Why are the frames jerking? What SD cards can I use that won't have this problem?

closed as off-topic by mattdm, Michael C, MikeW, Paul Cezanne, Imre Dec 30 '13 at 6:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is about video in a context that is not likely to be relevant to still photography." – mattdm, Michael C, MikeW, Paul Cezanne, Imre
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Honestly I would not expect this to happen. If the card is too slow, every camera I've seen it happen with simply stops recording.

In all likelihood, you are seeing dropped frames on playback. This means you computer (or some component of it like the graphics card, chipset, memory or I/O) is too slow. If you are trying to playback the movie directly from the card, then the connection will usually be too slow (unless you use a fast card reader).

There is a way to check: Do you notice the dropped frames when you play the video in-camera? If not, then it is your computer. If yes, then you should try multiple subjects, to see if it happens consistently or not. It may be possible that the encoding used on the camera does not have enough bit rate under certain conditions (movements with lots of fine details for example).

Also, on some Canon cameras you can take a picture DURING video recording. AFAIK, this always results in skipped frames, up to 1 second.

  • 2
    +1 on the problem being more likely on the playback side. Lots of computers can't cope with full on HD video streams, and lots of computers have very slow SD card access. – cabbey Feb 21 '11 at 19:45

My 5D mark II drops frames too. No computer problem, no card problem. It's processor problem. 7D lost frames too.



In reading many of the blogs on this issue of dropped frames, and relating these to the kind of filming I have been doing I notice that the problem occurs when flying the camera from ambient dark to bright light, like going from outdoors to indoors, or vice versa. As someone suggested, the auto adjustments to ISO seem to create some sort of overload to the camera's systems.


I also found similar problem of frames skipping at small intervals. I could find the problem is neither with the computer or the camera. You must Quick Format your SD card before recording Video. It will solve the problem!

Hope it helps.

  • Logically I can't think of any reason this should help, other than placebo effect. See Itai's reply above - if the card is too slow then the camera will stop recording. – thomasrutter Feb 22 '11 at 7:03

you mean it's skipping frames? If so the camera simply runs out of memory trying to buffer frames as it's shooting them faster than it can write them to the card. Getting a higher speed card may solve that problem, but eventually you will run up against the maximum speed the camera can write at (which I do hope Canon engineers took into account when they designed the camera). Slowing down the frame rate you're shooting at (if you can do that) is also an option, but will of course cause the recording to be a bit jerky if played back at normal speed.


In theory, a class 6 card should be sufficient, however, depending on the manufacturer, the ratings are not completely reliable. If you use a Class 10 card, or a high quality class 6 card, then you should be fine.