Phase One has engineered a very clever RAW file format compression that is named Intelligent Image Quality (IIQ). Two types of compression are used: the completely lossless format IIQ L and lossy compression with the IIQ S (Smart).
The IIQ L versions are using a completely lossless compression format that reduces the file size to about 50% and are recommended when the best possible image quality is needed.
- IIQ L 16bit saves the full 16-bit signal from a CMOS sensor. It is designed for the highest possible image quality when you need to take full advantage of the 15-bit dynamic range from the IQ3 100MP sensor.
- IIQ L saves a 14-bit version of the RAW file and is using the same completely lossless compression. It provides a smaller file size compared to IIQ L 16bit. IIQ L format is actually 16-bit on CCD sensors.
The lossy version of the RAW format provides higher compression than smaller file sizes and improved workflow:
- IIQ S is a smart compressed RAW file format which can be used in almost all applications where it provides a completely sufficient quality. In fact, smart compression is so good that it can be difficult to see the difference. However, there is a very small loss of data and, therefore, Phase One does not claim that IIQ S is completely lossless but only near-lossless.