panorama software,virtual tour software
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2005-05-28
#1

Compact Flash speed?

Hi All.  I have a Nikon 8700 and it was taking 15- 16 seconds to generate a photo in 'Hi' resolution (23.5MB Tiff) mode using the card the camera came with (a 4X Lexar 256MB).

I just purchased a 1 Gig SanDisk Ultra II card hoping that it would improve a poor situation.  Sadly it hasn't...it now takes 14 - 15 seconds...I've saved all of 1 second! 

Is anyone familiar with this camera and if you are - is this normal performance?  Is there any other way I can decrease the time necessary to capture a high res photo?

As it stands, it's almost impossible for me to take an effective VR in crowded areas using anything over medium quality. 

Hope you can help

Steiner


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2005-06-05
#2

@Gen Lee

Many thanks for your in-depth feedback buddy - much appreciated.  I've been away on biz so appologies for the lateness of this reply.  I had come to the same conclusion as what you've said via trial and error.  YES!  Thanks you for confirming that it is indeed not possible to take that second shot before the camera has finished processing that first one (I was beginning to think my camera was faulty).  At least it cannot with my 8700 - perhaps it can with the higher spec DSLRs.

I've just been asked to do a series of VR's for a local concert hall.  I will certainly have to take the images at a lower res to avoid having the performers at two places in the same same pano.

Also get this. Nikon has informed me - after a great deal of hesitation - that it will make little difference to the performance of my 8700 in upgrading to a San Disk Ultra II from my original Lexar 4X CF card.  Apparently it all comes down to the inner workings and limitations of the 8700 itself.  Oh well - at least I've moved from a 256MB card to a 1Gig!

Cheers

Steiner


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2005-06-05
#3

I did some crowd shots at a football match about 2 years ago with my cp 990 fce8 in fine jpg = 1.1MB per image... It was a nightmare even with this setup and comparativly fast writing speed of a couple seconds per exposure. Especially as I took 3-5 shots per direction for 3 shot stiching. I had to do plenty of cutting and pasting for this. Most of the guys I know who do crowd work tend to do multirow wideangle lens work due to movement and lighting issues with 36 shots for a sphere no uncommon. Obviously PW ain't the tool to use then.

Steiner... matter of interest... do the tiff shots compare favorably to the jpg??


If I only had an hour to chop down a tree... I'd spend 45 mins sharpening the axe.
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2005-06-05
#4

Hi Pheonix

I would say yes.  Even though the final pano will always get reduced to a small scale jpeg - it tends to benefit from coming from a high res TIF as opposed to a high quality JPG (especially when it comes to zooming in).

If you'd like to see crowd samples using the 'Fine' setting (high res jpeg) for my hemispheres, have a look at the 'Milton Keynes Gallery - Buckinghamshire: UK' panos on my website.  By no means perfect but the speed of this setting allowed me to get workable shots where as the TIF setting didn't (albeit with a good deal of post production work).

Cheers

Steiner 


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2005-05-28
#5

Steiner,

I believe you can continue shooting with the CP8700 before the card has finished writing the previous image. (Still seems a long time to write one image!)

Have you checked for a firmware upgrade?

Also you are probably better off to use .nef (RAW) format over .tiff if your camera supports it although you will then need to convert and correct with a RAW converting program like Photoshops RAW plug-in or Nikon's Nikonview software.

Regards, Smooth


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2005-05-28
#6

Hi Smooth

Thanks for the feedback.  Yes, I can take RAW images but it's only about 1 second faster.  Re. firmware upgrades, I can try it.  Is there a url you can point me to?

Thanks


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2005-05-28
#7

Check this page it offers the firmware upgrade for the Nikon Coolpix 8700 to version 1.3

Regards, Smooth


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2005-05-28
#8

Thanks Smooth, I've updated the firmware but no improvement in speed unfortunately. 

Could someone with an 8700 please time your RAW and HI images and let me know how long it takes for you?

Thanks in advance


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2005-05-28
#9
According to Digital Phtography Review, for the 8700 your times seem about correct. As Smooth said, you should be able to take pictures faster than the 15 seconds because of the cameras internal memory, they say about 7.6 seconds before next shot for TIFF HI:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp8700/page11.asp

3264 x 2448 TIFF HI
15.6 seconds to write      
1.0 seconds to display
23,520 KB file size

Respectable write times considering the larger file sizes involved. We estimated camera's Compact Flash interface throughput to be between 1 - 1.5 MB/sec for a good card like this Ultra II. This is notably faster than the Coolpix 5700 which took longer to process and write smaller files.
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2005-05-29
#10

Thanks for the feedback John.  Looks like I'll need to update the camera itself if I ever want to get faster results.  Something for the future.

Cheers


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2005-05-29
#11

This is correct.  You may have a superfast CF.  However, the write time to the CF is governed by the camera.

We use a Lexar Professional 80x with write acceleration 1GB with both of our Canon 20d or Canon 350d.  Our Canon Repr said that both cameras will only write at 40x speed and the CF card will outlast either camera life. 

Next generation cameras will write at 80x.

How long does it take to write to to this Lexar card?  I can hold the shutter release down, and it will rapid fire 1 per second 8mb RAW image.

Now if I could only take panorama images that fast.

OH did you know that your 1 Gig SanDisk Ultra II card is rated faster than my 1GB Lexar CF ?

Dave


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Dave
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