D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??

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jjnik
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D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
9 months ago

Just tested my new D4s next to the old D4 that a friend is buying.  Interestingly, with identical settings (all fps robbing items such as NR, ADL, vignette control and lens auto distortion correction set to OFF), the D4 will fire off ~87 14 bit lossless compressed RAW files, but the D4s will only fire off ~61!  This is using the 168MB/s Sony S series XQD card.  Anyone else notice this?  A little disappointing to take a step back in performance (not that I'd normally fire an 87 frame burst, but still?)

Also, they claim an improvement in that the D4s can shoot 200 large fine JPEG's and it does do this - but the D4 does it too - just tested that (even though the manual says it will only do 170).

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JJ168
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

Send it to me

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crosstype
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

Yes, it looks like the D4s operating system uses more RAM so it has less buffer available for the images. Meanwhile, the D4s shoots 10% faster, thus the buffer is filled up faster.

With identical settings and 14-bit lossless compressed RAW only, my D4 shows [r53] in the viewfinder, while my D4s shows [r44] in the viewfinder.

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to crosstype, 9 months ago

crosstype wrote:

Yes, it looks like the D4s operating system uses more RAM so it has less buffer available for the images. Meanwhile, the D4s shoots 10% faster, thus the buffer is filled up faster.

With identical settings and 14-bit lossless compressed RAW only, my D4 shows [r53] in the viewfinder, while my D4s shows [r44] in the viewfinder.

Shooting at 11 fps will fill the buffer faster, but should not mean the buffer can hold less images. Something still seems weird as the Manual indicates the D4s should be doing better:

D4s Buffer Specs

D4 Buffer Specs

This suggests that the D4s should actually do better than the D4 in terms of buffer capacity with 14 bit lossless RAW - but I'm seeing an almost 30% reduction in buffer capacity on the D4s in this scenario?  Strange...

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crosstype
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

I believe the numbers are just the actual number of pictures that can be taken until the buffer is full, not the number displayed in the bracket in the viewfinder.

Upon a side by side test, with the Sony 180MB/s XQD card, the same settings (100 iso, 1/1000s, 14-bit losslessly compressed raw, everything off) on each camera except 11 fps vs 10 fps, the D4s captured 86 images while the D4 captured 77 images. I consider it to be an improvement.

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DudleyG
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

Three questions...

1.) Did you verify that both cameras had custom setting "a1" set to "Release". If either camera was set to either "Focus+Release" or "Release+Focus", you would definitely see slower fps speeds.

2.) Were you using AF-Area Mode set to "Single-point AF" and using the center point on both cameras? If the either camera was set to any of the "Dynamic-Area AF" options, you would definitely see slower speeds.

3.) Reading your original post, it sounds like you used the exact same physical memory card in both cameras to test, i.e. you took the card out of one camera and put it the other camera. However, was there a second card in either of the cameras? The frame rate seems to vary based on the second card if even the second card is set for overflow.

The main reason I am asking the 3 questions is -- if the D4s was really operating at 11fps and the D4 was really operating a 10fps, the D4s is actually putting more data into the buffer faster than the D4 and all Nikon cameras seem to favor allowing the camera to write into the buffer over having the camera dump the buffer (write) to the memory card. Therefore, the buffer will fill up faster (assuming both cameras have the same size buffer) with the D4s and won't get cleared as quick on the D4s as it would on the D4, because the D4s camera is busy writing to the buffer and not writing to the card. I am assuming both cameras would write to the card at the same speed since that is primarily controlled by the speed of the card.

Also have heard but can't verify that where the D4s has a faster processor, it would likely write the data faster to the buffer and fill the buffer faster even if it was operating a 10fps.

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to crosstype, 9 months ago

crosstype wrote:

I believe the numbers are just the actual number of pictures that can be taken until the buffer is full, not the number displayed in the bracket in the viewfinder.

I was looking taht rear LCD which counts off the number of frames taken in the upper right corner in image review.

Upon a side by side test, with the Sony 180MB/s XQD card, the same settings (100 iso, 1/1000s, 14-bit losslessly compressed raw, everything off) on each camera except 11 fps vs 10 fps, the D4s captured 86 images while the D4 captured 77 images. I consider it to be an improvement.

Interesting, for me with a Sony 168 MB/s XQD and the same target and settings on both cameras (ISO 800, aperture priority @ f2.8, everything else turned off) I had much lower numbers for the D4s as indicated above?  I was in Single Point (center) AF-C

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to DudleyG, 9 months ago

DudleyG wrote:

Three questions...

1.) Did you verify that both cameras had custom setting "a1" set to "Release". If either camera was set to either "Focus+Release" or "Release+Focus", you would definitely see slower fps speeds.

I did not check that - but did not see slower fps - I saw less images before the buffer filled.

2.) Were you using AF-Area Mode set to "Single-point AF" and using the center point on both cameras? If the either camera was set to any of the "Dynamic-Area AF" options, you would definitely see slower speeds.

Yes - both at single point AFC, center point - again,did not see slower speeds - just less RAW images til the buffer filled.

3.) Reading your original post, it sounds like you used the exact same physical memory card in both cameras to test, i.e. you took the card out of one camera and put it the other camera. However, was there a second card in either of the cameras? The frame rate seems to vary based on the second card if even the second card is set for overflow.

only one card in each camera (the same XQD card transferred) - I reformatted in each camera before the burst.

The main reason I am asking the 3 questions is -- if the D4s was really operating at 11fps and the D4 was really operating a 10fps, the D4s is actually putting more data into the buffer faster than the D4 and all Nikon cameras seem to favor allowing the camera to write into the buffer over having the camera dump the buffer (write) to the memory card. Therefore, the buffer will fill up faster (assuming both cameras have the same size buffer) with the D4s and won't get cleared as quick on the D4s as it would on the D4, because the D4s camera is busy writing to the buffer and not writing to the card. I am assuming both cameras would write to the card at the same speed since that is primarily controlled by the speed of the card.

I tried the D4s at 10 fps as well and the result was the same - much lower than the D4?

Also have heard but can't verify that where the D4s has a faster processor, it would likely write the data faster to the buffer and fill the buffer faster even if it was operating a 10fps.

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DudleyG
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

I saw something this past weekend while using my D4s for a high school baseball game that surprised me along the same line as what you are seeing..

The green light on back of the camera that indicates the camera was writing to the cards seem to stay on longer than what I was used to on the D4 when I would fire off a sequence of 6 to 8 shots. I just wrote it off as a different memory card. I have been using a Sony 16gb (H level) XQD card in the D4 for 2 years and I had a Sony 32gb (N level) in the D4s this past Saturday at the game.

I will have to try the Sony 16gb card in the D4s and see if the green light stays on a shorter time.

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DudleyG
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to DudleyG, 9 months ago

I just ran a quick test with the D4 and the D4s using the same lens.

I took AF-C sequence of about 15 shots (jpeg - large - fine) with D4s using the Sony 32gb(N) XQD card and the light stayed on about 5 seconds.

I then put the Sony 16gb(H) XQD card in the D4s, took 15 shots, and the light also stayed on for about 5 seconds.

I then put the 32gb(N) card in the D4, took 15 shots and the light was only on about 2 or 3 seconds. I then put the 16gb(H) card in the D4, took 15 shots and the light was only on 2 or 3 seconds.

Bottom line, the green light stays on a lot longer on the D4s while writing to the card than on the D4. It has me wondering if the D4s isn't clearing the buffer and/or writing to the card as fast as the D4 can. For what it is worth, I have the latest firmware 1.10 on the D4.

If that is so, that would help explain why the buffer fills up faster on the D4s than on the D4 if the D4s can't clear the buffer as well as the D4.

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DudleyG
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to DudleyG, 9 months ago

I just ran a second test of the D4s versus D4 using a Lexar 1000x 16gb card, and I see the same results. The green light stays on for about 5 seconds on the D4s and only 2 or 3 seconds on the D4, so whatever is happening on writing to the cards, it has nothing to do with whether it is Compact Flash Card or a XQD card.

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Robin Casady
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

jjnik wrote:

Just tested my new D4s next to the old D4 that a friend is buying. Interestingly, with identical settings (all fps robbing items such as NR, ADL, vignette control and lens auto distortion correction set to OFF), the D4 will fire off ~87 14 bit lossless compressed RAW files, but the D4s will only fire off ~61! This is using the 168MB/s Sony S series XQD card. Anyone else notice this? A little disappointing to take a step back in performance (not that I'd normally fire an 87 frame burst, but still?)

RAW files will vary in size, depending on the image. To test this properly, mount a lens with a foot onto a tripod. Set it to manual focus and make sure you don't move the tripod when switching cameras.

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AlephNull
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

Bear in mind that the D4s is filling the buffer faster than the D4, so the camera has less time to clear images out of the buffer before it fills up. Not sure how much difference it makes, but that could result in the D4s filling with fewer images.

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to Robin Casady, 9 months ago

Robin Casady wrote:

jjnik wrote:

Just tested my new D4s next to the old D4 that a friend is buying. Interestingly, with identical settings (all fps robbing items such as NR, ADL, vignette control and lens auto distortion correction set to OFF), the D4 will fire off ~87 14 bit lossless compressed RAW files, but the D4s will only fire off ~61! This is using the 168MB/s Sony S series XQD card. Anyone else notice this? A little disappointing to take a step back in performance (not that I'd normally fire an 87 frame burst, but still?)

RAW files will vary in size, depending on the image. To test this properly, mount a lens with a foot onto a tripod. Set it to manual focus and make sure you don't move the tripod when switching cameras.

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I shot them handheld at short distance centered on exactly the same targets - the results between the two were 100% repeatable on different passes.  The D4s always filled up way sooner than the D4s.

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to crosstype, 9 months ago

crosstype wrote:

I believe the numbers are just the actual number of pictures that can be taken until the buffer is full, not the number displayed in the bracket in the viewfinder.

Upon a side by side test, with the Sony 180MB/s XQD card, the same settings (100 iso, 1/1000s, 14-bit losslessly compressed raw, everything off) on each camera except 11 fps vs 10 fps, the D4s captured 86 images while the D4 captured 77 images. I consider it to be an improvement.

Weird - my D4s maxes out at ~60 images with a Sony 168MB/s XQD card and those settings.  Hard to believe the card difference would make that much difference?  i tried a 2 button reset, but that made no difference.  I contacted Nikon USA to inquire about this and they are looking into it - curious to see what they come back with...

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crosstype
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

jjnik wrote:

crosstype wrote:

I believe the numbers are just the actual number of pictures that can be taken until the buffer is full, not the number displayed in the bracket in the viewfinder.

Upon a side by side test, with the Sony 180MB/s XQD card, the same settings (100 iso, 1/1000s, 14-bit losslessly compressed raw, everything off) on each camera except 11 fps vs 10 fps, the D4s captured 86 images while the D4 captured 77 images. I consider it to be an improvement.

Weird - my D4s maxes out at ~60 images with a Sony 168MB/s XQD card and those settings. Hard to believe the card difference would make that much difference? i tried a 2 button reset, but that made no difference. I contacted Nikon USA to inquire about this and they are looking into it - curious to see what they come back with...

The actual scene you are shooting makes a huge difference. When I was testing I was shooting with a 200mm f2.0 VR II lens with almost everything in bokeh except a very small main subject, making the raw files much smaller, hence more continuous shots achievable.

You could also try this out with the body cap attached (without any lens) so every picture is purely black.

When I shoot pictures with lots of details (e.g. wide angle and smaller aperture so many stuff is in the depth of field) the raw files are much larger, and the buffer is filled up a lot faster, just like in the 50-60-ish.

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to crosstype, 9 months ago

crosstype wrote:

jjnik wrote:

crosstype wrote:

I believe the numbers are just the actual number of pictures that can be taken until the buffer is full, not the number displayed in the bracket in the viewfinder.

Upon a side by side test, with the Sony 180MB/s XQD card, the same settings (100 iso, 1/1000s, 14-bit losslessly compressed raw, everything off) on each camera except 11 fps vs 10 fps, the D4s captured 86 images while the D4 captured 77 images. I consider it to be an improvement.

Weird - my D4s maxes out at ~60 images with a Sony 168MB/s XQD card and those settings. Hard to believe the card difference would make that much difference? i tried a 2 button reset, but that made no difference. I contacted Nikon USA to inquire about this and they are looking into it - curious to see what they come back with...

The actual scene you are shooting makes a huge difference. When I was testing I was shooting with a 200mm f2.0 VR II lens with almost everything in bokeh except a very small main subject, making the raw files much smaller, hence more continuous shots achievable.

You could also try this out with the body cap attached (without any lens) so every picture is purely black.

When I shoot pictures with lots of details (e.g. wide angle and smaller aperture so many stuff is in the depth of field) the raw files are much larger, and the buffer is filled up a lot faster, just like in the 50-60-ish.

I get that - but my D4s just gets significantly less images until full buffer with the same scene - so I'm surprised that your D4s gets more than your D4?

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crosstype
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

jjnik wrote:

crosstype wrote:

jjnik wrote:

crosstype wrote:

I believe the numbers are just the actual number of pictures that can be taken until the buffer is full, not the number displayed in the bracket in the viewfinder.

Upon a side by side test, with the Sony 180MB/s XQD card, the same settings (100 iso, 1/1000s, 14-bit losslessly compressed raw, everything off) on each camera except 11 fps vs 10 fps, the D4s captured 86 images while the D4 captured 77 images. I consider it to be an improvement.

Weird - my D4s maxes out at ~60 images with a Sony 168MB/s XQD card and those settings. Hard to believe the card difference would make that much difference? i tried a 2 button reset, but that made no difference. I contacted Nikon USA to inquire about this and they are looking into it - curious to see what they come back with...

The actual scene you are shooting makes a huge difference. When I was testing I was shooting with a 200mm f2.0 VR II lens with almost everything in bokeh except a very small main subject, making the raw files much smaller, hence more continuous shots achievable.

You could also try this out with the body cap attached (without any lens) so every picture is purely black.

When I shoot pictures with lots of details (e.g. wide angle and smaller aperture so many stuff is in the depth of field) the raw files are much larger, and the buffer is filled up a lot faster, just like in the 50-60-ish.

I get that - but my D4s just gets significantly less images until full buffer with the same scene - so I'm surprised that your D4s gets more than your D4?

It really just depends on the scene. The amount of information stored into the RAW file would significantly impact the flushing performance. Yes, for some scenes the D4S is able to capture more details (even with the same parameters, because the D4S' actual ISO sensitivity is higher than that of the D4 with the same manufacturer value), hence having to write more data into the memory card.

With everything OFF, 14-bit lossless compressed RAW, and identical lens, identical Sony 180MB/s XQD, they outperform each other in different situations.

For this scene the D4S took 81 pictures at 11 fps, while the D4 took 80 pictures at 10 fps.

For this scene the D4S took 73 pictures at 11 fps, while the D4 took 75 pictures at 10 fps.

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jjnik
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to crosstype, 9 months ago

crosstype wrote:

It really just depends on the scene. The amount of information stored into the RAW file would significantly impact the flushing performance. Yes, for some scenes the D4S is able to capture more details (even with the same parameters, because the D4S' actual ISO sensitivity is higher than that of the D4 with the same manufacturer value), hence having to write more data into the memory card.

With everything OFF, 14-bit lossless compressed RAW, and identical lens, identical Sony 180MB/s XQD, they outperform each other in different situations.

For this scene the D4S took 81 pictures at 11 fps, while the D4 took 80 pictures at 10 fps.

For this scene the D4S took 73 pictures at 11 fps, while the D4 took 75 pictures at 10 fps.

What I shot was similar (didn't keep the images ,though). Yours seem to make sense - you are getting comparable performance between the 2 cameras and your numbers are in line with those predicted in Nikon's manuals. However, in every case my D4s records SIGNIFICANTLY less images in a RAW burst before slow down (25-30% less). I'm beginning to think sometign might be wrong with it based on your results.

BTW - here is Nikon USA's response:

How's that for tech support/customer service - NOT!!!!

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DudleyG
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Re: D4s has smaller RAW buffer than D4??
In reply to jjnik, 9 months ago

Well, if your camera has a problem, so does mine.

I finally got a chance to run off a bunch of raw pictures using both the D4s and the D4 with the same lens (Nikon 24-70 f2.8). I used similar setting to yours, only difference, the fastest card I have is a Sony 32gb (N Level) XQD, so I used that same card is each of the cameras. I used 11fps on D4s, 10fps on D4, AF-C -single point, vignette off, etc. Both test were outdoors in good light so the camera had no trouble focusing. Shutter speeds were identical at 1/2000 and since I used Aperture priority mode, both used f/4.

First case, I got 48 images before the D4s stopped, however I got 57 before the D4 stopped.

Second case, different scene, I got 47 images before the D4s stopped, however I got 57 before the D4 stopped.

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