VAE without sampling observation

Is sampling the observation (i.e. in the VAE tutorial) always necessary in Pyro? For example, building a vanilla VAE with conv layers for colored images (as opposed to MNIST) are you not allowed to have P(X | Z) be deterministic even if Z is sampled?

Thank you

if Z is the same dimension as X then you can use a bijective transformation like a normalizing flow. see e.g. here

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