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8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual

head4heights

Woking, UK
21 posts

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head4heights Silver Member Nikonian since 13th May 2012
Sun 05-Aug-12 06:38 PM

With the MB-10 bolted on the ol' D700 will shoot at a half decent frame rate. 8fps allegedly. I would have imagined that shooting RAW would be "easier", as in require less processing, than any other format that requires compression, such as JPEG. The reason JPEGs are smaller is because they are compressed. It must take a few more CPU cycles to compress it, but it doesn't appear to be significant. I digress.

Looking at the manual, p.423, there is a table that is most interesting - there is a buffer limit for the number of frames I can shoot before it stops, as in click,click,click...... click...... click. It gets busy writing stuff to the CF card I assume and the fps drops to less than I could do manually.

My assumption is that the bottleneck that precludes me from shooting more than 17 uncompressed FX 14bit NEFs at 8 frames a second is the buffer size being too small for the CF card's low speed. The buffer is of finite size and the CF card can only be written to at a finite speed. I know the CF cards speed at c.90MB/s, but I can't find a figure in the manual for the buffer size.

Quite how the D700 goes about moving the frame to the CF card and when is a moot point. If it did it immediately the frame was taken, then the only limit for the number of frames for the JPEG formats would be the CF card capacity. But it doesn't.

How big is the buffer then?? Simple sum probably, multiply the buffer capacity by the file size for the various picture formats? Nope! The results are all over the shop. The largest requirement being 610MB (for large format TIFFs, 17 frames @35.9MB each).

The Olympian road race cyclists came within an easy dog walk of my house and so armed with the D700 I set off. According to the manual, I should be able to shoot 100 frames in JPEG at 8fps. 100 frames would last just over 12 seconds of shooting.

But it didn't.
I got 15 frames rattled off before it... started... to.... pause.... which was most annoying. Should have tested it first!

On getting back I felt a little better because nothing I did would persuade the camera to take anything more than 22 frames before it hesitated. Even uncompressed NEF FX 14bit NEFs bottomed out at 14.

I'm not doing something right and I'm beggered if I can see what. Is the table on p.423 a work of theoretical fiction? Has anyone every managed to take 100 shots at CH without... the... hes..it..tat..ion??
If so how???????

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Bearsmom2

Florence, US
75 posts

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#1. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 0

Bearsmom2 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jul 2012
Sun 05-Aug-12 06:09 PM

I dont know if I can be much help as Im still learning my D700, however I do remember that the battery pack can use four different kind of batteries and you will get four different responses of frame rates depending which one you use.

You probably already saw that and have accounted for it but you didnt mention it as a variable so I'm just sayin'....

Karen

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greenwing

Yorkshire, UK
1304 posts

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#2. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 0

greenwing Registered since 18th May 2006
Sun 05-Aug-12 06:30 PM

JPEG compression is really very well understood after all these years, and very efficient, so the few CPU cycles it takes are as nothing compared to the dawdle of the buffer-to-CF writing speed.

Did you pay attention to footnote 3 of the table you referred to?
Maximum number of exposures that can be stored in memory buffer. Drops if Optimal quality is selected for JPEG compression, ISO sensitivity is set to H 0.3 or higher, High ISO NR is on when auto ISO sensitivity control is on or ISO sensitivity is set to 2000 or higher, or long exposure noise reduction, active Dlighting, or image authentication is on.

The numbers you give (15 amd 22 frames) sort-of-suggest some of the above, or that you used RAW + JPG.

Chris

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#3. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 0

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 05-Aug-12 07:33 PM

Chris is correct that there are several factors which can reduce the achievable burst depth and rate. The things he lists are certainly worth checking out.

Just one other point...

>Looking at the manual, p.423, there is a table that is most
>interesting - there is a buffer limit for the number of frames
>I can shoot before it stops, as in click,click,click......
>click...... click. It gets busy writing stuff to the CF card
>I assume and the fps drops to less than I could do manually.

Switching to "manual" (by which I guess you mean Single-frame Release Mode rather than Continuous hgh) won't really improve things - if the limiting factors are the buffer size and the card write speed, there won't be space in the buffer to shoot faster, however you try to do it

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

MEMcD

US
31609 posts

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#4. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Sun 05-Aug-12 11:00 PM

Hi Alastair,


>My assumption is that the bottleneck that precludes me from
>shooting more than 17 uncompressed FX 14bit NEFs at 8 frames a
>second is the buffer size being too small for the CF card's
>low speed. The buffer is of finite size and the CF card can
>only be written to at a finite speed. I know the CF cards
>speed at c.90MB/s, but I can't find a figure in the manual for
>the buffer size.

While some CF cards have a maximum write speed of 90MN/sec. it doesnt mean that the camera can write to the card at 90MB/sec.
In fact the maximum write speed of the D700 is about 32-33MB/sec. Raw with Sandisk Extreme Pro 90MB/sec. cards demending on capacity.
Even the new Lexar Pro 1000X cards are limited to between 38.2 and 41.6MB/sec. Raw when used on the D700.
In other words the maximum write speed is limited by the camera.

>Quite how the D700 goes about moving the frame to the CF card
>and when is a moot point. If it did it immediately the frame
>was taken, then the only limit for the number of frames for
>the JPEG formats would be the CF card capacity. But it
>doesn't.


Jpegs are written to the buffer a little slower than Raw files.
The D700 writes jpegs to an Extreme Pro 90MB/sec. card at between 26.1 and 26.9MB/sec. and between 30.3 and 33.1MB/sec. with Lexar Pro 1000X cards.

>How big is the buffer then?? Simple sum probably, multiply the
>buffer capacity by the file size for the various picture
>formats? Nope! The results are all over the shop. The largest
>requirement being 610MB (for large format TIFFs, 17 frames
>@35.9MB each).


As stated above, various camera settings take additional space in the buffer and the buffer starts writing to the memory card as soon as the first image is captured. So there is no easy way to calculate the actual buffer size.

When I shoot at the Maximum FPS rate I usually shoot in bursts of between 4 and 8 frames depending on the subject. This statagy will allow you to capture the maximum number of composed images per unit time while minimising waiting for the buffer to clear enough space to allow capturing another image.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

head4heights

Woking, UK
21 posts

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#5. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 2

head4heights Silver Member Nikonian since 13th May 2012
Mon 06-Aug-12 09:06 AM

Ahem... no, I didn't even clock there was a footnote :} I'd like to make an excuse about the micro-font used and my advanced years, but no, I didn't RTFM properly. I'm going to play with this one a whole lot more and see what I can do. I suspect that the photo quality will be 1024x768 mono pixels by the time I reach 100frames in a burst . If I reach 100 frames.

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head4heights

Woking, UK
21 posts

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#6. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 4

head4heights Silver Member Nikonian since 13th May 2012
Mon 06-Aug-12 09:20 AM

Thanks for the info... I had no idea the write rates were so slow. I feel a little deceived actually, having asked Nikon what the fastest card was that the D700 would support was. So I've invested money in a card with super-fast write speeds but an old quill to write with. Not the world’s best analogy I admit.

Would a slower class card (but still >35MB/sec) be written to at the same speed? I wouldn't be surprised if the 90MB/sec figure was an ideal and fastest possible speed achieved under laboratory conditions only; which would mean that say a 40MB/sec card might reach 15MB/sec in normal D700 use. Hope that last bit makes sense.

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pforsell

Pori, FI
690 posts

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#7. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 6

pforsell Basic Member
Mon 06-Aug-12 12:16 PM

The data coming out of the sensor and into the buffer is always RAW. The sensor does not output JPEG or TIFF, but RAW. It is the camera processor then that converts/compresses the RAW files into the requested storage format, be it RAW uncompressed or compressed or JPEG or TIFF. Thus buffer capacity and file size do not go quite hand in hand.

MEMcD

US
31609 posts

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#8. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 6

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 06-Aug-12 01:06 PM

Hi Alastair,


>Would a slower class card (but still >35MB/sec) be written
>to at the same speed?

I am not aware of any 35MB/sec. cards but the D700 writes to 45MB/sec. Cards
at between 27.2 and 28.9 MB/sec. Raw and 23.6 and 25.7MB/sec. Jpeg.

>I wouldn't be surprised if the 90MB/sec
>figure was an ideal and fastest possible speed achieved under
>laboratory conditions only; which would mean that say a
>40MB/sec card might reach 15MB/sec in normal D700 use. Hope
>that last bit makes sense.

While the maximum read and write speed is specified by the card manufacturer and the maximum speed of the fastest cards increases with time, the maximum write speed of any devise is fixed when it is manufactured. The fastest cards available when the D700 was introduced were 45MB/sec. I suspect that when the D700's buffer design was finalized, the fastest cards available were even slower.
Thus the maximum write speed for devises (cameras, etc...) will always lag behind the write speed of the fastest cards available at any given time.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

jgould2

Fort Pierce, US
4628 posts

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#9. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 0

jgould2 Gold Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 13th Oct 2007
Mon 06-Aug-12 01:19 PM

Hi

Try switching to 12 bit. To get 100 change jpeg compression to size priority - image size to small - image quality to jpeg basic.

JIM

JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7108 posts

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#10. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Mon 06-Aug-12 01:29 PM

For a rough idea of how many of the cards rate on you camera, check out this site:
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

greenwing

Yorkshire, UK
1304 posts

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#11. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 9

greenwing Registered since 18th May 2006
Mon 06-Aug-12 04:00 PM | edited Mon 06-Aug-12 04:04 PM by greenwing

>Hi
>
>Try switching to 12 bit. To get 100 change jpeg compression to
>size priority - image size to small - image quality to jpeg
>basic.
>
>JIM

12 bit means RAW, which will never get you 100 shots in a burst on the D700 (Might get close with 12-bit compressed DX mode).

Large/Fine should work just as well as Small/Basic, provided all the Noise reduction, Image Authentication & ADL settings are off, and JPEG is on Size priority. Chances are that with any of these on, Small/Basic JPEG won't do 100 frames at a burst.

Chris

head4heights

Woking, UK
21 posts

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#12. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 10

head4heights Silver Member Nikonian since 13th May 2012
Wed 08-Aug-12 06:35 AM

Thanks for the pointer Joseph... a gold mine of info. Now I'm in danger of looking for"upgrades"

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DBH 66

Santa Barbara, US
16 posts

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#13. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 10

DBH 66 Registered since 10th Apr 2012
Sat 18-Aug-12 10:15 PM

From that site it looks like the D4 wins with a burst of 110. Or am I reading it wrong?
DBH66

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Daveecopping

Polegate, UK
191 posts

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#14. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 12

Daveecopping Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jan 2011
Sun 19-Aug-12 03:49 PM

I'm going to quote from "Mastering The Nikon D700" by Darrell Young and James Johnson.

The D700 is plenty fast, and with a fast CF card (think ultra direct memory access (UDMA), capable of 40MB/sec), your card will hold the results.

I don't have any experience of sports photography, but I thought I would pass this on. By the way, are you shooting FX or DX?

Warm regards,

Dave

head4heights

Woking, UK
21 posts

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#15. "RE: 8fps shooting reality vs. p.423 of the manual" | In response to Reply # 14

head4heights Silver Member Nikonian since 13th May 2012
Wed 29-Aug-12 10:24 AM

Sorry 'bout the long pause... been on holiday. FX or DX? Answer: FX
After reading the small print and turning everything off that might distract the camera's "thinking ability" I have managed to get the fabled 100 frame buffer capacity. I'm not at all sure it was worth it mind you, but it was an interesting academic exercise. Nikon declined to answer my direct question about the speed of the bus to the CF card citing "commercial confidentiality".

What I have learned is that there is no point in spending the bucks needed for a 90MB/s CF card. Save your cash, get a slower card with greater capacity instead. I think that if you're that keen to get 100 pix in just over 12 seconds, buy an video or maybe a D4/D800.

The card bus speed is a slightly sore point - I've probably wasted cash because Nikon won't make a recommedation for CF card speeds for fear of somebody (Canon spy?) making a guesstimate on their hardware's performance. I am quite certain that Nikon and Canon reverse engineer each other's products and are therefore fully aware of the facts. The only advantage of a fast card is maybe with having a CF Card reader plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Which I don't have, naturally.

Anyway, I am where I am and now I must get back to sifting through the 1,500 pix taken on a week's holiday. Note to self: Get a life

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G