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06-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #1
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sd card question and Pentax K7 performance

I was out shooting the Pride parade with my K7 and DA* 16-50. I currently have a class 4 SD card (I didn't realize the class distinction until just recently). As I was shooting and taking some videos with the k7, I noticed a significant dropoff in the ability to shoot quickly I was shooting in "low" multiple exposure mode and could shoot maybe two shots at a time with many seconds of waiting before pressing the shutter button would actually take another shot.
I was also getting the red thermometer warning when shooting video since I was out in the sun. So I'm wondering if the sluggish behavior of the k7 is due to the slow SD card I was using or if it may be due to the environment. thoughts?

06-28-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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Class 4 is not that slow. You should be able to get 9 RAW shots before the internal buffer slows down to the speed necessary to write to the SD card. So I think there is more going on than slow SD card speed.

What manufacture made the card? Did you buy it "cheap" off eBay or other?
Cards from non-reputable dealers are not up to spec, even if they have the name brand sticker/label on them. (sometimes unethical employees do dumpster diving and recover garbage cards and sell them cheap)

You can try writing a large file to the card from your PC. It should keep up to the 4MByte/sec speed.

Otherwise, if your camera was overheating, it might slow itself down to keep cooler. PCs do that, I don't know if cameras do. Could still be negatively affected by heat.
Does the speed increase when the camera is cool (e.g. inside overnight)?
06-28-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
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Hmm, sorry just re-read.
Regarding the multi-exposure issue...

If you're used to Nikon, the multi-exposure mode takes all photos then processes them. Pentax process each successive image as its taken. This can make certain types of photos VERY difficult to achieve (e.g. panning with multi-exposure for some really creative and interesting results).
I do like the Nikon method much more!
06-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #4
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There have been many threads in the forum on SD card for K-x and K-7 cameras.

For videos and Hi continuous shooting, the best recommendation is Sandisk Extreme III Class 10 cards.

However, a fast card is not always the only solution: e.g, for Hi continuous shooting. You may need to remove all in-camera post-processing. Some (eg lens distortion correction) are slow and the camera slows down (and sometime stops) when the buffer is full.

I cannot comment on "low" multiple exposure mode, but I would be interested to hear from experienced Pentaxians. Does the in-camera PP affect/slow down the multiple exposure mode?


06-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #5
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thanks for all the replies. I will try later to pinpoint what may have caused the slow down. I'm pretty sure it was a combination of factors: heat, switching between video and still, a class 4 card(a Kingston card) and whatever post processing I had turned on. I still got a lot of great shots, so I can't fault the equipment for my own ignorance.
Regardless I will probably buy a better/faster card here just for the convenience.
06-29-2010, 08:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote

If you're used to Nikon, the multi-exposure mode takes all photos then processes them. Pentax process each successive image as its taken. This can make certain types of photos VERY difficult to achieve (e.g. panning with multi-exposure for some really creative and interesting results).
I do like the Nikon method much more!
Not that I disagree, just wonder how you know that for a fact. I don't get that impression that my K10D process each image successively when I tried the multi-exposure mode - also depends on how many shots. I know that D200 has similar features... but didn't notice any difference.
06-29-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Hmm, sorry just re-read.
Regarding the multi-exposure issue...

If you're used to Nikon, the multi-exposure mode takes all photos then processes them. Pentax process each successive image as its taken. This can make certain types of photos VERY difficult to achieve (e.g. panning with multi-exposure for some really creative and interesting results).
I do like the Nikon method much more!
The K-7 produces 1 JPEG file at the end (or if you interrupt the multi-exposure) which combines all the shots taken.
I did an interesting "ghost" simulation where a person appeared in 1 frame only out of 9, and she showed up as a vague, transparent figure in the final shot. The background from the other 8 shots showed through the "ghost".
You can certainly get special effects from panned multi-exposures.
06-30-2010, 08:19 AM   #8
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This is a gripe of mine with Pentax DSLRs as well: the buffer should be significantly larger. I run into issues with this regularly with video and non-continuous but rapid shooting (with scandisk extreme 3 cards). Waiting for the camera to catch up = lame.

06-30-2010, 08:28 AM   #9
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I have both the Scandisk Extreme Class 10 and the Ultra Class 4 (8 gig cards). I used them both in the Kx and K7. As far as I can tell, there isn't a discernable difference with either card in either camera, whether shooting all out f/ps or video. So unless the price is right, I don't see from my experience any advantage in the more expensive Class 10 Extreme.
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