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04-10-2008, 11:14 AM   #1
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How many pics can we really shoot?

The raw issue's been beaten to death, I know...

I just took some test shots. The K10D saves uncompressed DNG files that vary in size only slightly. All are reported as 16.1MB. The compressed PEF files I got were between 9.8 and 11.1MB. When I choose DNG with an empty 8GB card, it tells me I can shoot 480 photos in raw-only mode. When I select PEF, it says 481. Is the firmware (1.30) just stupid? Does it not know that it's compressing the PEFs?

Anyhow, I had another issue a few weeks ago. I shot some stuff, offloaded the card, then shot some more stuff. Unfortunately, I forgot to format the card in between, so I nearly filled it. In the downtime between shots, I started deleting the first photos off the card. I'd delete, say, 4 or 5 screens, so 36-45 photos, then I'd go back to shooting mode, and my count had increased by like 2 or 3. So I deleted a bunch more, and again, the count only went up by a few. Now, those first pics were JPG-only, and I was currently shooting R+J, so I knew it wasn't going to be a 1:1 tradeoff, but that was a little nuts.

Anyone else have similar experiences with the image calculator?

04-10-2008, 12:04 PM   #2
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Don't pay attention to the pic counter much although I usually always have more cards with me for such occasions (I have filled up a 4 GB at a wedding reception once shooting raw+).
04-10-2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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On the first issue mentioned - might it be that the file directory on the card takes up a bit of space? Even when empty, drives will report less than their "official" capacitance partially because the file directory will always take up a certain % of the drivespace.

Or it may be the "1000 bytes to a kilobyte" nonsense that marketers dreamt up (read: lied about), when in reality it's 1024 bytes to the kilobyte. I'm not sure if that bull has drifted into solid state hardware, though.
04-10-2008, 02:56 PM   #4
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I get ~200 snaps on my 4GIG shooting in DNG, even though it tells me I can shoot 246.

04-10-2008, 03:15 PM   #5
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I think the camera calculates the available space based on "poor' PEF compression. Actual compression will likely be better.
04-10-2008, 06:27 PM   #6
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That's another thing... is there any way to tell how many photos you currently have on the card? I liked that about my last camera; the most "informative" playback screen showed (54/223) or whatever.
04-11-2008, 02:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by joefru Quote
The raw issue's been beaten to death, I know...

I just took some test shots. The K10D saves uncompressed DNG files that vary in size only slightly. All are reported as 16.1MB. The compressed PEF files I got were between 9.8 and 11.1MB. When I choose DNG with an empty 8GB card, it tells me I can shoot 480 photos in raw-only mode. When I select PEF, it says 481. Is the firmware (1.30) just stupid? Does it not know that it's compressing the PEFs?

Anyhow, I had another issue a few weeks ago. I shot some stuff, offloaded the card, then shot some more stuff. Unfortunately, I forgot to format the card in between, so I nearly filled it. In the downtime between shots, I started deleting the first photos off the card. I'd delete, say, 4 or 5 screens, so 36-45 photos, then I'd go back to shooting mode, and my count had increased by like 2 or 3. So I deleted a bunch more, and again, the count only went up by a few. Now, those first pics were JPG-only, and I was currently shooting R+J, so I knew it wasn't going to be a 1:1 tradeoff, but that was a little nuts.

Anyone else have similar experiences with the image calculator?
You'll actually be able to shoot at least 10% more than 481 photos in PEF on a 8Gb card in my experience.
The algoritme they use is broken. Try regular switching between; RAW, RAW+ and JPEG while shooting with an 8Gb card. The counter gets all confused!
There is no way I know to report firmware bugs to Pentax.
Anyhow, there will probably not be a 1.4 firmware release for the K10D anymore.

- Bert
04-11-2008, 03:19 AM   #8
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I think the camera software is playing it safe and displays the absolute minimum number of pictures that can be recorded using the current settings. Having room for less pictures than what the camera tells you is IMHO much worse than being able to shoot more.

04-11-2008, 06:11 AM   #9
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I assume compression of the PEF files, like JPEGS, depends really on what's in the image.

I'm guessing the compression used would be similar to those in JPEG's.

If you have an image that contains large areas of a single contiguous tone - say, the sky is a completely blown white highlight, or an ultra-underexposed shadow area - then this part of the image is easily compressed.

DNG's would be completely uncompressed, and therefore would save as the maximum amount (or near enough) of data available from the CCD, hence the consistency in file sizes.
04-11-2008, 07:27 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by procyon Quote
I think the camera software is playing it safe and displays the absolute minimum number of pictures that can be recorded using the current settings. Having room for less pictures than what the camera tells you is IMHO much worse than being able to shoot more.
On my K10D, when shooting JPEGs, it reports 419 pics available on an empty 2GB card. That works out to about 4.9MB per image. In my experience, jpegs are usually around 3MB. This is born out by the fact that I can shoot around 600 pics on that 2GB card. My guess is that the algorithm uses 4.9MB to calculate the number of pics left on the card. As the card fills and the reality an average 3MB, the number is automatically adjusted.

My brother's Nikon D200 does the same thing. Last September, I attended his daughter's wedding. My brother was told by those in charge (his wife and daughter) that he was NOT to spend all day shooting pictures. So he drafted me to use his camera. I'm not sure what size CF card he had (4GB, I think). He set it to record both RAW and JPEG. When I started, it showed just over 200. After shooting more than 300 pics, it still showed around 75 left.

Since there is no way to know how much space a compressed image will take, the programmers at Pentax had no choice but to use a conservative estimate. As some one else pointed out, its much better to get more on the card than you expexted than to get less. Back in the film days, I used to regularly get 37 shots on a 36 exposure roll. If I had only been able to fit 35, I would have been very disappointed.

Paul Noble
04-11-2008, 11:17 AM   #11
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On the side note, always leave a few rooms left on the card (don't fill it up). The last shot you take to fill the card up might corrupt the card. Personally, I fill up about 85% of the card. I found myself filling up the 4gb too quickly with my K10D, so when I got my K20D, I also ordered a 16gb to accompany with it.
04-11-2008, 02:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GEli Quote

Or it may be the "1000 bytes to a kilobyte" nonsense that marketers dreamt up (read: lied about), when in reality it's 1024 bytes to the kilobyte. I'm not sure if that bull has drifted into solid state hardware, though.
yes it has a 512 MB card is really 480 MB its a case of what windows says and what the manufacturers say is not the same, manufacturers stupidly "decided" to use "1000" multiples instead of 1024 which is what any computer does (1 K = 2 to the power of 10 = 1024 the similarity is simply coincidence really) I don't know what the camera thinks in, initially it was not a problem when we were playing with KB but in MB and GB its a big difference but the habbit is set plus its easier for mental maths caculations in disk space with 1000 rather than 1024
04-13-2008, 10:00 AM   #13
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I shoot raw and fill 8 gig cards daily, so I just got 2 and a pair of 500 gig drives.
04-13-2008, 10:52 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Torphoto Quote
I shoot raw and fill 8 gig cards daily, so I just got 2 and a pair of 500 gig drives.
yikes your talking up to 600 images a day ? at that raye the shutter will fail in less than a year....
04-13-2008, 11:15 AM   #15
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The camera can't know for sure what the future pictures you take will be. If you look over the files, you'll see that each file is a slightly different size. The reason is that each image has different amounts of data. A colourful image shot in good light will contain more information than a shot in low light were 50% of the image is black or some other solid colour. So it's impossible for the camera to know exactly the remaining shot counter.

The larger the card the more the variance.
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