Memory Card Capacity
I have a Sandisk 8GB Ultra (30MB/sec) and a Sandisk 16GB Extreme (60MB/sec) CF cards. My D300s is set up for RAW (lossless compressed, 12 bit color depth) to the primary (which is the CF) and JPEG Large, Fine to the secondary SD. If I remove the SD and format the CF card, I get 251 photos for the 8GB and 502 photos for the 16GB. This seems low to me from what I've read; David Busch indicates I should expect 400 photos per 8GB. Any idea what I am missing? Also, my RAW files are around 12MB, which by my calculations should fit 666 photos per 8 GB card. Why the discrepancy?
You must have something turned on that is affecting the estimate. My D300s with a 8 gb CF shows 385 estimated, but actual is closer to 600, depending upon the amount of detail in photo. Shoot a lot of blue sky and the numbers go up.
Jerry Yordy writes ...
If I remove the SD and format the CF card, I get 251 photos for the 8GB and 502 photos for the 16GB. This seems low to me from what I've read; David Busch indicates I should expect 400 photos per 8GB.
The number of pictures displayed (251 for 8 GB) is just an estimate. The size of file depends on details in a picture. Less detail, smaller file, more detail larger file. As the shooting progresses, your remaining estimated number of pictures on the display panel keep changing. So really, we have no way of knowing how many pictures exactly we will end up with when the memory card gets filled up.
The manual gives higher estimates for the card capacity because the writers of the manual are giving greater weight to reality than the camera's built in formula for estimating. I don't know about other brands of cameras, but my 5 Nikons have all estimated very low in camera while the manuals gave higher estimates, though still far below reality in most circumstances. Memory card capacity estimates are one of the few features not exaggerated for the sake of marketing. Low estimates are bertter than breathtaking claims like "UP TO 1000 IMAGES WITHOUT CHANGING CARDS! ! !" followed by an asterisk and 3 paragraphs of disclaimers in unreadable miniscule print. Would that battery makers engaged in the same practice.
Only experience with filling up cards will give you a true picture of what to expect. I've never filled up a 16 gig card, and seldom an 8 gig card. It would only concern me if I was traveling and had no opportunity to download images until I returned homem, or did a lot of continuous burst shooting.
Thanks Keith, your comment about the asterisk made me laugh. I am preparing for a trip this summer to Norway and Svalbard, an island north of the arctic circle looking for polar bears. I will have the ability to download the cards each evening but would like to not erase the cards, using them as backups. Hence my desire to know what I can really load onto the cards, to calculate how many cards I should take.
Check your "shooting menu" "image quality" selection. I suspect you have raw + jpeg fine selected. Which will put one of each on your CF card. You should have just RAW selected.
Thanks. That sort of resolved the issue. I did have raw +jpeg selected. I wanted raw to go to the CF card (primary) and jpeg to the SD card (secondary) and thought I needed to have raw + jpeg selected to do that. Now the card capacities read as indicated in the manual, but now it appears raw, not jpeg, is being recorded to the SD card. As you might have guessed, I new to this camera; I obviously need to play with it more.