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Old Jun 7, 2004, 8:42 AM   #1
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You might have seen a recent commericial on television for the Nikon D70 where a rhinocerous is running through a small town and people are shouting "shoot it". Of course one character gets his Nikon D70, sets it for continuous mode, and snaps away.

Continuous shooting mode is appealing to me since my wife rides a horse. The D70 sounds like an excellent camera, but, if I'm honest with myself, probably much more than I need. My current point and shoot (Canon G2) can grab about 3fps at a quality resolution, but then stops to save to the media card.

My question is this. Couldn't a point and shoot manufacturer add some "onboard memory" to their cameras to speed up this process and allow ... perhaps 10 pictures in a burst before writing to the card? Wouldn't that be a natural progression in those type of cameras to appeal to a novice like me? Or is there more to this than I am grasping?


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Old Jun 7, 2004, 9:39 AM   #2
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You are perfectly correct, but you aren't considering everything.

The companies want to differenciate the different models. Ram is cheap, they could put lots of ram into the camer and buffer lots of picture. But if they did that, their other models might look worse and not sell as well. So they made higher and lower tier models with more and different features. One thing that differenciates the models is how large a burst mode they can shoot.

Another thing is that the camera isn't designed to take that many pictures that fast. The sensor heats up as it is used. As it heats up, the picture quality drops (more noise in the image.) It costs more to prevent this, and they probably don't do this in the lower end models. (This is just theory. My logic is sound, head does produce noise in the image. But does burst mode produce enough heat to make a difference? I don't know. Handling this heat does mean more cost, though.)

The D70, I believe, has such a larger buffer and is so fast at writing that I don't believe it will stop taking pictures until the CF card will stop (you should check Steve's review to see if I'm remembering correctly.) You (obviously)need a fast CF card for it to work this way.

So cameras could be made that way, but camera makers choose not to. It allows them to offer a variety of models at different price points and to fit different users needs.

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