D7100 : How to maximize the RAW shooting buffer - Here is what I see - How about you?

BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
edited April 2013 in D90/D7x00
At first when I got the D7100 I set it up similar to my D800. But since I really only shoot RAW, I assumed that the 6FPS spec was good. However the R-number in the lower right of the viewfinder said 3. And sure enough the buffer filled up after 3 frames (about 1/2 of a second) and then proceeded at 1 frame per second continuous. I tried high and various low settings but the buffer seemed to always run out. So I got tired of this. I went through all the shooting parameters by turning everything off and then turning them on one at a time. Here is what I found for Raw only, 14 bit, lost less compressed:

Auto Distortion Control went from 6 off to 4 on,
Long Exposure NR went from 6 off to 5 on,
Auto ISO sensitivity went from 6 off to 5 on.

And sure enough if you turned all three of these on, the rate went from 6 to 2. Wow!

Now, of course, for you JPG shooters the numbers will be much higher but one thing I did run across was that you numbers will be higher if you choose size-optimized rather than quality optimized.

If anyone else can add to this "small buffer for raw" problem, please contribute to what we can do on our end (the Nikon customer). Oh, and yes I do use the San Disk Extreme Pro (95mb/s and UH/1) and I've tried it with and without grip and one card and two. I didn't try raw + jpg - it is bad enough just Raw.

Question for the technically minded: Any chance Nikon can improve the Raw speed in a new firmware release? Canon did it with the 7D a year or two after release.

Comments

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Page 348 in the D7100 manual explains all of this. See the footnotes.
    To increase the speed by 1fps would require a 16% improvement. Unless Nikon is intentionally crippling something, it's doubtful that they can get that much of a performance boost in firmware alone.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 468Member
    edited April 2013


    Results summarized here : http://digital.photorecommendations.com/recs/2013/03/best-sd-card-for-the-nikon-d7100/

    Have a look at above - it was discussed in NR before. Results with different SD cards ; looks like he's doing better than you ...
    Post edited by Paperman on
  • BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
    Actually this guy is doing a speed test on different cards. He uses 10 seconds so you have to divide all his numbers by ten. I'm looking at buffer size in the viewfinder before the D7100 goes into continuous mode. On page 348 it does mention in a footnote that these three factors affect the buffer capacity but not by how much for each of the three factors and it does not mention that "Auto" ISO costs you a frame per second only that above HI .3 does. No where does it admit that the buffer can get as low as two for raw depending upon how you make your settings.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Now, of course, for you JPG shooters the numbers will be much higher but one thing I did run across was that you numbers will be higher if you choose size-optimized rather than quality optimized.

    If anyone else can add to this "small buffer for raw" problem, please contribute to what we can do on our end (the Nikon customer). Oh, and yes I do use the San Disk Extreme Pro (95mb/s and UH/1) and I've tried it with and without grip and one card and two. I didn't try raw + jpg - it is bad enough just Raw.

    Question for the technically minded: Any chance Nikon can improve the Raw speed in a new firmware release? Canon did it with the 7D a year or two after release.
    That seems par for every camera out there - Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. The more you turn on, the more processing you are adding to the processor and the slower the camera becomes. As for firmware, it is more limited by the processing chip (hardware) than software. That said, software can usually eek out a bit more, but that may only gain 1fps.

    As for the card, 95mb/s card you will probably only get 80-90mb/s sustained. 6x24mb= 144mb (raw) at max - but probably seeing more like 18mb per image. 18mbx6fps = 108mb so your card/camera combo is actually moving images really well. You can drop to 12 bit compressed rather than 14bit to get a bit smaller file that will move faster. There are faster cards, but you will pay for it and maybe only get 1/2-1fps at most.

    High FPS doesn't intend to be used with raw images but with jpeg still at this point. Many sports/press shooters (what high fps is designed for) shoot jpeg only for the most part due to the fact any publication/end use very rarely needs or can utilize optimum image quality the camera can output. If you need the highest FPS, the tradeoff becomes at a loss of a small bit of IQ.

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I suppose this is one of the big differences in why a D4 costs so much more than the D7100. If one wants/needs to shoot RAW, and the subject demands lots of FPS....

    But, the reality is the D7100 in JPEG will do a great job for most shooters.
    Msmoto, mod
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member

    High FPS doesn't intend to be used with raw images but with jpeg still at this point. Many sports/press shooters (what high fps is designed for) shoot jpeg only for the most part due to the fact any publication/end use very rarely needs or can utilize optimum image quality the camera can output.
    Sure, for a consumer camera, but you'd be very misguided if you believed that all pro sports shooters are shooting in JPEG. There is a reason that the buffer upgrade of the D3s was tripled for RAW files and since its a pro camera its hard to imagine they had anyone else in mind with that kind of an upgrade.

    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
    Thank you all for your helpful input. I am curious - What SD card is there that is faster than the San Disk Expreme Pro UH1? I wonder how Canon got that big jump in 7D frame rate? Thoughts?
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Two processors instead of only one, the rest is buffer size. And it slows down, too - but after 25 shots, not only 5
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 468Member
    I did have this discussion once with Canon guys. The general opinion was that the 7D always had the large buffer ; it was purposely limited ( crippled ) to justify the price level of D1 series. It is probably the same case with D7100.

    Regarding the card speed test.... The guy is getting 34 frames in 10 seconds. So it is almost 3fps. User manuals provide minimal information how things work. Just to give an example, you wouldn't even get more than a sentence about how matrix metering works ( the fact that it is connected to the chosen AF point ) One is expected to know/ figure out these himself . With over a hundred menu items and endless options, Nikon would end up with 1000 page manuals if they tried to put everything in there.

  • canoneosrebel425canoneosrebel425 Posts: 3Member
    The best thing I like is this model has two thumb wheels, one on the back of the Nikon D7100 camera right above where your thumb will naturally go, and one just below the shutter button where your index finger will naturally be, so you can use the back one to adjust shutter, and the front to set aperture, this makes it extremely easy to use in manual mode, so easy in fact I almost always shoot this way.

    The d7100 other than processing power really is a completely different camera, I love it, very Happy. I use this camera both commercially as well as just plain fun. ;;)
    [url=http://2013-new-nikon-d7100-digital-cameras.blogspot.com/]2013 New Nikon D7100 Digital Cameras[/url]
  • bald_eaglebald_eagle Posts: 96Member
    BrucePhotography said:
    Auto Distortion Control went from 6 off to 4 on,
    Long Exposure NR went from 6 off to 5 on,
    Auto ISO sensitivity went from 6 off to 5 on.


    If shooting raw only, why would one turn on "Auto Distortion Control"? I thought that that only affects the in-camera jpegs, doesn't it?.. Also, it only works for Nikon lenses (why would Nikon support 3rd Party lenses in Camera??) Personally, I leave it off, then correct the distortion in Lightroom ;)

    If one keeps the max ISO for Auto ISO sensitivity at 6400 (i.e. don't use the "Hi" settings - which IMHO give terribly noisy practically unusable pictures anyway) then the buffer capacity is NOT affected by the Auto ISO..

    As for "Long Exposure NR - it's easy enough to turn on when you're setting up to take a long exposure. It's kind of irrelevant how many shots the buffer can hold as each image will be written to the card long before the next exposure is finished.... in that case the SD Card speed is far more important. I leave it off unless I'm going to take a long exposure photo.. ;)

    I agree though that it would have been better if Nikon had increased the buffer size a bit. Even with a buffer size showing 6 and a reasonably fast SD card, I can't quite seem to get to a 2 second burst..

    Cheers,
    Baldy ;)

  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 368Member
    Hey, I did a search! And came up with this thread. Was poking around last night and also discovered that (obvious maybe) setting RAW in the shooting menu to compressed and 12-bit helped.

    Appreciate the notes here to disable Auto-ISO. I wouldn't have thought of that. I didn't notice much of a hit for distortion control, but maybe other factors were in play.

    Even when shooting RAW, I do like taking the time to set WB, Picture Controls etc. My post processing starts with Capture NX-D and it picks up these settings and applies the Nikon special sauce to the images before crunching JPEGs into Aperture Photos for Mac (that's a whole 'nother thread).

    I found that with practice, I learn the limits of the buffer and can nail 3-5 CH2 shots, give it a breather for a second and get back on the shutter again. It isn't continuous, but that little breather is enough for the buffer to dump out and make room for another blast. It's pretty cool being able to follow the action & subject in the viewfinder, and with peripheral vision, track the writing to card.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • Gazza028Gazza028 Posts: 1Member
    It might be a bit late information, but I found that if I switched exposure bracketing off, I could get the full 6fps. It would then slow down and probably do another one frame every third or half second.

    Hope this helps anyone.
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