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Buffer of my Canon 7DMK2 with photo quality set to RAW (Large) shows 20 photos. A few days back it dropped to 16. I checked the different settings and could not tell any difference.

Reformatted both cards, switched between both cards and nothing happened, the buffer remained at 16. Finally after checking with another user to confirm that the normal rate was 20, I reboot the camera, clear all settings back to factory, remove batteries etc. and after getting everything back to my normal settings the rate is back to 20.

Not sure what caused the drop or what fixed it. Have anyone seen this?

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The buffer is fixed amount of memory in to the camera. On the other hand RAW file, produced by camera can differ by size. For example 5D Mark III produce between 22MB and 34MB of files. This happen because the compression of files is lossless and image with more details will produce bugger file. Also on high ISO the file will be bigger (because of the noise).

So when you set camera to Auto ISO it display lower value for buffer because the camera do not know what ISO will be used for the next image(s).

Also possible reason can be you activate RAW+Jpeg

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