I found that some cameras (in particular my Pentax K-01 and Fuji X10) have a decent burst speed (around 6fps in JPEG before it starts buffering and slows down) but when operating in single shot mode they take an awfully long time between shots.

It takes more than a full second of wait until I can snap the next picture when shooting in RAW and it's not much faster in JPEG. The buffer size should be big enough to allow me to take at least 3 consecutive pictures (as when using the bracketing function it really takes the 3 RAW pictures in a blaze), but it looks like the camera has to clean the whole buffer before allowing me to take the next one...

My much older (but higher end) Pentax K10D could take shots in rapid succession in single shot mode until the buffer was completely full (after about 10 pictures if I remember well).

Is this feature crippled on purpose to differentiate between more expensive models?

  • Might be a focus issue? Using manual focus mode and shooting JPEG only does it shoot close to burst fast? Aug 27, 2013 at 17:13
  • I mostly use vintage lenses with no AF, so that wasn't the problem... :/
    – fortran
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:23
  • Not sure why it would slow down artificially, but why don't you just shoot in burst mode and only press the trigger for a single shot? That should allow for a quick follow up.
    – AJ Henderson
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:33
  • 1
    I tried using burst mode in that way, but after releasing the button the camera freezes as in single shot mode.
    – fortran
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


It may be that they are using a cheap buffer that doesn't support simultaneous read and write. If that is the case, then it would start writing to the memory card right away after taking the photo and wouldn't be able to write to it again until it is completed. If you have a similar issue in burst where you have to wait for it to save after you shoot a burst, then I'd hazard that is likely the issue.

It also could be that they wanted to cripple it, but that doesn't seem to make much sense if you are able to shoot quickly in burst mode, but not single.

  • I think your explanation about the simultaneous read and write makes quite sense... I'll try to research that on the web :)
    – fortran
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:56

Pentax-specific answer: Do you have either of the lens correction features (distortion or chromatic aberration) turned on? This will slow down shot to shot time even when shooting in RAW, where it doesn't affect anything but the JPEG preview.

  • I have the option enabled, but it happens even with vintage lenses with no electronic contacts...
    – fortran
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:54
  • I'm not sure what happens in that case -- can you check with it off?
    – mattdm
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:55
  • will do when I get home, but I think it also happened before I turned it on (as it came disabled by default if I remember well)...
    – fortran
    Aug 27, 2013 at 18:09
  • I tried it yesterday and the switch is completely disabled (you cannot change it's on/off state) when an old PK lens is mounted.
    – fortran
    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:32

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