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Which Mem card to improve High speed shooting issue

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by G-Dubs, 11 Nov 2012.

  1. Rojin


    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,990

    Location: Gloucester UK

    The buffer size will not change with a faster card, the buffer is a fixed size so will always be at 5 for RAW. Using a faster card allows the buffer to be cleared quicker, so that as you continue shooting the buffer is emptied quicker to the card.

    What other settings do you have enabled? Adding original decision data will slow down image capture, as will other in-camera image manipulation settings. Try turning them all off and see if it improves. You would be getting quite a few shots off if using jpeg before the camera stalls.
  2. Gaffer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Aug 2007

    Posts: 1,052

    Before, you had:

    - 5 frames, followed by lockout for ages.

    now you get:

    - 9 frames follows by a slowdown.

    I'd kill for that sort of improvement.

    The fact that the slowdown doesn't immediately the buffer is filled after 5 frames is wonderful.

    With the slow card, you reach the end of the buffer, then have to wait till the *first* image has been written to the card before the camera can take another picture.

    With the faster card, by the time you have reached the end of the 5-frame capacity of the buffer, you have already written maybe 3 of the images to disk, so you can immediately take three more and write them the buffer at burst speed. By the time you've taken those three, you have written another image to the card and can take the 9th image immediately. Only at this point do you saturate the buffer and have to wait for the card, so now the camera is limited directly by the card speed and the whole system slows down to the speed of the card.

  3. James J


    Joined: 4 Dec 2002

    Posts: 14,519

    Location: North Lincolnshire

    What do you require such high speed shooting for anyway if I may ask? You won't notice much of a difference if you are primarily limited by your cameras buffer compared to the speed of the card it writes to. Use a Normal or Basic JPEG setting and you'll definitely see that amount of files rise on burst mode. My D3 can take a very similar amount of RAW and fine jpeg shots in a row before hitting the buffer, however a normal Jpeg or basic one can nearly shoot indefinitely (well 130 shots in a row before the camera stops, due to that being the max for one run in the settings!)

    You pay for what you get though. If you really need the speed and the burst, buy a model that actually supports such things properly.
  4. G-Dubs

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jan 2009

    Posts: 1,737

    Location: Lincolnshire coast

    Many thanks, your explanation has really helped me understand what's going on here.

    I'm geting into aviation photography, and having spent some days on CAD west found that I was hitting the buffer wall about half way through my PAN which meant I had to start the pan later, which in turn meant I had to chose between incoming/head on shots and side on shots as there was not enough frames on high speed for both. i'm hoping the extra 4-5 frames i'm now going to get will be enough.
  5. Stokesy


    Joined: 17 Nov 2006

    Posts: 234

    Might be worth changing your shooting technique?

    The advice I've read on camera forums is to shoot in short bursts as it allows you take a constant stream of shots whilst giving the buffer time to clear. It certainly helps with my 450D.
  6. Gaffer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Aug 2007

    Posts: 1,052

    The next step is to adjust your shooting technique. I havn't done the sort of shooting that you are doing (but I'd love to...). I imagine that it is an adrenaline rush - you've been waiting for hours in the cold on the bare hillside and now without warning you've got a fighter coming up the valley at breakneck speed, the temptation to just hold down the shutter and grab every shot with the plane in the frame must be immense but you need to relax and cherry pick the position, background, framing that you want, burning the buffer slots only for the images that are worth taking.

    If you can take your finger off the trigger for a moment, the fast card will reward you. A burst of three or four on the approach then pause for a second or two and your buffer will quickly recover and you may have a full burst ready for the actual pass.

  7. G-Dubs

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jan 2009

    Posts: 1,737

    Location: Lincolnshire coast

    Many thanks for the great and friendly advice guys.

    Exactly the reason I posted here and not some of the other photo sites.

    Summer beckons (although the near vertical trudge up the hill side does not) So Mrs Dubs and i will be hooking up the caravan and heading for Wales.