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GF-5 RAW buffer or SD card speed limit?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by mussomusso, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. mussomusso

    mussomusso Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Nov 17, 2012
    Riva Del Garda
    I am taking 5 bracketed pictures in RAW on the GF-5 using the high speed function...it thus takes 5 pictures in quick succession , but sometimes after 2 or 3 shots it stops to write to the card.

    It then only resumes after 10 seconds or so to take the remaining bracketed pics of the sequence.

    It only does this some of the time...usually it manages all 5 bracketed pics in quick succession.

    The SD card I am using is a SanDisk Ultra 8GB class 4 SDHC 15MB/s

    Is the card too slow for the RAW bracketed sequence or is it a GF-5 buffer limitation?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    Just got G5 and had no chance to work it a lot. But I have SanDisk 32 GB 30MB/sec so I'll test and let you know. Could you describe your exact settings?
     
  3. mussomusso

    mussomusso Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Nov 17, 2012
    Riva Del Garda
    Thanks Bacek

    I am shooting on RAW uncompressed, burst mode, 5 exposure bracketing. When I hold my finger down it takes 5 bracketed shots in quick succession in about 1.5 seconds.
     
  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    With my Panny G-1 and using a Class 10 card, I have no problem with 7 shot brackets while shooting RAW. At least there is no problem with doing one.

    It does take some time for the buffer to empty to the card. If I start a second shot (another 7 shot bracket) too soon it will "stall" after a few exposures when the buffer fills. I just check the red blinking card icon and wait for it to disappear before shooting the next set.
     
  5. mussomusso

    mussomusso Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Nov 17, 2012
    Riva Del Garda
    It must be my Class 4 card then...will try the Class 10 from my Nikon and see.

    Thx guys!
     
  6. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    227
    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    Class 4 is really slow nowadays. A quality class 10 card should help with burst mode.
     
  7. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    Results are similar on my side. First it shots 5 shots but if I'll try to do next 5 immediately it does only 1-3. There is an icon on the screen that indicates data transfer to card.
    According to manual page 89 (english) in normal burst we are able to shoot 6 frames by sec but only max. 9 in row (can be less depending on settings or card). So I'll guess buffer is for 7-8 full res frames. Full res RAW is about 20MB data so in your case it takes more then one sec to write one frame to SD.
    So maybe with much faster card it will be better for bracketed mode as there is at least some space between each following scene shoot.
     
  8. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    I guess my so called 30mb/s SD is fake. Had another Sandisk Ultra 32 GB but in microSD format and it's much faster. For first SD camera takes 31 sec to write full buffer to SD and for second (microSD) it took "only" 11 sec to write full buffer. So G5 definitely can take advantage of faster card. Question is where is the limit.? I guess I'll try 95MB/S one, but this time from safer source.
     
  9. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    I'm waiting for fast cardreader to confirm my sd'd performance. But from my tests it seems that if I shoot jpeg only, cameras buffer is clered faster if I use faster sd card. But for raw only it seems that speed is constant no matter what card I use. Its little bit strange
     
  10. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    All Panasonic :43: have a buffer that can take only 7 RAW pictures.
    When you shot in burst it fill up the the buffer and writes to the SD as fast as it can.
    RAW size for GF5 is 12.1 MB and for G5 it is 15.3 MB. The speed write of the card is theoretical 15 MB/SEC (Class 4). Because of this after 2 second we succeeded to write 2 pictures to the SD and left with 7 RAW images in the buffer and no empty slots (5 in Buffer + 2 on SD + 2 empty space in buffer created by transfer -> 5+2+2=9) . This is why Panasonic commit to 9 shots in a sequence. The shooting rate is much faster then class 4 which is recommended by Panasonic and used in their calculation.
     
  11. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    But no matter what card I have used (class 4,6 or 10) for RAW files it was about 20 sec to flush buffer. But if switch to JPEG only it shoots more then 20 pictures in series before slow down and then depending on SD I put in it takes 11-40 seconds for full flush. So may be they can fix RAW speed in next firmware version.
     
  12. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    I shot only RAW what is the size of the JPG on your camera.
    With RAW you might hit the limit speed of the camera bus.
     
  13. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    It's G5 so jpg is about 4MB. But I guess it should be irrelevant if it's RAW or JPG. Why putting faster card makes JPG flush faster and when I put slow card its slows down but for RAW it was always constant about 20 sec no matter if it was class 4 or class 10 card.
     
  14. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    Each RAW file is almost 4 JPG files. That means that the G5 buffer can hold ~27 JPG. The camera BUS speed is I assume about 15 MB/sec therefor it clears about 4 JPG/sec. You have not seen speed degradation for JPG because at H,M and L speed it clears the buffer as fast as it takes pictures. In SH mode there is a limit of 40 probably because of same buffer/BUS limit as in RAW.
     
  15. Bacek

    Bacek Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Dec 30, 2012
    But I can bet that that some of the cards I have tested are noticeable slower than 15MB/s (suspect 5MB/S). So why on it clearing buffer for RAW took same time as for 30MB/s card? If for 30MB/s card it took about 20-24 sec to flush content so for 5MB/s card it should flush it at least in 60 sec but the time was similar.
     
  16. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    If you can specify your testing methodology I might be able to comment.
    In computers equipment benchmark tests you always need to tell what is the criteria you test and how to test it.
    Regarding your question I do not know what is the limiting factor in the G5 system. It might be one of the following: SD speed, Buss speed, CPU speed, Buffer speed, SW bugs(implementation) and others...
    or instance implementation speed can differ if the implementation was done in SW or HW. If Panasonic have implemented the JPG buffer clear in ASIC, and the RAW in SW, then the ASIC clear can be ridiculously faster.
    Regarding SD speed I do not trust the numbers we see on most. It might be that a class 4 SD card will be as fast as a class 8. The class only tell us what is the minimal speed that a company commit to.
    Therefore in order to test the SD speed you need to test it on a PC with a fast card reader, using large files and a good benchmark SW.