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11-07-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
Tonylj
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memory card storage with RAW files

Hi,
I've recently bought a K-5 and am curious about memory card storage capacity when shooting RAW files, and the camera's indication of number of possible shots for a given card capacity. The manual says you can get 58 RAW files on a 2GB card. This would equate to a file size of about 34.5MB, when the actual file size for a RAW file is between 20-25MB. Likewise, with a 8GB card, it shows a capacity of 232 images, which again equates to a 34.5MB file size. Why does this not work out? With a mximum RAW file size of about 25MB, this should work out to about 320 images.
I'd be grateful if anyone can explain this.
Thanks.

11-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Compressed RAW

Because RAW files are now compressed, in both PEF and DNG many raw files can be smaller than the 30+ mb indicated in the manual and by the camera.
Try shooting some complex images with a really sharp lens and you will start seeing the 30+ mb images.

Pentax was simply working to the the worst case scenario. They forgot to mention that your mileage may vary!
11-07-2011, 04:17 PM   #3
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With jpeg or raw or most any image format the file size is going to vary, in part due to the content of the image (in particular with compressed images, probably less so with raw). There is no exact number of photos you are going to get, its going to vary. Its the same with an mp3 player that claims that it can hold 1000 songs or an sd card that claims it can hold 2 hours of video, or a laptop that claims 2 hrs battery life. There are no exact figures as it varies so the manufacture has to pick an estimated figure to give the customer a rough idea. Some manufactures may estimate low so that customers do not get mad when they can not store that much. Some estimate high to make thier product look beter for customers that do not realize that 4GB of storage is 4GB of storage, period. In this case, since they are obviously estimating low, they probably took the maximun theroretical images size and used that. Real life images are probably not going to be the theroretical maximum size very often.

Something else to consider, an 8GB card is not 8GB. A true GB is 1073741824 bytes. A 1GB card or hard drive or other storage device is generally 1000000000 bytes. A 1GB card is generally going to be about 0.93GB if my math is right. Further, system/formating files use some of the space so you are going to get even less. At least one hard drive manufacture has got sued and loss due to this misleeding representation of how much capacity a device has. A 1GB card is not a full true GB. It is still standard for pretty much all hard drive and card manufactures to use the smaller figure, though they now put a disclaimer on the package.

Last edited by ripit; 11-08-2011 at 10:53 AM.
11-08-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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Thanks very much for your replies, that's very helpful. :-)

11-09-2011, 12:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matthew Quote
Because RAW files are now compressed, in both PEF and DNG many raw files can be smaller than the 30+ mb indicated in the manual and by the camera.
Try shooting some complex images with a really sharp lens and you will start seeing the 30+ mb images.
High ISO also will do the trick.
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