D800 and D600 FPS Measurement

Started Dec 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Zafar Kazmi
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D800 and D600 FPS Measurement
Dec 22, 2012

Today I received DSTE battery grip for my D800E. The grip comes with a high capacity battery equivalent to Nikon EL-18. My main reason for getting the grip was that I (mistakenly) thought that it would get me 6 fps in 1.2x crop. So the first thing after I received the grip was to test for frame rate.

I downloaded a stopwatch app on my phone which shows fractions of second upto three decimal point. I set the camera to CH mode, manual ISO and manual exposure. I tried with AF-S and AF-C both, it did not matter for this test as focus never changed during burst. I tested with raw and different variants of jpeg. It did not make any difference for the first few pictures as everything went into buffer. I would start the stopwatch, take a series of pictures of stopwatch, and then record the time of the first and the sixth frame. I put this in a spreadsheet to calculate the fps from the difference between the time at sixth and first frame.

Here is what I found.

1. With DSTE Battery Grip and High-Capacity Battery (EN-EL18 clone)

1.0x crop - 4.7+ fps

1.2x crop - 5.6+ fps

1.5x crop - 6.7+ fps

2. Without Grip and using EN-EL15 battery in camera

1.0x crop - 4.7+ fps

1.2x crop - 5.6+ fps

1.5x crop - 5.8x+ fps

These numbers are obviously above Nikon published numbers. So it was a pleasant surprise (at least until someone show error in my testing). What was disappointing was that fps in 1.2x crop is not affected by battery grip, which was a bummer (though I am happy to see that I was getting 5.6 fps to begin with). Nevertheless 6.7x in APS-C mode is impressive. It is in that category, where it is hard to take a single exposure.

I also had a D600 handy, although I dont have its Battery Grip (is there one)? So I just tested it in the 1.0x and 1.5x crop mode using normal EN-EL15 battery.

The results

1.0x crop - 6.5+ fps

1.2x crop - 6.5+ fps.

Since I was only counting first six shots, everything stayed in buffer and write speed did not matter. However since my bursts were longer than this (12-15 frames), I could tell when camera started hiccuping. IN all cases I found the D600 buffer to hit a snag on the 7th or 8th frame. Whereas I did not see that lag on D800 even until 12-13 frames.

Nikon D600 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E
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