to our studies, in an average photo file there are up to eight bits of noise per pixel and usually less than one bit of useful information.
1 PX
Quantum noise
Quantum signal
1 PX
Fig. 1. Detecting quantum noise captured by camera sensor. Photography credit: Olivia Hutcherson
Dotphoton Raw knows exactly what is signal and what is noise for every supported camera in the wide range of tested settings. We split the signal and the noise apart, and make sure that the latter does not inflate the file size more than necessary. However, the image looks identical to the original and it doesn't look denoised as you could expect in other compression algorithms that literally try to detect visual image noise, approximate and wipe it out.

Part 2
The Bad, the Ugly and oh, is this really happening?
For many years professional digital imagery was trapped into this awkward dilemma of image quality vs file size.
Fig. 2. Dotphoton Raw customer keeping calm and quantumly observing the great battle for file size and image quality
Lossless image compression, similar to what you find in PNG, is somewhat cool and in photos its ratio may go to as high as 2.3:1. Anything higher is only achievable by somehow touching your image data. Take mRAW and sRAW, or "compressed" file setting in some of the camera brands silently downgrading your image to 12 bits instead of the 14 or 16 bits that you've actually paid for when choosing your particular camera. Sometimes much worse things happen, and the resulting files are about as raw as microwave meals.

Lossy image compression, like JPEG, is very handy and might get you some very good results in terms of file size. But lossy algorithms rely on their own assumptions of what's actually happened between your viewfinder and your subjects. Lossy algorithms assume there's a shadow and they recolor everything around it to match that idea. Or they think that an orange is orange, so it needs some even more orange halo around it, which might not be the case.

The more you push lossy compression, the more prejudiced it goes, eventually filling your image with artefacts. Oh, and of course it doesn't inherit raw parameters of your originals, so you can't tweak specific features like curves, because after conversion to a lossy format your raw files simply lose all the information unseen to the human eye.

Those two are nowhere near optimal, but it doesn't have to be forever.
Part 3
Here comes Dotphoton
So, is Dotphoton Raw compression lossy or lossless? In a way it's lossy, but we don't call it that way and here's why.

Unlike lossy compression, originally developed for file distribution of already processed images and for the human eye only, Dotphoton compression is the first one designed for flexible post-processing: from pro photography to earth observation and biotech research.
Fig. 3. An inevitable Venn diagram: can't love em, can't leave em.
At Dotphoton we don't settle for compromises, we follow our core values:
over ratio
To keep the full quality is more important for us and we provide the highest compression ratio whilst retaining all image information.
Open over
It's not another proprietary image format. This is why Dotphoton-compressed images are encoded into DNG, an open and universal format.
Cats are cooler than dogs
Alright, this one is still debated by our team, but we'll add it later.
This means we keep all the benefits of raw imagery for pro photographers.

Whereas commonly used compression algorithms guarantee a specific compression ratio, which is, basically, the final size of the image, we guarantee the quality. With lossy compression the more information you have in your image, the more of that you will lose. Dotphoton Raw algorithm is conservatively controlled to keep the amount of image information intact.

We don't change resolution of your images, the number of pixels in compressed images stays the same and we don't make assumptions on what's on your image to compress it. Dotphoton's information loss is quantum, so it's homogenous and you won't find clusters of artefacts:

Information loss: bit s per pixel
Lastly, resulting images, compressed by Dotphoton Raw, come in open DNG format which means you can keep using your images no matter what. So, keep using your editing software and rocking.
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