D7100 Buffer Issues

Started May 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
mosswings
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Re: D7100 Buffer Issues
In reply to Big45acp, May 2, 2013

Big45acp wrote:

Can someone explain to me what the "buffer problem" is with the D7100?

And by explain I mean, tell me what you think the camera should do.

i.e. how many frames should you be able to shoot before the buffer is full, how many FPS, what resolution should these frames be, should it be RAW or JPEG, and on average how many frames should you be able to take in say a 15 second period of time?

Most importantly, please include the camera which meets the standard you have provided.

I would like to get some perspective and context to the "problem".

For me, a 6 shot RAW buffer @ 14 bits is usually OK since I almost never take more than 5-6 shots in one burst.

How big one wants the buffer to be depends on the purpose.  Ideally, it should be big enough that at maximum burst rate of the camera it never fills.  However, this would require storage media that could write 7 X 30Mbyte = 210+MByte/Sec.  The fastest SD card can write only 90 MB/sec - so we'd have to buy a D4 and use XQD cards to make the buffer depth irrelevant.

The D300s has about a 19 shot RAW buffer @12 bits, which has satisfied most amateur birders and sports photogs who are now buying this camera in despair for an update to the D300s. The D600 and D800 have 16 shot RAW buffers @ 14 bits; the D4 92 shots; the D3200, 18 (!) but at 12 bits only.

So the D7100 is really very anemic compared to its competition: the Canon 60D is 16 frames, the 7D 15 frames, the OMD EM5 16 frames.  Only the Canon 7D is a "higher level" camera than the D7100.

There have been times when I've been photographing dance or performers outdoors and have taken about 1 second's worth of shots.  Having a buffer with at least 1.5 - 2 seconds worth of shots is very useful, particularly given the high capability of the D7100's AF.  With a shot buffer only about half of what's typical for its competition, you're forced to shoot JPEG - which is not the way to get the best IQ out of the camera.  So for RAW shooting, this camera is more of a landscaper's camera with some great AF chops.

Again, though, as long as you don't need more than 1 second's worth of burst images every 10 seconds, the D7100's buffer depth is OK.  But marginal.

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