One question that has been continuously asked from our readers has been regarding the buffer size of the Nikon D810. Nikon stated that the buffer has been increased, but has not yet provided any information in the official documents on the English versions of the Nikon USA and Nikon Imaging sites. After doing a bit of research last night, I found the Nikon D810 manual in Japanese language at Nikon-image.com (here it is for reference). I compared the table to that of the Nikon D800 / D800E and found out a surprise – the buffer size on the D810 appears to be doubled in comparison. What a nice surprise!
Take a look at the below chart:
|DSLR||Image Type||FX Size||DX Size||FX Buffer||DX Buffer|
|Nikon D810||NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 12-bit||31.9 MB||14.6 MB||47||100|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 12-bit||32.4 MB||14.9 MB||21||38|
|Nikon D810||NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 14-bit||40.7 MB||18.3 MB||28||97|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 14-bit||41.3 MB||18.6 MB||17||29|
|Nikon D810||NEF (RAW), Compressed, 12-bit||29.2 MB||13.3 MB||58||100|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||NEF (RAW), Compressed, 12-bit||29.0 MB||13.2 MB||25||54|
|Nikon D810||NEF (RAW), Compressed, 14-bit||36.3 MB||16.4 MB||35||100|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||NEF (RAW), Compressed, 14-bit||35.9 MB||16.2 MB||20||41|
|Nikon D810||NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 12-bit||55.9 MB||24.4 MB||34||78|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 12-bit||57.0 MB||25.0 MB||18||30|
|Nikon D810||NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 14-bit||73.2 MB||31.8 MB||23||46|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 14-bit||74.4 MB||32.5 MB||16||25|
|Nikon D810||JPEG Fine (Large)||18.1 MB||8.6 MB||100||100|
|Nikon D800 / D800E||JPEG Fine (Large)||16.3 MB||8.0 MB||100||100|
Looking at the above table, Nikon shows the buffer to be almost double in size compared to the D800 / D800E in certain cases. For example, shooting lossless compressed RAW images in 12-bit on the D800/D800E yields 21 images, which with the 4 fps speed basically translates to 5.25 seconds of continuous shooting before the buffer gets full. With the 47 image buffer at 5 fps on the D810, we are at about 9.4 seconds of total continuous shooting time before the buffer gets full. That’s almost twice longer – a huge difference! And if you are willing to cut some corners and reduce image quality to 12-bit compressed RAW, the camera will be able to accommodate 58 images, which is almost twelve seconds of continuous shooting time.
It is pretty clear that the processor certainly takes a lot of load with mega-large uncompressed 14-bit RAW files – the D810 can only accommodate 23 of those in the buffer, compared to 16 on the D800 / D800E. Still, this is very impressive for the D810 and should be a great surprise for wildlife and sports shooters that are considering the Nikon D810.
If you get one of those fast SanDisk Extreme Pro 16 GB CF cards that can do 160 MB/second, you can squeeze up to 257 shots before the camera stops shooting. Now that’s very impressive.
More to come on the D810, so stay tuned!