[thechat] Re: Digicam Shutter Lag Time

Dave Fitch lists at dere-street.com
Sat Jul 24 08:35:12 CDT 2004

On 11:36 am +0100 Hassan Schroeder wrote:

>>  One of the (many) good things about my Canon - it can take several shots
>>  in a burst, buffering them before writing them to the card.
>Is that at the highest resolution setting? The Coolpix 4500 takes
>(per the dcresource.com review) *25 seconds* to write an 11Mb TIFF
>to the CF card; that's bad enough, but the controls are locked for
>that entire time.

I ran into that with my Coolpix 990... if you were doing medium sized 
pictures the lag wasn't too bad, but at full size it made the thing 
almost unworkable. Which is why I got rid of it for a D70...

>Is writing to a Microdrive faster than a CF card? Do CF cards vary
>in write speed?

Er, sometimes, and yes, definitely. There are three factors that 
control how fast an image is/seems to be written to a card: the size 
of the buffer on the camera [larger is better, methinks for many 
cameras to date there just hasn't been much of an on-board buffer], 
the speed of the CF card [etc.], and the protocol the camera uses to 
write to same.

The speed [actual and claimed...] of CF cards seems to vary wildly 
and may depend upon the camera you're using: see

for a somewhat outdated overview. If your camera has a large buffer 
[unless you are shooting v. rapidly...] the speed of your card won't 
be that important. Once the buffer is full however, the speed at 
which you can shoot is completely dependent upon the time the camera 
takes to write to the card.

If your camera isn't designed to take advantage of higher-speed cards 
then you will probably not see any benefit from switching to them, as 
the card's write speed will be governed by the speed at which data is 
provided from the camera.
Dave Fitch, <http://www.dere-street.com/>

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