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SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800

marccarl21

london, UK
6 posts

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marccarl21 Registered since 12th Mar 2012
Sun 18-Mar-12 10:19 PM

Hi guys, I was just wondering what above cards would be suitable for the d800. From what Ive read on the nikon d800 spec sheet the average file size per exposure is 74.4 MB or there abouts with full resolution? So.... if I used my 60mb/s read,30mb/s write cf card from my now sold 5d..would there be any issues in regards to slow write speeds with the d800 or do you guys have any suggestions for any other cards that will be compatible with the d800

Thanks

Mark

icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#1. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 0

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Sun 18-Mar-12 10:31 PM

I would guess card size might be more of concern here.... I feel 32gb cards are needed for full size RAW files... You could also shoot lossless 14-bit at about 42mb each which would help with smaller cards..... the D800 isn't what I would call a speed camera at 4 fps, but the extra speeds of faster CF/SD cards I'm sure would help buffer clearing times... I have a 32gb 90mb/sec CF card waiting for my D800 to show up.... I believe that is the 600x speeds.... here is a link with several CF cards tested in a D4 for speeds compared to new XQD cards.... 600x cards are as fast as I would spend money on for a D800.... hope this helps:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-11674-12366

Chris

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marccarl21

london, UK
6 posts

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#2. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 1

marccarl21 Registered since 12th Mar 2012
Sun 18-Mar-12 11:12 PM

THANKS VERY MUCH

jim thomas

Edmond, US
1322 posts

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#3. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 1

jim thomas Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2003
Mon 19-Mar-12 12:29 AM

I think that the concern about the file size of the D800 images is overblown. Raw files will be about double the size of the files produced by the D200/D300 type of camera. So if one pretty well fills up one's card shooting with the current camera perhaps one would want to buy more cards (and perhaps bigger cards). Unless one is a professional sports shooter or otherwise expects to be shooting extremely large numbers of images I do not think that one will be short of file space on the cards. I have never come close to running out of space shooting with my D200. I will review the total capacity of my cards and make a decision about adding to them but I doubt that I will find it necessary. Just compute your likely needs and see how it works out.

JDT

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10538 posts

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#4. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 19-Mar-12 12:35 AM

I normally want about 500 images on a card so it will handle a full day of shooting landscape and wildlife images. That won't cover all days, but does a pretty good job.

The 75 mb file is uncompressed - it looks like closer to 45-50 mb with lossless compression. That means I will need 22-26 gb for 500 images. I'll be rounding that to 32 GB.

The other issue is speed. This is a factor at two points - downloading from your card and when you are filling the buffer with a long burst. Downloading is easy - a fast card makes downloads a lot faster. A faster USB 3.0 card reader can help too.

At 6 fps with a grip, you are talking about 300 mb/sec plus whatever processing time is required. Whether you are using a 30 mb/ sec or 60 mb / sec won't make a lot of difference - it still takes time to clear the buffer once filled.

I'm planning to use Sandisk Extreme or Extreme Pro cards. I'll use a 32 GB CF card in slot 1. I can probably live with a 16 GB SD card in slot 2, and I may use an 8 GB Eye-Fi card on occasion. I'll have a 16 GB CF card as a backup for slot 1.

BE careful of counterfeits - buy only from known sources and be careful with anything that is too cheap or off ebay.

I don't think highest speed cards or extra large cards are worth the money for most situations. I want to stay close to the best card - not pay the premium for the best cards.


Eric Bowles
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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#5. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 4

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Mon 19-Mar-12 04:40 AM | edited Mon 19-Mar-12 04:41 AM by icslowmo

>I normally want about 500 images on a card so it will handle
>a full day of shooting landscape and wildlife images. That
>won't cover all days, but does a pretty good job.
>
>The 75 mb file is uncompressed - it looks like closer to 45-50
>mb with lossless compression. That means I will need 22-26 gb
>for 500 images. I'll be rounding that to 32 GB.
>
>At 6 fps with a grip, you are talking about 300 mb/sec plus
>whatever processing time is required. Whether you are using a
>30 mb/ sec or 60 mb / sec won't make a lot of difference - it
>still takes time to clear the buffer once filled.


I would agree with first part about lossless taking less space but think on a 32gb card, one would get close to 500 images with uncompressed RAW on one card due to file sizes tend to be a little smaller then rated from my experiance with the D7000 (Averages 17-18mb per image). Nikon rates the D800 for 108 images on a 8gb card multiply that by 4 for a 32gb card and that's 432 images and then factor in slightly smaller pics and should get at least 450ish shots on 32gb card.... so very close to 500 as you are saying and that's uncompressed RAW at about 75mb per image... in lossless mode, I imagine one would easly get more then 500 on one card...

Now on the second part, the 6 fps is in DX mode which is 15 MP images and in turn much smaller image size think no more then 16-17mb per image with lossless compression... in FX mode the D800 will "only" do 4 fps, but if you think about that for a second that's 75mb X 4 images per sec = 300mb/sec of data. Now in DX that would be less. Just say a 15MP uncompressed file is 30mb X 6fps = 180mb/sec. Still not as much data rate as in FX mode and only the XQD cards are fast enough to keep buffers cleared.... The XQD cards are rated to 125mb/sec.... Anyway just sheading light on things didn't mean to come off as an A hole or anything just shooting out data....

Chris

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10538 posts

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#6. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 5

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 19-Mar-12 09:43 AM

One thing to add to the calculation is the processor speed of the camera. Shrinking the file size through compression does not materially help speed as the time to process and compress offsets the smaller amount of data.

CF cards are getting faster, but for real speed you need a setup more like the D4 - XQD cards, smaller RAW file size, and a fast processor.

My take is it is not worth the money today to get the latest and fastest CF card because your camera's processor is the limiting factor rather than write speed to the card. The move to XQD with the D4 and future cameras will enable much faster write speeds as future generations of cards are developed.

Eric Bowles
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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
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#7. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 6

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Mon 19-Mar-12 10:48 PM | edited Mon 19-Mar-12 10:52 PM by Ferguson

>My take is it is not worth the money today to get the latest
>and fastest CF card because your camera's processor is the
>limiting factor rather than write speed to the card. The move
>to XQD with the D4 and future cameras will enable much faster
>write speeds as future generations of cards are developed.

I agree with you, but a comment on the speed.

I think a lot of people see 6 fps, see a buffer size of 17 and think it fills quickly.

First, the way I read it (page 104 of the manu) the maximum frame rate for full frame FX is 4fps, period. It would appear that 5fps and 6fps is for crop mode only, which means smaller image, and so larger buffer.

The buffer for 14 bit lossless compressed is 17 shots. Assuming we are at 4fps (if I'm not misreading the manual), everyone thinks "4 seconds". But not.

The size of the lossless compressed is 41MB (also from the manual page 436).

Assume you get a 90MB/s card, and it really manages 82MB/s since a lot of it is hype but mostly so I can do the math. That means ever second you write 2 shots to the buffer.

This means at 4fps you are really filling the buffer of 17 shots at only 2 per second, so you run out at about 8 seconds.

To me 8 seconds is a LONG time of individual shots. I'm trying to think of something - birds, sports (e.g. a wake board jump, kit surfer jump) -- that's a LONG time to just flat out shoot while keeping on the target.

If my math is right, and you believe card speed, this is the approximate number of 1x FX 41MBS lossless compressed images you can shoot before the buffer fills:

Card Shooting
MB/S Seconds
10 4.53
20 4.84
30 5.20
40 5.62
50 6.11
60 6.70
70 7.41
80 8.30
90 9.42
100 10.89
110 12.91
120 15.84
130 20.50
140 100 shot max

And that's best case -- the 4fps drops for VR, slower shutter speed, auto-ISO (that's a bit of a surprise), or low battery. I think it may also slow depending on focus mode but the manual doesn't mention that.

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10538 posts

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#8. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 7

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Tue 20-Mar-12 12:28 AM

I agree with your calculations - at least close enough for a good estimate. Currently CF cards max out at 100 mbs - and that is a recent enhancement. There is a practical limit of speed on CF cards and we are approaching that limit. XQD Cards promise much faster speeds.

The one thing we don't know is the maximum processor speed in the camera. In practice, the camera will write at the lesser of the maximum processor speed or the write speed of the card. And anything that slows down the processing of images - such as image processing or lossless compression - can further reduce the camera speed regardless of the CF card write speed.


Eric Bowles
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rodantking

US
93 posts

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#9. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 8

rodantking Registered since 14th Feb 2012
Tue 20-Mar-12 02:23 PM

Lexar new 1000x claims a write speed of 145mb/s

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10538 posts

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#10. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 9

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Tue 20-Mar-12 03:42 PM

It's probably splitting hairs , but that is read speed under specific test conditions - not write speed and not with cameras.

http://www.lexar.com/products/lexar-professional-1000x-compactflash-card?category=213

"Leverages UDMA 7 technology to provide industry-leading 1000x (150MB/s) minimum guaranteed sustained read transfer speed*
*Minimum 150MB/s read transfer, write speeds lower. Speeds based on TestMetrix certified tester. Actual sustained speed may vary depending on host device.

The CF Association has only recently released a specification for 120 MB/s speeds. While Lexar may promote a faster speed, it is more likely marketing spin and unlikely to materially impact performance.
http://compactflash.org/product-types/cf-cards/

"The CF 6.0 specification has just been introduced and these cards are expected to support up to 120 MB/s and these cards support the Sanitize command (the ultimate card refresh)."

But the CF Association does say:
"To get the most out of your CF card purchase, match or exceed the host (camera) capability with the CF storage card version. For camera use, both the write speed in camera and the read speed for later image processing should be considered."

What this means is unless your camera can also write at peak speeds, there is no advantage to a faster card.

It's interesting that Sandisk also has a new CF card. They promise 100 mb/s write speed with read speed being lower. Apparently they have tuned the CF card for maximum write speed which is probably more important for photography.
"Up to 100MB/sec write speed, read speed lower. Based on SanDisk internal testing: performance may be lower depending upon host device."
http://www.sandisk.com/microsites/compactflash/index.html#tab1

Again - you will run into the limit the of the camera's processor.

I woudl be perfectly comfortable with a top end card from Lexar or Sandisk. To save money, I would probably go with one cheaper iteration - for example the top end Sandisk Extreme over the Extreme Pro.

Eric Bowles
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rodantking

US
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#11. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 10

rodantking Registered since 14th Feb 2012
Tue 20-Mar-12 03:59 PM

I don't disagree this is a optimistic number. I bought one, but I have no real way of testing it because if I'm not mistaking that exceeds usb2 speeds.even if I did, I agree in camera speeds will almost certainly be differant. I'll I can say for now is a package says 145 write and 150 read. I will diffently post my in camera test if I get mine on the first round.

icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#12. "RE: SUITABLE CF AND SD CARD FOR D800" | In response to Reply # 11

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Tue 20-Mar-12 11:45 PM

In camera test has been done in a D4:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-11674-12366

Posted further up.... the 1000x cards seem to offer 5-10mb/s more speed in a D4 which is the highest speed Nikon at this time. Maybe a Canon 1DX could have faster internal processing due to multiple processors in that camera, but we'll will see.... I would think current 600x cards are plenty fast for most users.... plus the 1000x cards in larger sizes are more money then I would spend unless truly needed.

Chris

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G