P7000 firmware 1.1 - how fast is it?

P7000 speed

One of the major problems with Nikon's P7000 is that it's slow. In some cases, really slow - taking up to 30 seconds to write a 5-shot burst of bracketed images, during which time the camera is completely unresponsive.

So, how much does the latest 1.1 firmware upgrade improve this?  We decided to find out.

We set up a P7000 to shoot in shutter priority mode, but with the lens covered to force a completely black image. The SD card used was a 16GB Transcend Class 6 SDHC, formatted in-camera.  Single-image write times for JPEG Large Fine, NRW, and NRW+JPEG were taken and averaged across multiple shots, and the same was done for a burst of 5 images in each mode.

P7000 write time graph

The results show a definite improvement - a burst of five NRW files taking 30% less time, for example.

P7000 timing table

But, is this fast enough?  We still think that the "Expeed C2" powering the P7000 is just not up to the job of delivering fast write times.  It's a near-fatal flaw in an otherwise superb camera, but it's encouraging to see Nikon attempting to address the issue.

UPDATE: Compared to Canon G12:

P7000 vs G12 timings table

 

P7000 vs G12 timing chart

I don't have a lot to add, that chart says it all - the Canon still romps home with this one.

UPDATE 2: With a Class 10 SDHC card:

Following some reports that people are seeing far quicker write times, we tried again with a faster (Class 10) SD card - a Transcend 16Gb Class 10 SDHC.  Note that these results are from the first press of the shutter button, to when the "busy" indicator stops flashing and the camera becomes responsive again.

P7000 with Class 6 vs Class 10 SD card

P7000 Class 6 vs Class 10 SD card

A slight improvement, but not a huge one.  Still, we'd recommend a Class 10 SD card where possible.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Ernst
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    A part of the difference in writing time is probably caused by the difference in file magnitude.
    Does the difference in file magnitude say something about quality?

  2. Ernst
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Please, redo your tests with a normal SD card and find out that the real writing times are significantly better than what you state.
    Writing time of a fine JPEG is hardly noticible. Writing time of a bracketed burst of 5 pictures and with a shutter speed of 1/2 s per picture takes with my P7000 less than 9 s.
    Kind regards, Ernst

  3. admin
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Hi Ernst,

    Can you describe what make & model of SD card you are using?

    Thanks!

  4. Doug
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Ernst, you're talking JPEG. Try it with RAW.

  5. Ernst
    Posted December 16, 2010 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    I'm using a Sandisk Extreme (class 10, 30 MB/s).

  6. Ernst
    Posted December 16, 2010 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Doug, you are right, I was referring to JPEG.

    I just tried BKT, 5 pictures in NRW format. The result was approximately 11 s overall. Seeing the bad messages, I did not believe this and did another trial. The result was about the same, approx. 11 s.
    My timing is not quite accurate, I simply counted twenty-one, and so on.

    A point that is not addressed until now is the difference in file magnitude. Looking at the magnitude of the files in the DPReview test one can observe a significant difference. I assume that larger files take a larger writing time.
    And, what puzzles me, does the larger files result in a better picture quality?

  7. Hannu Siika-aho
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I did the test with my P7000. The memory card is Sandisk Extreme III 30 MB/s. I took the time using a stopwatch. Camera was set to shutter priority mode, shutter speed 1/2 sec. JPEGs were FINE quality.

    The time was measured from the pressing the shutter (pre-focused) till the end of the flashing of the autofocus lamp.

    The results are (in secs):

    JPEG: 4.0
    RAW: 3.3
    RAW+JPEG: 4.0
    JPEG burst: 11.7
    RAW burst: 14.8
    RAW+JPEG burst: 19.3

    Single RAW+JPEG was clearly faster than in the test of the above article. I repeated the test with the same result.

    In general, my P7000 feels more snappy in shooting—especially in burst mode—than before the firmware update. It could be faster, though.

    In the end it is the image quality that matters to me. Here is a shot I took hand held in street light—ISO 400, shutter speed 5/37 s. I did little noise reduction and perspective correction to it. The white balance and exposure were virtually untouched. It was saved as JPG (no down sampling) at quality 11 in Photoshop Elements 9. P7000 did excellent metering job again!:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/437836696/Town_Hall_Dec16_10-H_orig_res.JPG

    Cheers,
    Hannu

  8. Bob Frost
    Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    My P7000 is quite fast. A NRW takes about 2 secs from pressing the button to green light stopping. Firmware 1.1, and Sandisk Extreme Class 10 16GB card.

    Bob Frost

  9. Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I do it faster I guess with Nikon d5000, i am disappointed about slowness serials burst nikon d7000, just as my sister said, you have to take next model thereafther. Suppose this is child-sickness of model d7000. it had first been repaired before putting this model on market! What a pity. I had so hoiped buying this summer this model until i did read this slowness-item.now i am going to buy 2nd nikon d5000 if needed. cheaper and faster and with light sensitive lens nothing goes wrong with it. and with new sd 45 in stead of old 30.../sec writing i suppose perhaps 4 frames sec. rate could be perhaps 4,5 a second... sometimes putting out Noise reduciton can do wonders...

  10. Hannu Siika-aho
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    "I do it faster I guess with Nikon d5000, i am disappointed about slowness serials burst nikon d7000, just as my sister said, you have to take next model thereafther. Suppose this is child-sickness of model d7000. it had first been repaired before putting this model on market! What a pity. I had so hoiped buying this summer this model until i did read this slowness-item.now i am going to buy 2nd nikon d5000 if needed. cheaper and faster and with light sensitive lens nothing goes wrong with it. and with new sd 45 in stead of old 30.../sec writing i suppose perhaps 4 frames sec. rate could be perhaps 4,5 a second... sometimes putting out Noise reduciton can do wonders..."

    I had a D5000 and now I have a D90. D5000 is a great camera—fast with great IQ. Anyhow, D90 is better in everything—it is faster, more responsive, has fantastic LCD, for example. My brother got a D7000 and it is clearly faster in continuos shooting and has better IQ in high ISO but is a bit slower in AF and general operation than my D90. As you said, there must be something wrong with that particular D7000—it should shine over D90 in continuos shooting.

    I just ordered a Sandisk Extreme Pro 45 MB/s SD card to see if I can improve my D90's performance. I expect to see buffer clearing times getting shorter. I'm not sure if the continuos shooting speeds will increase, though. I think the same applies also to D5000 which like D90 isn't made to support new faster UHS-1 protocol that the 45 MB/s Sandisk SD card uses.

    I'll try to find time to do some tests next week when I get the new 45 MB/s card to see its performs on D90 vs. my current Extreme III 30 MB/s one.

    Cheers,
    Hannu

  11. Hannu Siika-aho
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Sandisk Extreme III 30 MB/s vs. Sandisk Extreme Pro 45 MB/s on Nikon D90

    Okay guys, I finally had time to find out if I would benefit from the speed of Sandisk's Extreme Pro 45 MB/s UHS-1 SD card on my Nikon D90. I got the 8 GB Extreme Pro SD card on ebay for 35 euros.

    I expected the buffer clearing to be faster with the faster SD card—assuming that Nikon D90 CAN utilize the speed of this faster protocol.

    The times were measured as precisely as you can do using a stopwatch. ISO was 400, focal length 70mm and shutter speed 1/125 s. ADR and NR were off:

    Bursts of 7, 15, 20 and 25 frames [Times are in seconds (s)]

    JPEG Fine Quality, Size Large (4288x2848; 12.2 Megapixels)

    Nr. of frames Extreme Pro (fps) Extreme III (fps)
    07 1.5 (4.7 fps) 1.5 (4.7 fps)
    15 3.6 (4.2 fps) 3.5 (4.3 fps)
    20 4.8 (4.2 fps) 4.9 (4.1 fps)
    25 5.8 (4.3 fps) 5.9 (4.2 fps)

    We can see that shooting jpegs the continuous speeds are about the same for both cards. First 7 are done at good speed of 4.7 fps.

    NEF (RAW), Size Large (4288x2848; 12.2 Megapixels)

    Nr. of frames Extreme Pro (fps) Extreme III (fps)
    07 1.8 (3.9 fps) 1.8 (3.9 fps)
    15 5.8 (2.6 fps) 4.8 (3.1 fps)
    20 8.5 (2.4 fps) 6.9 (2.9 fps)
    25 wasn't measured

    When shooting Large size NEF the first 7 were taken at the same speed of 3.9 fps. After that the buffer fills up and we see a clear difference between the performance of the cards.

    The frames 8-15:
    at 2.0 fps [8/(5.8-1.8)] with Extreme Pro and
    at 2.7 fps [8/(4.8-1.8] with Extreme III.

    The frames 16-20:
    at 1.9 fps [5/(8.5-5.8)] with Extreme Pro and
    at 2.4 fps [5/(6.9-4.8)] with Extreme III.

    When reading these results you have to be aware of the possible error in measurements. 0.1 second to either direction makes a difference.

    My conclusion is that Nikon D90 cannot utilize the faster UHS-1 card when writing large RAW files onto it from the buffer.

    Having found this out I sold my card to my brother who is now a happy camper with two of these cards on his Nikon D7000

    Cheers,
    Hannu

  12. Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Turning the "Zoom in on active focus point" in the image review significantly slows down the camera.

    I just bought a p7000 and it felt great in the store. When I took it out on the first shoot with it, it was suddenly intolerably slow. I played around with the settings and it turns out this is the problem. Before my write/freeze times were around 5-6 seconds now they feel more like 2-3 seconds with a class 4.

    The setting you want to avoid is in Settings... Monitor Settings... Image Review... "Zoom in on active focus point". Turning image review off completely shaved off another half second or second.

    Since the image review is not very high-res, hopefully this means they can further improve the times in another firmware update.

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