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The buffer size on my Nikon D610 is acting very strangely indeed; it seems to be capped at 14 exposures in RAW, regardless of RAW setting. I have tried the following:

  • Firmware update to C:1.04 (released 21.02.2019)
  • Setup menu reset (two green dots to reset)
  • Custom menu reset
  • Shooting menu reset
  • Different cards (Sony 32gb 94MB/s, SanDisk Ultra 80MB/s)
  • Reset colorspace setting (AdobeRGB to sRGB)
  • Turned off Active D-Lighting (normal to off)
  • Reset High ISO noise reduction (high to normal)
  • Long exposure noise reduction (never on)
  • Removed MB-D14 grip

This is definitely not normal behavior, especially since Nikon themselves advertise dramatically larger buffer sizes.

View the different tested buffer sizes here.

LL is lossless, Comp. is compressed. Claimed numbers come from Nikon USA. Actual numbers are from the camera in question.

Is there anything else that I can try that could be impacting the buffer size?

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    Most memory cards are advertised at their maximum read speeds. What are the maximum write speeds for your memory cards? Some 90MB/s+ Sandisk cards can only write at as slow as 10MB/s. Others can write almost as fast as they read. – Michael C Mar 12 '19 at 3:54
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    @michael-c The figures given are for write speads. – Sejin Kim Mar 12 '19 at 4:02
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    I strongly believe that the claimed values are values in the meaning of "up to x" not "minimum x" and in this term they configure the camera in the way that image files are small as possible. E.g. by using a total black image to record (e.g. just lens cap on). – Horitsu Mar 12 '19 at 5:10
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    The Sandisk Ultra cards most definitely do not offer 80 MiB/s write speed, unless they seriously upgraded them in the last year - which would rise the question: Why bother buying their Extreme Pro lineup, anyway? – flolilo Mar 12 '19 at 9:07
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    @SejinKim Digital cameras do not wait until the entire buffer is empty to start taking photos again. It's more like a large water tank. The faster the water is running out the bottom, the longer the water can run into the top at full blast before the tank is full. Card speed will most definitely affect the number of frames in a burst at maximum fps before the camera starts to bog down. – Michael C Mar 12 '19 at 17:33
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From the manual, the table where those figures are listed has these footnotes:

  1. All figures are approximate. File size varies with scene recorded.
  2. Maximum number of exposures that can be stored in memory buffer at ISO 100. Drops if Optimal quality is selected for JPEG compression (p94), ISO sensitivity is set to Hi 0.3 or higher, or long exposure noise reduction or auto distortion control is on
  3. Figures assume JPEG compression is set to Size priority. Selecting Optimal quality increases the file size of JPEG images; number of images and buffer capacity drop accordingly.

(Bold in original.)

I think the point in note one should be highlighted: these are approximate figures. If you have a complicated (or noisy!) scene, file sizes will be larger. However, 28 rather than 100 "fine, large" JPEG files does seem more reduced than approximate would suggest. Therefore, there are two settings here which you have not mentioned which might have an impact: first, Optimal vs. Size Priority for JPEG compression. Second, auto distortion correct. I'd suggest checking these.

I'd also suggest turning noise reduction up as far as possible rather than down. The limiting factor is probably data size over compute time, and reducing noise will allow greater compression.

And, finally, the current [Sandisk Ultra](The current [Salhttps://www.sandisk.com/home/memory-cards/sd-cards/ultra-sd) SD card line which is labeled "80 MB/s" is described as up to 80 MB/s read speed, and has "video speed" of "C10". That speed class means minimum of 10 MB/s write speed, not nearly what you expect. A faster card may indeed help.

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