Nikon 5700 Speed Tests for CF cards

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mgl, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. mgl

    mgl Guest

    I am a beginner in serious photography and especially in digital
    photography. However, I know may way around computers and I see little
    technological difference between a digital camera and a single purpose
    computer. As with any "computing device", you are always spending money
    on something that will improve the I/O of your system. Whether it be a
    faster hard drive/storage devive or a better controller or faster
    processor with a larger buffer and memory. Well, these are the same
    issues with all of these digitla cameras.

    For that reason, I was very disappointed with the poor response " I got
    from the Nikon Support Team. What does "We do not have any write speed
    specifications with regard to the camera to convey" mean? Is it that
    they don't know or that they are not willing to tell anyone?

    I have tried various web searches and read countless reviews but I have
    not found anything that comes close to establishing a speed test for
    digital cameras.

    I am wondering whether anyone out there knows the answer to the
    questions I posed to Nikon and whether there is anything tracked for
    other digital cameras consumer, prosumer, or DSLRs?

    I checked out the Compact Flash Association web site and beyond offering
    the latest CF standard (v2.0), they do not even list the CF card speed
    rating as something they track as a feature issue. This is very surprising.

    So, please read the history of my question to Nikon and let me know
    whether you have any views, experience or knowledge of this issue.

    Thank you,




    Customer (MGL) 12/06/2003 09:22 PM
    I understand that there is an approved list of CF cards. However, as
    technology moves ahead, new CF cards are available with speeds of 40X.
    This speed comes at a premium price. However, there is no documentation
    that details how fast the 5700 CPU data processing is and what the speed
    ceiling is for reading a CF card into internal buffers.

    Can you please tell me what the (theoretical) limitation is for the data
    transfer based on the 5700 technology? This would allow us to determine
    whether it is worth spending the extra money on a 40X CF card.

    Thank you



    Auto-response (Paul) 12/06/2003 09:22 PM
    Your Question has not been submitted yet!
    We searched our database and found the following articles that may help
    answer your question. Please click on the links to review (the article
    will open in a new window). If you still need to submit a question click
    the button at the bottom of the screen.

    Title: Compact Flash Speed Information

    Title: Nikon tested CompactFlashâ„¢ memory cards

    Title: Increasing image transfer speed using a card reader


    The only product specifications which are made available to the public
    may be found in the product user guide, or the specification sheets
    posted at

    If the information you requested is not available at either of the
    sources mentioned, then the information is not made available to the
    public. We regret that many specific technical specifications cannot be
    made available to the public as the fall under the umbrella of company
    trade secrets.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    The Nikon Team


    Customer (MGL) 12/24/2003 01:07 AM
    I appreciate the information you supplied but it does not answer the
    question I need answered. It is not the speed of the card that I am
    interested in but rather the speed of the camera in buffering the image
    for writing to the memory card. How slow or fast is the camera?
    Theoretically, where is the ceiling? If I bought a theoretical 40X card
    would the camera actually take advantage of this speed or is it limited
    to 12X due to the way the circuitry and channels are configured?

    I would think this information was part of the camera design. It may not
    have been important at the time the camera came out becAUse available
    memory was much slower. However, now memOry is getting faster (at a
    price premium) and it would be nice to know what the camera's
    "sweet-spot" really is!

    Thank you and i hope your engineers can let me know. I don't want or
    need guarantees. I just need an estmate without having to do speed tests
    with expensive cards.



    Response (Paul) 12/30/2003 03:05 PM
    Dear Mickey,

    Thank you for your inquiry. We do not have any write speed
    specifications with regard to the camera to convey, your best bet would
    be to search for the information via As well, we suggest
    that you research the numerous internet sites that do test various cards
    and digital cameras with regard to write speeds.

    Sorry we could not be of more assistance. Again, thank you for
    supporting Nikon products.

    The Nikon Team
    mgl, Jan 9, 2004
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  2. mgl

    Tumbleweed Guest

    No they are not, and even if they were, there is always a point of
    diminishing returns when it isnt worth spending money on say a faster
    graphics card because the rest of the PC isnt up to it. WIth the high speed
    buffers inside most digicams, I suspect this point has already been reached
    for most photography.

    Why is it surprising, nearly all modern cameras have a high speed buffer
    which will cater for multiple shots in succession and then copy that to the
    CF card in the background, and most modern CF will be fast enough for most
    So card speed means little for most uses, and also any speed requirements
    would be dependent upon many factors such as how often and what type of
    picture format (RAW, JPEG, compression) you took, invalidating any general
    conclusions that might be made. For example if you look at the DP review
    tests they did, different cards were better for a variety of different
    tasks, but the one thing they didnt do on those tests was go out and see
    what actual difference it made in real-world conditions, ie just taking
    pictures. I suspect the answer would have been 'almost none'.

    If you are really bothered, buy a 'standard' low cost card, and a fast one,
    and see what difference you notice on your photography.
    Tumbleweed, Jan 9, 2004
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  3. mgl

    mgl Guest

    Well, I will concede the specifics but not the generalities. In any
    case, the issue is still valid.

    As far as paying for a card only to not see the benefit..I can't afford
    the testing price. I bought 16X cards when I bought the Coolpix 5700.
    When taking RAW images, the internal buffer will handle three images
    before showing you the hourglass for 20 to 30 seconds before the camera
    will respond again. The question then becomes: Is it worth paying a
    premium for a 40X card or have you reached the limit of the camera
    architecture? As you appear to reconize there are all sorts of speed
    tests done on computers to give you some sense of their performance.
    Where are the speed tests for digital cameras?

    mgl, Jan 9, 2004
  4. mgl

    Ed Ruf Guest

    The 5700 does not support the accelerated write speeds the dslrs do. As
    such save your $$.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Jan 9, 2004
  5. mgl

    Guest Guest

    Someone did a bunch of CF speed testing. The results are somewhere on
    the web, but I couldn't make out what to decide based on them.

    Then somewhere, I don't remember where, I heard that the 5700 can take
    advantage of up to an 8x speed card. Any faster of a card wound't
    help in the camera, though it might help in download-to-a-PC speed.

    Guest, Jan 10, 2004
  6. The repeat shot rate has been a problem for me from my first step into
    digital photography with an Epson 850Z to my current Fuji S2. It's
    far inferior to film.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 10, 2004
  7. mgl

    mgl Guest

    I guess there is no specific information available for the Nikon Coolpix
    5700 and it does not look like Nikon is willing to invest the time
    (moving on to the new improved model, etc.) However, there is an
    excellent article about this whole issue at the following site:

    They tested four different cameras against a multitude of storage
    devices with very interesting results! The closest they came to testing
    the Nikon architecture is the Nikon Coolpix 995. I do not know how
    that compares to the internal architecture of the Coolpix 5700. Both
    cameras may use the same electronic infrastructure with changes to the
    body and lens or it may be totally different. In any case, this article
    gives some feel for how much of a difference there could be and how
    there is more work required between storage and camera manufacturers to
    give the consumer some real data by which to evaluate what they are
    paying for.

    I want to thank everyone that gave me feedback.

    Take care,

    mgl, Jan 12, 2004
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