Does anyone have experience with Rawsie?

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I've recently seen references to Rawsie (formerly called Dotphoton RAW) which bills itself as providing lossless compression to RAW files, but I know nothing about it. My photographs currently consume about 450GB, about 50% of my internal hard drive's capacity, and I only have about 10% of the drive capacity available, so I have been looking for a way to avoid adding another external hard drive to my system. Rawsie seems to be a useful app to help me in this regard but I'm looking for some comments from actual users, not just sponsored reviewers. I have some specific questions:
  1. How well does Rawsie work with Lightroom? Are there any issues with compressing previously edited RAW files?
  2. Rawsie apparently saves the compressed files as DNG instead of proprietary RAW files. Are they using a lossy DNG format even though thy claim it's lossless?
  3. Would I be better to save my imported files as DNG instead of paying for Rawsie, especially as my camera RAW format may not be supported yet.
Thanks!
 

LRList001

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In windows there is the option to compress the whole drive to save space (see properties). As, by and large, the speed of a disk is slower than the speed of the cpu in compressing and decompressing, this can, in some situations, make things go faster.
However, if you are at or below 10% available space, the only realistic answer is likely to be another disk drive, either in addition to the one you have ar a new, larger one. Looking up some UK prices here a 2TB SSD is around £200. In a HDD format it doesn't cost £200 for 8TB (both, drive only).
 
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Thanks @LRList001 - I'm running a Mac with a 1 TB internal drive and a 1 TB external drive for photo backups. I'm out of USB ports and the external drives need to be connected directly to the computer - the powered USB expansion won't support the load of the external drives. I was trying to avoid using another external drive because of the access delays. I'll look into compressing the Mac internal drive - I'm sure that's supported too.
 
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You could also convert your raw images to lossy compressed DNGs in Lightroom Classic. They still keep their "rawness" and compress down to about the size of JPEGs. I find that they don't lose a perceptible amount of quality, but your mileage may vary. You could try converting a couple of copies of images and compare what you get when you export.
 
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Thanks, @Hal P Anderson - I will try that after I do some research about how the lossy DNG compression works. I'm still trying to understand all of the implications of compressing RAW files. Reading about how to save space on a Mac, I find that the mechine will slow down when the available disk storage gets below 20% and I certainly have noticed performance issues recently.
 
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I would not Lossy compress anything needed as original. EHDs are used to store the original image. Lightroom does not use the original image in day to day operations. So latency really is only going to be an issue when you print or Export.
I import by date named folder and keep the most recent on my internal drive. After I’ve completed my initial processing I move these older folders onto an EHD. Over the last few years, I have converted my EHDs to TB2 or TB3. Thunderbolt3 is as fast as an internally mounted buss drive. So there is no latency here. You have 2 TB3 ports on your Mac. You can daisy chain 7 powered devices to each port.

My recommendation would be to get one or two 4, 6 or 10TB TB3 EHDs. A two bay TB enclosure I’d less than $200. You can add you existing bare disks. A 4TB G-Tech is less then $400.


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Thanks, @clee01l - Your suggestion makes a lot of sense. However, my 2014 iMac only has TB2 ports, not TB3. Apple's TB2 to TB3 adapter doesn't supply power so I would need a powered enclosure. It looks like I have a lot of homework to do before I go this route.
 
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Thanks, @clee01l - Your suggestion makes a lot of sense. However, my 2014 iMac only has TB2 ports, not TB3. Apple's TB2 to TB3 adapter doesn't supply power so I would need a powered enclosure. It looks like I have a lot of homework to do before I go this route.

I recommend a powered enclosure for all EHDs except when you need to travel and need a backup disk. The power supply in most laptops is not sufficient for daily use and multiple external devices. While a desktop usually has an ample power supply, It is a desktop and not going anywhere so the ideal environment for self powered EHDs.

As for the new iMac, 32GBs of RAM and a 1TB SSD.


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I would also recommend consideration of an external drive with 2 or 4 bays. Get a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure if possible. Once your photo storage requirements goes past a certain size it makes sense to have a separate storage system/strategy. It means that you can upgrade your workstation on a different cycle. The TB3 enclosure is likely to have 2 TB3 ports so you can daisy chain future drive or enclosure upgrades. Also, I have seen external drives go corrupt because of flakey power cables. A disc enclosure will be engineered to have a decent power supply.

Also, I think spending time and energy on compression options will be a short term strategy, labour intensive and maybe prone to mishaps.
 
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Thanks @clee01l and @Gnits!

I'm seriously considering a new iMac and for $400 extra I'd probably go with 64 GB RAM, as both of my existing iMacs are maxed out at 32 GB. The CPU performance of a mid-range iMac is 2.5 X that of the iMac I use for LR. If I decide to use an external TB3 drive for photos, I can live with the 512 GB internal SSD and the $400 I save will almost pay for an enclosure and 4 TB drive.
 
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Sounds promising. If you get say a 4 bay enclosure you have massive options going forward. I found a big difference in sustained performance between the 5400 and 7200 speeds. Also, I prefer to keep the o/s and apps on the system drive and all data/images on a separate drive. It makes backup options much simplier.
 
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions!
I just ordered a new iMac which I will upgrade RAM from 8 GB to 40 GB. Rather than invest in a multi bay enclosure at this time, I bought a 1 TB external SSD just for photos. I still have to decide on a workflow (where to save new images before import and develop) but I like @clee01l 's method and will probably use that as my starting point.
 
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