Nikon Canada advise me that a full buffer will always cause the D800's playback and menu functions to temporarily lock-up.
Using the Lexar Professional 16GB SDHC 400x as my primary card, I am experiencing too many lock-ups - my guess is about 1 in 200 shots. And this is occurring in single shot mode, not continuous shooting.
I opted for SD rather than CF cards as my primary memory because they're cheaper - now I'm wondering if I made the right decision. Before investing in another set of cards, I would appreciate your opinion. Which do you set as your primary slot - SD or CF? Is CF preferable because of its higher write speed? Any other pros and cons of SD -v- CF? Finally, a "how long is a piece of string" question - what do you consider to be the optimum card speed if you're taking a series of single shots?
#2. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 0
How often do you re-format your card? How full do you actually fill up your card before you copy/transfer the files to permanent storage?
I personally try to re-format each card once I've copied, backed up, and checked the file transfers. I read in a few places that a clean, formatted card performs better than the same card with files simply deleted and then written over. In theory I would think, a full or fragmented card would go more slowly than one that's not.
As far as card speed goes, you have to think about what you're writing to it. I assume we're talking about problems when writing RAW files as opposed to JPEG. Remember that the files we're writing on the D800 are huge...and if you're asking the D800 to perform lossless compression on the fly during the saving/writing process, it makes sense that it would go more slowly. Don't have any scientific knowledge to go with any of this, just thinking out loud.
I would try to use the fastest card I could afford for any card I'm writing RAW files to. For the secondary JPEG files in using RAW+JPEG save situation I guess you could theoretically use a slower card.
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#4. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 2Sun 11-Nov-12 03:07 AM
Thank you for your suggestions.
I reformat the card in camera after transferring the files to permanent storage.
The number of files on the card has no noticeable effect on the "lock-ups" I have been experiencing.
My quality is set to lossless compressed RAW plus jpeg fine - probably the most processing time consuming setting. I will try running with only lossless compressed RAW as I always transfer my files directly to the computer, view them in ViewNX 2 and do most post processing in Capture NX 2. If I want a jpeg file, I create it in Capture NX 2.
Also, as my main area of interest is landscape and this is where I've encountered most problems (probably by going too quickly through exposure bracketing at a couple of different aperture settings), I can afford to slow down and give the camera time to do its thing.
#5. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 4aay Registered since 11th Jul 2010Sun 11-Nov-12 05:08 AM
I've got only SD cards for my D800. I believe I did experience lock-ups, but very rarely so I do not really notice them. And that was after 5 shots in high speed. I've got 600x Lexar cards and I use only SD cards as it is much easier to transfer images from since SD is essentially a de-facto standard for a memory card - most laptops have built-in SD card readers nowadays.
#6. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 0
Your Lexar card appears to be about 60mbs. My SanDisk Extreme SDHC 45mbs card locks up quite often in my D800E. I switched to the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95mbs cards and for the most part eliminated the lock up issue. I think your problem is related to card speed, not the type of card you are using.
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#8. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 7Sun 11-Nov-12 06:53 PM
My camera's firmware is up to date - A 1.00, B1.01, L 1.004. I have not been experiencing the problem that Nikon's update from B1.00 to B1.02 was released to fix.
It appears that the "problem" I have been experiencing is not actually a problem - it's simply the camera behaving as intended. I had not expected both the menu and playback functions to become unavailable when the buffer was full and remain that way until it had cleared. I had not paid too much attention to one of the implications of moving to a high resolution camera - massive files taking a lot of processing. I upgraded from a D200 and had not run into this issue previously.
Given all the advantages of moving to full frame and the great features on the D800, I can easily live with the longer file processing times; however, some faster cards are on the horizon.
#9. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 8BOAZ632 Registered since 28th Aug 2010Sun 11-Nov-12 07:29 PM
>My camera's firmware is up to date - A 1.00, B1.01, L 1.004.
>I have not been experiencing the problem that Nikon's update
>from B1.00 to B1.02 was released to fix.
>It appears that the "problem" I have been
>experiencing is not actually a problem - it's simply the
>camera behaving as intended. I had not expected both the menu
>and playback functions to become unavailable when the buffer
>was full and remain that way until it had cleared. I had not
>paid too much attention to one of the implications of moving
>to a high resolution camera - massive files taking a lot of
>processing. I upgraded from a D200 and had not run into this
>Given all the advantages of moving to full frame and the great
>features on the D800, I can easily live with the longer file
>processing times; however, some faster cards are on the
I just purchased my camera about two weeks ago and never experienced this issue. My firmware reads: A1.00, B1.01, L1.006
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#11. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 9Mon 12-Nov-12 12:02 AM
Your post had me rechecking my firmware. It's now A1.00, B1.01, L1.06. I had the camera checked by Nikon a few weeks and I guess they updated the firmware when they adjusted the focus. Thanks for waking me up.
#10. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 0
what role do you have for you CF card slot? I see you have the SD as primary but I assume you still have CF cards in the CF slot? whatever that card is also affects the write speed under some circumstances.
The cards I use are CF Sandisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s and SD Extreme Pro 45MB/s. I do a lot of bracketing and have never had the lockup problem you are experiencing.
I write JPG to the SD card and lossless NEF to the CF card.
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#12. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 10EricBarney Registered since 02nd Oct 2012Mon 12-Nov-12 12:19 AM
The fastest SD card I found is 633X, The fastest CF, 1000X.
Since I usually have both RAW and JPEG being writen at once, I have the CF as the primary RAW L/C, SD as the secondary JPEG Fine/Large. I have not noticed any lockups. Even while shooting quickly in a bracket mode.
#13. "RE: SD -v- CF" | In response to Reply # 10Mon 12-Nov-12 12:26 AM
The CF slot is set to overflow. The card is a Lexar Professional 16GB 400x UDMA, but being in overflow it has only been written to on one occasion.
I see you've chosen to write lossless NEF to the card with the higher write speed and JPG to the slower one. Sounds good to me. Pleased to hear you've had no problems with this set-up.