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Thread: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Hello all,

    I have a question about the Nikon D850. Assuming that I am shooting uncompressed RAWs in the format that produces the best quality, do you know what the shortest exposure time is that allows unlimited sequences of RAWs to be shot and written to the card? Assume a card fast enough not to be the bottleneck (so the speed bottleneck is the camera). I often shoot hundreds or thousands of consecutive files for star trails, so I am looking for the shutter speed at which the camera can do this continuously without stopping to clear the buffer. On my Pentax 645Z, I find it will shoot 2 second exposures like this without pausing at all - until the card is full. However, exposures shorter than 2 seconds cause the camera to pause from time to time while the processing/writing catches up with the writing to the card.

    So what's the magic number for the Nikon D850?

    Obviously I am looking for an answer validated in practical experience if possible :-)

    Many thanks in advance...

    Ed

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Why don't you google it ???

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Three things:

    a) I did and could not see a clear answer that way (if finding the answer that way is so straightforward, perhaps you could do me the kindness of pointing out one of these sources, that you appear to believe are so easily found?)
    b) I am hoping that experience from the great and expert group of people on getdpi might tell me something deeper than 'the internet' (hands-on experience from an expert group like this will often be more meaningful than theoretical data or specs)
    c) I was hoping for a friendly and helpful discussion (no progress there as yet)
    Last edited by Ed Hurst; 13th May 2020 at 22:13.
    Ed Hurst, www.spiffingpics.com
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Hi ED,
    I dont know if following is any help.

    http://www.weasner.com/co/Reviews/20...LR/index2.html
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    Why don't you google it ???
    This rude and unhelpful post earned you a 30-day time out. Take the time to consider how you wish to participate in this forum going forward.

    We now return you to your normal programming.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Ed,

    I do not own the D850, so cannot help. Perhaps somebody with the cam can squeeze off a few test triggers for you? My guess is it's going to be somewhere in the two-dozen range before the buffer hits the wall.
    Jack
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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Ed,

    I do not own the D850, so cannot help. Perhaps somebody with the cam can squeeze off a few test triggers for you? My guess is it's going to be somewhere in the two-dozen range before the buffer hits the wall.
    Thanks Jack - much appreciated and good to hear from you.

    Just to clarify - I am not looking for the number of consecutive frames that the camera will fire before filling the buffer. It's the shortest exposure length of frames that it takes for the camera to fire continuously without ever filling the buffer. So if I were shooting star trails for 3 hours, say, how short can my exposures get if I want to avoid a gap in the trails caused by the camera stopping its continuous shooting to catch up. With my 645Z, the answer is 2 seconds, but I don't know what it is for the D850.

    Hope that makes sense :-)

    All the best,

    Ed

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by B L View Post
    Hi ED,
    I dont know if following is any help.

    http://www.weasner.com/co/Reviews/20...LR/index2.html
    Thanks, my friend. I don't believe this answers the question, but it is nonetheless a very enjoyable read!

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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    Just to clarify - I am not looking for the number of consecutive frames that the camera will fire before filling the buffer. It's the shortest exposure length of frames that it takes for the camera to fire continuously without ever filling the buffer.
    You might try asking Nikon expert Thom Hogan (bythom.com) whether he knows the answer or can recommend someone who might have done the specific test you have in mind. His D850 review has the usual sports/action-oriented buffer measures, but perhaps he knows an experienced D850 user whose usage aligns with yours.
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    I donít know the count but know that if you use a SD card instead of the XQD slot you will buffer out pretty quick.

    Last year on a day I chased the Union Pacific Big Boy I made the mistake of pointing the camera to my SD slot and the camera buffered out within 12 frames.

    With XQD slot I never hit a buffer.

    Average burst was 20 frames at 1/250 up to 1/500.

    After I switched to the XQD slot I never had to wait in the buffer.

    Paul C

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    I donít know the count but know that if you use a SD card instead of the XQD slot you will buffer out pretty quick.

    Last year on a day I chased the Union Pacific Big Boy I made the mistake of pointing the camera to my SD slot and the camera buffered out within 12 frames.

    With XQD slot I never hit a buffer.

    Average burst was 20 frames at 1/250 up to 1/500.

    After I switched to the XQD slot I never had to wait in the buffer.

    Paul C
    Thanks, Paul. It sounds like you are referring to the number of short exposure shots that can be fired before the buffer is full. I am asking something slightly different. Imagine I am shooting exposures measured in full seconds (say 2-4 second exposures). A huge number of them consecutively, aiming to have no break whatever between them. What is the shortest exposure setting that lets this happen on the D850?

    Hope that makes sense!

    All the best,
    Ed

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Ed,

    Another thought is long exposure noise reduction. With exposures over 1 second, it doubles the processing time as it does a dark-frame subtraction.
    Jack
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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Ed,

    Another thought is long exposure noise reduction. With exposures over 1 second, it doubles the processing time as it does a dark-frame subtraction.
    Good point, Jack. However, if it operates like the D800E, that function can be turned off... I had great success with doing that with the older model.

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    You might try asking Nikon expert Thom Hogan (bythom.com) whether he knows the answer or can recommend someone who might have done the specific test you have in mind. His D850 review has the usual sports/action-oriented buffer measures, but perhaps he knows an experienced D850 user whose usage aligns with yours.
    Thanks, Oren. I have posted the question to Thom via his website - I'll let you know of any response I receive :-)

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Long exposure noise reduction can be turned off. Good point as it will screw things up if you forget to turn it off.

    Ed I used to stack with the D850 for night work. Both for Milky Way stuff with stacks running 4 to 12 secs per exposure and star trails with stacks running between 40 secs to 1 min 30 secs and everything in between.

    Never had an issue with the camera buffering out.

    When you stop the stack process it might take the camera 1 minute usually less to finish but it never stops in the capture process.

    These are stack sessions running on average 1 hour to 1 hour 30 sec.

    Paul C
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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Long exposure noise reduction can be turned off. Good point as it will screw things up if you forget to turn it off.

    Ed I used to stack with the D850 for night work. Both for Milky Way stuff with stacks running 4 to 12 secs per exposure and star trails with stacks running between 40 secs to 1 min 30 secs and everything in between.

    Never had an issue with the camera buffering out.

    When you stop the stack process it might take the camera 1 minute usually less to finish but it never stops in the capture process.

    These are stack sessions running on average 1 hour to 1 hour 30 sec.

    Paul C
    Wow - thanks, Paul! Appreciated! So, just to make sure I understand, you did Milky Way shots shooting for over an hour, with each exposure being as short as 4 seconds? And these were uncompressed RAWs with everything set to maximum (frame dimensions, bit depth, etc.)? And the camera never paused at all during that hour? (Don't suppose you did any where the exposures were as short as 2 or 3 seconds, by any chance?)

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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    Wow - thanks, Paul! Appreciated! So, just to make sure I understand, you did Milky Way shots shooting for over an hour, with each exposure being as short as 4 seconds? And these were uncompressed RAWs with everything set to maximum (frame dimensions, bit depth, etc.)? And the camera never paused at all during that hour? (Don't suppose you did any where the exposures were as short as 2 or 3 seconds, by any chance?)
    Hi Ed

    Most of my M way shots were 5 to 16 seconds. D810A or D850. D810A takes older compact flash and I usually had a 64Gb card.

    D850 dames times. Most continuous I did on M May would be around 20 minutes. But on these I am manually controlling shutter release as I am constantly changes shutter speed, ISO etc trying to find a good balance.

    On star trails I will dial in the exposure, using the Nikon intervalometer release. Once I have it all set I have camera on continuous L speed and intervalometer set to 1 0. Then I will sit down and wait while it runs. Longest I have run is about 1 hour @ 1 minute 30 sec. Never had any buffering issues.

    Occasionally I will stop the camera so I can ck exposure settings to make sure I am not over exposing. I always shoot star trails with the moon between 1/4 and 3/4 to add illumination to foreground. And you need to ck your sequence every once and a while.

    I would think based on this the D850 could do a series of raws @ 4 sec for an hour with no problems with buffering.

    Should be fine.

    Paul C
    Paul Caldwell
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D850 - continuous RAW shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Hi Ed

    Most of my M way shots were 5 to 16 seconds. D810A or D850. D810A takes older compact flash and I usually had a 64Gb card.

    D850 dames times. Most continuous I did on M May would be around 20 minutes. But on these I am manually controlling shutter release as I am constantly changes shutter speed, ISO etc trying to find a good balance.

    On star trails I will dial in the exposure, using the Nikon intervalometer release. Once I have it all set I have camera on continuous L speed and intervalometer set to 1 0. Then I will sit down and wait while it runs. Longest I have run is about 1 hour @ 1 minute 30 sec. Never had any buffering issues.

    Occasionally I will stop the camera so I can ck exposure settings to make sure I am not over exposing. I always shoot star trails with the moon between 1/4 and 3/4 to add illumination to foreground. And you need to ck your sequence every once and a while.

    I would think based on this the D850 could do a series of raws @ 4 sec for an hour with no problems with buffering.

    Should be fine.

    Paul C

    Thanks, Paul. This is really interesting stuff and the closest I have to an answer. But still not quite enough to make me sure... That's because I often have to do continuous sequences of 2 second exposures for 90-120 minutes, without break. The difference between 4 second exposures and this might be decisive... (i.e. it might cause the camera to stop shooting and break up the trails).

    However, your information is nonetheless very useful and I truly thank you for it! I am hopeful that the camera would at least cope with shooting 2.5 or 3 second exposures this way, which I could probably make work if I had to. It's probably enough for me to go ahead with what I have in mind and hope for the best!

    As an illustration of the situations in which I need to do such mad things, here are some examples... All shot with Pentax 645Z except for the Opera House shot, which used D800Es with 14-24 lenses. And yes, it did involve two of them!

    [IMG]StarTrailsFromFilesIMGP8683-9999And0001-0683_Step7sRGBSMALL by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]StarTrailsFromFilesIMGP5352-7294_Step7sRGBSMALL by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]StarTrailsFromFilesIMGP8999-1566_Step5sRGBSMALL by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]StarTrailsFromFilesIMGP3595-5552_Step8sRGBSMALL by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]StarTrailsFiles_DSC0155-915And6681-7441Step8sRGBSMALL by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]StarTrailsFromFilsIMGP4156-5261_Step5sRGBSMALL by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]St Paul's Star Trails by Ed Hurst, on Flickr[/IMG]

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