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On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 05:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sometime this month, hopefully, I'll be making my break into dSLR from the 35mm world with a Nikon D200. Never having shot digital before, I'm a little concerned with the size of the files in relation to the memory card. I was planning on going with a 1 gig card. Anyone know how many shots I can expect to squeeze in on one at 10MP shooting RAW? I know it's recommended to shoot RAW, but does that mean just RAW or RAW+JPG? I know having RAW gives you some additional latitude somehow, I'm just not all up on this digital stuff.
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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 06:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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David
I get about 80 shots on an 11 Meg canon with a 1 gig card shooting raw. What surprised me was opening the raw file in Photoshop increased the file size to 62mb. Luckily hard drive storage is cheap. A fast computer is a necessity.
Ken
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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 07:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I use the Canon 20D and I get 100 RAW photos per 1GB of card space. I don't do the combo of RAW and JPG, because there is no real advantage to that as you can automatically create JPGs from the RAWS if you need them and they are better than what the camera can create.

Since you'll often find yourself taking 300 to 400 shots during a daily shoot, it is wise to have multiple cards and/or some device to copy them off to as you go (laptop, imagetank, stand-a-lone CD/DVD burner). I just recently picked up a 2GB card for $70 and a 1GB card last week for $39, so there are some great bargains on the cards right now. I try to always have 4 or 5 cards of 1 or 2gb each when I go on a shoot and I take my laptop.

Cheers,
rfs
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RAW
Old 12-02-2005, 07:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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May I suggest shooting JPEG while you are on the learning curve.
RAW takes a lot of extra memory, forces you to add steps to your post shooting work flow and most of us can’t tell the difference form a photograph if shot RAW or JPEG.

I might also suggest that you pay strict attention to the white balance settings you use for every location. Later on, try RAW to see if it right for you. -Jim

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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 07:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I say go with several 512 mb cards... about 50 shots in RAW or 150 in highest JPG. on the D100 Less chance of breaking all your eggs...
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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I say go with several 512 mb cards... about 50 shots in RAW or 150 in highest JPG. on the D100

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah, but remember those 50 shots are with a 6 Mpx camera shooting RAW only (9.5 Megabytes per image). Add the JPG and boost the size up to 10 Mpx and you're probably looking at 15-16 Megabytes per image, and that'll mean about 30 shots per card. That's hardly enough to get warmed up before you have to stop and change the card.. I think a 1 GB card is where I'm going to be headed with my D200.

But, what I really wanna know is can I swap cards my from D100 into my D200 without formatting problems, or will a simple in-camera format work things out?

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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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David,

I've been looking for folks to report the filesize of D200 images in their various modes... RAW only.. RAW + JPG... but so far, I've not seen any reliable filesizes given. I'm shooting a D100 now, and have the cash waiting for the D200 to show up, so I'm more than a little interested in this subject.

Right now, shooting a D100's RAW image takes up about 9.5 Megabytes for that 6 Megapixel image. Guessing here, but the D200's 10 Megapixels will probably bump the filesize up to about 16 Megabytes for a RAW only image. That means you'll wind up getting about 32 shots on a 512 MB card... about 65 on a 1 GB card.

I find that, now, the 51 shots on a 512 MB card in the D100 gets me a pretty good run of images, usually having gotten the 'money shot' and allowed me to keep shooting in that setup, without problem. By the end of the card, i'm usually ready to change things up drastically, so that shot-count works out well for me. Your mileage may vary.

As far as what you should shoot (RAW, versus RAW+JPG versus JPG only)... here's my take:

RAW gives you the most information to work with, there is no question about that.

Can you produce good images shooting JPG? Of course, but you'll find that shooting RAW allows you to make adjustments to the image that will definitely enhance your image, whereas most folks seem to agree that to get great images with JPGs, you need to be pretty close to right-on-the-money with the exposure.

Using the RAW adjustments, you can be off probably 1 stop overexposed and maybe 2 stops under and come up with a salvageable image. You can't do that with JPG.
Obviously, the closer you get to the "proper" exposure (and understand, that there are times when you can have to different "proper" exposures for a scene and both be right, depending on the effect you were trying to achieve) the better.

Right now, I don't see me shooting anything but RAW for 95%+ of my shooting. The few times I shoot JPG, now, are give-away shots done for someone else, and that will probably continue. RAW just gives me too much control to give it up, even for the routine and mundane shots we all seem to take a lot of the time.

As far as RAW+JPG goes.. I know a lot of folks like it, saying that it simplifies their ability to sort quickly, etc. As I said, I shoot RAW almost exclusively and do an initial viewing using Nikon's VIEW browser. I rotate the shots in VIEW and then use Nikon's CAPTURE to do any gross exposure changes, white balancing, curve adjustments, etc. CAPTURE's batch mode works well for me in that regard because if I'm chaning one shot, I'm usually changing 25-50 shots (remember my 512 MB shot-count of 52 images on a card?) at a time, anyway.

I've got VIEW and CAPTURE on my laptop, and if I'm shooting anything serious I'm not too far away from my laptop, so viewing the RAW images is just as easy as viewing the JPGs for me. The ONE time i've ever shot something real important and was away from my laptop was when I photographed a particularly bad car wreck and a reporter for a local newspaper arrived with his point and shoot -- I chimped him some of my images and he wanted to take my CF card back to the newspaper to dump 'em. He didn't think they had a viewer/converter for Nikon RAW files (turns out they did.. he just didn't know it), so I made a quick trip back to the house, dumped the card into the desktop and resized the images into JPGs and burned a CD which I drove to the newspaper office and delivered. All told, it took an extra hour and a half to take care of things, but I was well compensated for the time and effort, so it all worked out.

My advice would be to remember how to get a JPG out of your camera should the need ever arise (and it does, occassionally), but if you're shooting for quality images, shoot RAW and don't bother looking back.

Take a look at my portfolio and see if you think I know what I'm talking about... they're all shot in RAW.

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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-02-2005, 11:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks. I'll probably go ahead and pony up for a second gig card. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the cash I'll be dropping on a whole new setup. (Can you believe this is my wife's idea? God bless her pumpkin little heart)

I've been shooting slides, so I'm pretty accustomed to needing to be spot on with exposure. I just like the idea of having a little more forgiveness with RAW and being able to determine right there whether a shot was going to work out.
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Re: On memory cards
Old 12-03-2005, 12:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
As far as RAW+JPG goes.. I know a lot of folks like it, saying that it simplifies their ability to sort quickly, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]
I don't know if the Nikon works the same as Canon, but on Canon's RAW photo, even if you haven't chosen RAW + JPG, you still have a 1.5 megapixel imbedded JPG in the RAW file. So I never do the RAW + JPG, because if I need a fast set of JPGs, I can just do an automatic extraction of them using something like BreezeBrowserPro. Does Nikon's RAW work the same way?
Cheers,
rfs
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Nikon 2 page PDF
Old 12-03-2005, 01:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wayne,

Have you seen this PDF? D200 2 Page

The bottom of the second page gives Nikon's estimates. I'm anxiously awaiting mine to ship to a local vendor...
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