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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:05 PM   #11
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I tried Active D-Lighting on my D90, and found that it hardly made any difference, and I use contiuous shooting all the time. I have Active D-Lighting set to "Normal" for everything I shoot.

But Noise Reduction really took a chunk out of my frame rate. It dropped from over 4 to about 3.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:29 PM   #12
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Your D90 is a year newer model compared to the D300 (meaning it probably has faster ASICs for that part of it's image processing pipeline), and it's also not trying to maintain 6fps like the D300 is.

Reviewers have noted slower continuous shooting with both the D3000 and D5000 with it enabled. But, I don't know of anyone that's tested a D300 that way. Depending on the speed of the ASIC used for that part of the imaging processing pipeline (and Apical sells their own ASICs for it, and licenses the code for use on camera manufacturer's ASICs) , you can expect a dramatic slowdown in performance with some cameras using Apical's Iridix engine (as in the tests dpreview.com performed with the Nikon D3000).
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 3:10 PM   #13
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Just tried did a 5 second test with my lens set to M. I got almost 30 FPS. I got 27 frames. Just 3 frames shy of 30. Perhaps it's my Nikon 105mm macro lens when in AF mode?

Btw. I'm still using my Kingston 133x Elite Pro card. Continuous Servo AF. Single-point AF. Shutter speed 1/250.

Maybe it IS my lens. As in certain situations it has been known to hunt (lens in AF mode). Had to press the shutter button a 2nd time to lock focus (e.g. dim light, shooting a white or grayish door). Mostly it's a great lens. Pin prick sharp.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 3:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD View Post
Just tried did a 5 second test with my lens set to M. I got almost 30 FPS. I got 27 frames. Just 3 frames shy of 30.
Errr, ummm... the number of frames before a slowdown has nothing to do with fps (frames per second), as in your "I got almost 30 FPS" comment, unless you take the time needed to take that number of frames into consideration.

There is *no way" a D300 can get anywhere near 30 frames per second (30 frames in one second). Think around 6 fps instead, with optimum settings.

As for lighting conditions, that can make a big difference. If you're going to test a camera's performance for things like using Continuous AF (AF-C) in Continuous Drive mode, you target needs to have plenty of contrast in good light, or make sure you note the conditions you're shooting in for comparison purposes.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 3:25 PM   #15
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Errr, ummm... the number of frames before a slowdown has nothing to do with fps (frames per second), unless you take the time needed to take that number of frames into consideration.

There is *no way" a D300 can get anywhere near 30 frames per second (30 frames in one second).

As for lighting conditions, that can make a big difference. If you're going to test a camera's performance for things like using Continuous AF (AF-C) in Continuous Drive mode, you target needs to have plenty of contrast in good light, or make sure you note the conditions you're shooting in for comparison purposes.
Typo. I meant 30 frames in 5 seconds. I got 27 frames in 5 seconds. Again with the 105mm macro lens set to M mode. Shooting a subject in "decent" light.

It looks like it's the lens' ability to AF quickly enough. Or in the case of the 105 it's inability. I think I did notice that it wasn't the quickest AF even in single-shot mode. Even though it does use Nikon's SWM AF motor used in many of their other lenses. Yet, I do notice some my other lens focusing faster now that I think about it. Or seemed like it.

Could a lens use the "same" AF tech yet be faster on another lens? Or when shooting for FPS...do you all set your lenses to M mode all the time?
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 3:26 PM   #16
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If you mean you were able to take 27 frames in 5 seconds, that works out to 5.4 frame per second, which is still slower than I'd expect from that camera, provided D-Lighting is off. If the subject is at a fixed focus distance (versus moving rapidly), the AF speed of the lens should not be a problem (as it should not have to move the optical elements any between frames).

So, I'd suspect something is wrong with your testing methodology and/or camera settings causing the problem.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 3:51 PM   #17
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JimC,

Yes, the "d-lighting" was off when I did the testing.

Subject was at a fixed focal length. Object on the floor.

I can say I noticed the speed increase to "27 frames in 5 seconds" when I moved the focus switch on my lens from M/A to M. Nothing else was changed.

So if the AF shouldn't be affected I don't know why I only got maybe 14 frames in 5 seconds.

Just tried it again. Same subject. Object on the ground. With d'-lighting set to N (normal) and using M/A (AF on) on my lens I got 16 frames in 5 seconds. With the lens set to M...I got 19. I suspect here the brightness in the room has changed. So the number of frames achieved were more similar. Same target so same lighting. The other times I shot at 2 different stationary targets. Which would probably account for the discrepancy.

Also, this time around, during the 5 seconds I noticed a slow down after about 2-3 seconds both times (M/A mode on or M mode). (Shrug) Didn't notice a slowdown during my "27 frames in 5 seconds using target A".

Could it be some setting I have on my D300 not letting me get close to the alleged "6 FPS"? JimC got "5.9". Love to find out what this is.

Hope to get to the bottom of this...

And if it is my testing method (which I doubt) then maybe some would could suggest a simple test. On a "fixed focal length target". Will try again using a different lens just to see if it did have to do with my 105 macro lens AF speed.

Last edited by BDD; Jul 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 3:56 PM   #18
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Did you make sure shutter speeds were not influencing your results (I noticed you mentioned making sure you were using 1/250 second in previous tests)? You'll need to make sure your shutter speeds are fast enough.

It should not slow down that much in only 5 seconds, unless something is very wrong with your settings, as the D300 has a relatively large buffer, and a 133x card should be fast enough for more frames before a slowdown.

I usually test cameras using Audio File Analysis with relatively sophisticated software using a good target in good lighting -- making sure the shutter speed being used is not influencing test results, and in camera processing (D-Lighting, etc.) is kept to a minimum, unless noted otherwise.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 4:13 PM   #19
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Just did two 5 second tests. Same subject. Using my 70-300 f/4.5. First test was done with d-lighting set to N (normal). I think I got 19 frames in 5 seconds. Lens was set to M/A (AF on). Second test with d-lighting off and lens in M mode. I think I got 18 shots. Odd.

Yes. The shutter speed remained 1/250. As recommended as the minimum speed by Nikon.

There must be some settings on my D300 that's preventing me from achieving 6 FPS. As JimC mentioned. What they are I have no idea yet.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 5:31 PM   #20
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If you're getting 18 shots before slow down, it's more likely the card you're using. Personally, I avoid Kingston cards (I would never use them, except during extreme emergencies, where I didn't have other cards available to me).
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