Nikon D500 Buffer Size and Display

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by steve_fu, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Is it correct that the LCD display for "shots remaining before buffer fills" is only 2-digit, like "r99", even it could be 200?
    It only shows "r99" for basic jpeg.
    It shows "r29" for RAW. That is 14 bit, no compression. I did verify that I could only get about 50 pictures in the CH burst. So, that "r29" did mean 29.
    For these two settings, I did turn off the ADL, other noise reductions and other distortion corrections.
    Any idea the buffer size I have seen is so much lower than the 200 in the spec?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The "200-frame buffer" is only in Nikon's marketing material; it is a misleading claim. If you shoot 14-bit RAW, the true buffer is 29 frames. However, if you use a fast XQD memory card, such as a 2933x Lexar, the D500 can empty its buffer faster than you can capture images @ 10 fps. Hence nothing is left in the buffer. (Think about a bucket that has a hole in its bottom. As long as you lose water from the bottom faster than what you put into the bucket, nothing is accumulated.) 200 frames is merely an artificial limit Nikon puts in such that the camera won't keep on firing unintentionally. For example, if you leave the D500 on and put it inside a camera bag. If something squeezes onto the shutter release, it could keep firing thousands and thousands of frames inside the camera bag until either the battery runs out or the memory card is full.
  3. Thank you!
    Oh boy! Why you need a buffer if you can empty faster than you capture images?
  4. Because some users may have slower cards which they want to use.
  5. erik_christensen|3

    erik_christensen|3 Self-employed

    Shun Cheung - I understand the risk for firing unintentionally in a bag provided the camera is set to release priority, however, I thought we all want photos in focus only. When are people using the release priority only, which I cannot see the purpose off, but that may be me only.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Erik, a couple of different points.
    1. If the camera body or lens is set to manual focus, the camera will fire if you press on the shutter release. It doesn't care whether the AF module considers the frame to be in focus or not.
    2. And when I use continuous AF-C, I use release priority. Sometimes the image may actually be in focus but the AF module considers it not, either because AF is a bit off or is considering the wrong AF point; you don't want to miss shots due to AF error. Release priority has served me well over the years, but especially with the improved AF on the D500 (and D5), I wouldn't hesitate to use release priority at all.
    Concerning the buffer, please in mind that the D500 also has an SD card slot. If you use the fastest UHS-1 SD card, which is about 95 MB/sec, the D500 can write approximately 4 frames per second onto the card. The true 29-frame buffer can keep you going for about 4 seconds @ 10 fps.
    A few years down the road, maybe a 64G 2933x XQD card will be $10. Don't laugh, I can totally see that happen. Perhaps by then, we won't need much buffer inside the camera any more. We aren't quite there yet.
  7. I use release priority too, for all the reasons Shun mentioned. In action shooting you often start the burst a little earlier
    than the peak action are hoping to capture. The last thing you want to happen is for the camera to delay any shots. I
    also use release priority when the camera is set to AF-s. This requires that I change the default custom setting. It is my
    preference to determine when I want the shutter to go off.

    Cards with fast write speeds usually have fast read speeds. Who wants cards or card readers that take a long time to get
    your images downloaded. You can take a lot of Nef images at 5-10 frames per second and need a fast way to get them
    onto your PC.

  8. I would add that, unless there's something very different about how it's done in the D500, if you use back button focus it will be in release priority.

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