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Old Aug 23, 2003, 7:57 PM   #1
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Default DSLR or compact FAST at writing TIFFs?

I have a Nikon Coolpix 5400 and take most of my pictures as TIFFs. Which is fine.. but.. the 40 second CF write-time! Most of the time it's bearable, but too often I'm nearly grinding my teeth or shaking my leg like I need to use the bathroom :shock: - just waiting for the camera to finish writing. This is normally because in the mean-time another shot has presented itself and won't hang around - due to fast changing light or movement of the subject :roll:
Is this a camera speed issue or a memory card issue? I use a Sandisk Ultra 256mb. Adding a Lexar 512mb 12x soon.
I assume there must be at least some pro (or even prosumer) camera's out there which write TIFFs quicker than 40 secs :?:

Any info. on this much appreciated..
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Old Aug 24, 2003, 1:25 AM   #2
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Why not look into a camera with raw setting? It's uncompressed and a much smaller file size so it should write much quicker. The only catch is that it has to be turned into tiff in software, but that shouldn't be too much of a hassle.
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Old Aug 24, 2003, 2:12 AM   #3
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The limit is not just the memory, It's the amount of time the camera spends processing the RAW output. So shooting RAW will be quicker. Faster in camera processing would also push up processor speed, leading to increased battery drain. One way round this is bigger in-cam buffer memory. O.K you'd have to leave it turned on to finish writing, but at least you'd have that second shot.

Shooting TIFF, how do you find your battery life? i.e number of shots per charged set of batts?

In situations where you are likely to run into this problem, rather than spend time composing a shot on a tripod, do you still find that type of shot justifies TIFF? The only times I've used TIFF is when I know a composed shot like a landscape or arboreteum has lots of fussy fine detail which might get trashed by JPEG. Most times, hand held for general shots I'll bet the difference between TIFF and JPEG is small. But I think RAW is definitely worth having.

You could always carry two cameras! VOX
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Old Aug 24, 2003, 7:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I use TIFFs because I post my pics in to a picture library, and they require TIFF files which are in turn interpolated up to at least 48mb. I have to ask if they accept TIFFs converted from RAWs, before interpolation. If that is possible, then I eagerly await the first firmware update, which is due to include RAW for my camera.

To answer the other question, I'd say I usually get something between 30-50 TIFF shots off per battery charge.

The only thing limiting me having more camera's right now is my wallet :shock: its pretty thin at the mo !

But the 5400 is good, especially the built in 28-112 zoom. Its a useful range, and covers what I need.
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Old Aug 24, 2003, 8:27 PM   #5
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Ive had this problem with the 4300's. Make sure you format your CP card in the camera. It makes a BIG difference in performance of focus speed, and recording. Doesnt hurt to try.
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 7:43 AM   #6
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If you are running big cards and consistently shooting TIFF's, you could also look at increasing the cards default formatted cluster size if the camera is happy with it. You will always have to do any subsequent re-formats via the reader.

I can't say exactly what improvent you would get as it depends on how much of the bottleneck is card writing, and how much is in cam processor, if any it might be 5 seconds or so on a slowish card. I understand now you are posting pics to a library. That must take a while! I did read once that a write cycle to flash is always preceded by an erase which takes time.

In my ignorance of these things, I wondered why the flash can't be erased in advance, I'm sure there's a good reason. VOX
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 9:26 AM   #7
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sorry VOX, I don't know what you mean. How would I go about 'increasing the cards default formatted cluster size'? And if the camera didn't like it, could I reverse this action?

Posting pics to the library, I just burn to CD and send in the post.

You said..
'I did read once that a write cycle to flash is always preceded by an erase which takes time.
In my ignorance of these things, I wondered why the flash can't be erased in advance, I'm sure there's a good reason'.


I'm not familiar with this. My knowledge is still pretty limited. Would appreciate if you could you explain to mean what this means.
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