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  1. #1

    megapixels versus fps...

    Hi there.

    I've tried to figure this out on my own, but am not satisfied with my research.

    How does the megapixel value of a camera affect the frames per second that can be shot in continuous mode?

    My understanding is that the greater the mpx, the more time it takes to process (buffer?) the information of each pic. Of course, we're talking fractions of seconds, but I shoot a lot of sports and I need those bits of time to my advantage.

    My battered but trusty Nikon d100 has a practical 6.1 mpx - the specs say it shoots six fps, but I swear I get eight.
    Again, based on Nikon specs, the d200 is 10.2 mpx and shoots 5 fps.
    The d300 has 12.3 mpx and claims to shoot six fps (possibly eight with the help of an auxiliary battery pack).

    We are purchasing new, middle scope cameras like these Nikons. I would hate to go from my obsolete but reliable d100 to something else that really won't get me the extra frames to shoot action.

    Megapixels are fine, I guess, but I don't want to lose frame speed. Have I misunderstood the concept?

    Thanks for your experience,
    eyepatch

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Quote: eyepatch
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    I've tried to figure this out on my own, but am not satisfied with my research.

    How does the megapixel value of a camera affect the frames per second that can be shot in continuous mode?

    My understanding is that the greater the mpx, the more time it takes to process (buffer?) the information of each pic. Of course, we're talking fractions of seconds, but I shoot a lot of sports and I need those bits of time to my advantage.
    (snip...)
    Megapixels are fine, I guess, but I don't want to lose frame speed. Have I misunderstood the concept?

    Thanks for your experience,
    eyepatch
    Hello eyepatch,
    You have everything right but I'm not exactly sure where your misunderstanding is.

    If you examine a video camera that runs at 25/30 fps it is because it can process and write the information fast enough regardless of it's resolution format in NTSC, PAL or HD. So if you slow down that speed for a still camera, you will get your 3 - 9 fps depending on those variables.

    Did I help any??
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the reply SC358. I know, I do tend to go on and sometimes forget to make my actual point

    When I lay on the shutter (regardless of the speed its set on) I can only take so many pix in a row. After I hit eight continuous shots, the shutter will no longer respond...then I Wait (and wait) while the thing processes those eight photos. Once the pix are processed in the camera, then I can shoot again.

    So if more mpx means more data to process while shooting, will that keep the number of available, continuous frames down?

    I know that high end still cameras can shoot frames without stopping. I don't know how that works and megapixels may have nothing to do with it. It just seems that when mpx goes up in a camera, the continuous fps goes down.

    Thanks for your help,
    eyepatch

  4. #4
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    So if more mpx means more data to process while shooting, will that keep the number of available, continuous frames down?
    Yes, it would but I would expect the manufacturer to improve the read/write process. Having a fast memory card doesn't hurt either.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  5. #5
    8 pictures while holding down shutter release is not the same as 6 fps. FPS is frames per second, that is, how many frames it can capture in a second.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  6. #6
    Hmmm.... a faster writing CF. Now maybe that's what I'm thinking. Any recommendations? I've read that over 60x doesn't really affect a change in running frames. I see the one in my camera now, SanDisk Ultra II, has no speed info displayed.

    fps - I know what it means but never understood it to be literal . I can get eight continuous shots from the d100, but I don't know that I've Ever felt that it actually took 6 pix in one second, not even on the sunniest day.

    I just want something fast, with a minimum of eight shots in a row before the camera quits shooting. Mpx are fine, unless they bog down my shots, which is what I have wondered. I don't know how I came up with the notion. I'll check into faster CF cards.

    Thanks and post any other advice that might cross your mind.
    eyepatch

  7. #7
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    You're absolutely right tonsofpcs - thanks for clearing that up for me as well because I had misread that statement, which was my own fault.
    I have an Ultra II and Extreme 3. However, I can't really tell how many shots I can get off. More lab testing requires more beer
    I'll have to double check my manual. Capturing in RAW is a big file to process but saving as jpegs on a smaller scale will fit more pictures into the camera's buffer.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  8. #8
    Well, you prompted me to keep after this confusing (to me) project. I came across something that gave me an Ah Ha! moment.

    http://www.digicamguides.com/learn/c...ous-drive.html

    It kind of sorts out the wires I had crossed. I understand this to mean that higher fps will load the internal buffer faster, which will then affect the number of continous shots. So fps does affect continous shots, and mpx was not even mentioned. I apparently want more internal memory buffer, and as many megapixels as I can carry!

    I think about when I shot film - no motor drive, just one frame at a time. I got good shots. Now sometimes I feel like I'm just out there, leaning on the shutter, looking for advantage in multiple shots. Maybe I should just go back to one shot at a time. Or buy a video camera.

    Thanks for your help,
    eyepatch

  9. #9
    Er... eyepatch, you cannot compare a still camera with a digital still camera. The image quality between the two is as opposed to the ocean and the sky!

    As for buffers, check out the new offerings Lexar has for us: UDMA cards going at 300X! But only the new cameras (like Nikon D300 or D3) are able to handle it, and firewire card readers are upz for grabs together with this gem.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  10. #10
    Quote "you cannot compare a still camera with a digital still camera"

    Apologies, I was shocked and in horror when I read what I wrote this morning! What I really meant was:

    "you cannot compare a video camera with a digital still camera"

    Sorry...
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

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