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Old Jul 5, 2010, 11:30 AM   #1
BDD
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Default Achieving max FPS

I have a Nikon D300. The max FPS is supposedly 6 FPS if shooting in RAW and if set to 12-bit (14-bit drops the FPS down to 2.5 FPS). If I have my D300 set to Continuous Servo AF focus mode, dynamic-area AF and a minimum shutter speed of 1/250 why haven't I been able to get 6 FPS? I'm also shooting in JPG mode (which shouldn't affect the speed since the file size are smaller than RAW files) How would I achieve 6 FPS?

The manual says you can achieve "up to 6 FPS" (were they referring to the fact that you can set the max # of FPS here?). I assumed I could always get 6 FPS simply by fully depressing the shutter button. I think I'm only getting around 4. Maybe I didn't have the shutter button pressed all the way down 100%.

Last edited by BDD; Jul 5, 2010 at 11:39 AM.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 12:19 PM   #2
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Speaking strictly from first principles, the speed of your memory card will matter. Do you have as fast a memory card as you can get?
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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May need the mbd-10 to achive that rate.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 1:17 PM   #4
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There are lots of reasons why you might not be able to get 6 fps, not the least of which is the speed of your memory card. If you're not using at least a 300X CF card, you won't get there, and faster would be better.

Another possiblity is that another setting or combination of settings can cause the D300 to perform additional processing before the image file is transferred to the card. If you've got noise reduction turned on, that can be a big one.

Try this. Set your camera to store Large Fine JPEG files, switch to manual focus, manual exposure (using a shutter speed of at least 1/250), leave the lens cap on, and hold down the shutter button. That should give you the fastest possible frame rate, given your other settings and the speed of your CF card.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 1:45 PM   #5
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Could be my CF card. It would be considered pretty slow by today's standards. It's a "133x" card. I think I do have a 300x UDMA Lexar.

But I would assume having my lens set to AF wouldn't affect my ability to get 6 FPS.

And my D300 is set to Large/Fine/JPG.

Will test again with the 300x card. Thanks guys.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD View Post

It's a "133x" card.
...
And my D300 is set to Large/Fine/JPG
...

...

But I would assume having my lens set to AF wouldn't affect my ability to get 6 FPS.
Your Dynamic Area AF setting could be slowing it down some if you're using all 51 AF points, as the D300 can be a bit "sluggish" in some conditions that way (at least with the original firmware). Are you testing in good light (i.e., outdoors). If not, your lighting could be causing a problem.

I clocked a D300 at 5.94 frames per second for 37 frames before a slowdown using a relatively slow 133x card a while back. But, I had it set to Center Point versus Dynamic Area (I thought Dynamic Area was a bit sluggish with a D300 using the original Version 1.00 firmware).. Using a faster card, it should clock a tad over 6 frames per second for 100 frames (I clocked one at 6.1 frames per second for 65 frames without a slowdown using a Sandisk Extreme IV a while back).

What firmware version are you using?

Newer versions higher than the original 1.00 firmware (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.10) should improve AF performance using all 51 AF points from what I've heard (although I haven't personally tested one using newer firmware). Disabling some of the AF points can help (don't use all 51 by setting it to use fewer AF points instead).

The current firmware version is 1.10. If you're using the original firmware, I'd update it.

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answ...d/116678/sno/1

I'd also see if you have Active D-Lighting enabled, as that can impact performance with some Nikon models (turn it off and see what you get if it's not just firmware version and lighting conditions causing it).
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:13 PM   #7
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Hello JimC,

Will test with Dynamic-area AF not used. Will try Spot-area AF or Auto-Area AF. See what happens.

I do have D-Lighting on. Set to "normal". Will shut that off. See how that goes.

All this using my 133x Kingston card with the shutter speed set to 1/250. M exposure mode and will try shutter-speed priority.

I have the latest firmware installed. 1.10.

UPDATE: I focused on a subject (face of my stereo). Held the shutter down for 5 seconds and only got 13 or 14 frames. Should have got almost 30. So it's really just firing continuously but not fast. Not at almost 6 FPS for sure. Not sure what's up. Besides the fact that I'm using a 133x card. But you managed 5.9 FPS and 37 frames before you noticed a slow down.

Was in shutter-priority. 1/250 and f/3. Auto ISO on (doubt that has any bearing).

And I think you mean "single-point AF" focusing mode. There is "center-weighted metering" though.

Love to figure out why I'm not managing 6 FPS (or even 5.9). Even though I don't shoot sports. And being that I can get it to shoot "continuously" isn't bad. But would be better if I could trigger the 6 FPS.

Last edited by BDD; Jul 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:15 PM   #8
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Kingston, huh? The figure I mentioned (5.94 frames per second for 37 frames before a slowdown) was using a 133x Kingston Elite Pro. D-Lighting was off, and I had it set to use the Center AF point.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD View Post
Will test with Dynamic-area AF not used. Will try Spot-area AF or Auto-Area AF. See what happens.
Or just set it to manual focus, and see what happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD View Post
I do have D-Lighting on. Set to "normal". Will shut that off. See how that goes.
Active D-Lighting shouldn't make a lot of difference.

Noise Reduction makes a lot of difference. Do you have that turned on?
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Last edited by TCav; Jul 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM.
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Old Jul 5, 2010, 2:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Active D-Lighting shouldn't make a lot of difference.
Active D-Lighting makes a *huge* difference with some Nikon dSLR models, slowing down frames per second significantly using Continuous Drive mode.

For example, note the separate performance sections for the D3000 here (with and without D-Lighting Enabled) showing a drastic slowdown to only 0.37 frames per second after only 5 frames with it turned on (1 frame every 3 or 4 seconds), even thought it could go 100 frames without a slow down with it disabled (and that's with a camera that's only trying to work at 3fps, versus one like the D300 trying to maintain 6fps). Unless Nikon incorporated a dramatically faster processing engine in the D300 (3 or 4 times as fast, or even much faster to handle it, as the one in the D3000, keeping in mind that the D300 is an older model, too), I'd expect a significant slowdown to happen very quickly if trying to shoot a 6fps with Active D-Lighting enabled.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3000/page11.asp

I don't know of anyone that's tested a D300 that way (with and without Active D-Lighting Enabled). But, I'd certainly consider that setting to be very suspect if it's turned on (as it's disabled by default).

That type of feature is very taxing on the image processing pipeline (and I don't know if Nikon used Apical's ASICs for it in the D300's pipeline, or just licensed the code using their own ASICs, and the speed of the technology used in the D300 for that feature would make a difference). But, I do know they license the technology from Apical. Both Nikon's Active D-Lighting features and Sony's DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer) features are both based on the Iridix engine from Apical (only the Sony models have DRO enabled by default, and Nikon has Active D-Lighting disabled by default). You can see more about it here:

http://www.apical-imaging.com/iridix
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