Mem­ory cards

NPhoto - - Full Test -

You don’t need any spe­cial mem­ory cards to make use of the D850’s amaz­ing res­o­lu­tion, but if you want to ex­ploit its speed as well you may need to up­grade your kit. Achiev­ing the 7/9 frames per sec­ond is not the prob­lem – it’s how long you can sus­tain this speed which is the is­sue.

We couldn’t source Nikon’s rec­om­mended 64GB 440MB/s Sony QXD card, so we tried a 299MB/s Sony UHS-II SD card and that started to slow down af­ter 30 Raw shots at 7fps.

We also tried a Lexar Pro­fes­sional 440MB/s XQD card and that did make a big dif­fer­ence, but it also high­lighted a very im­por­tant point – the D850’s buf­fer ca­pac­i­ties ap­ply specif­i­cally to the in-cam­era 7fps shoot­ing – in our tests, we did in­deed get within a whisker of Nikon’s claimed fig­ures.

How­ever, when you’re shoot­ing at 9fps, the buf­fer fills much faster and this caused a big drop in buf­fer ca­pac­ity. At 9fps, our D850 cap­tured just 22 un­com­pressed or loss­less com­pressed 14-bit Raw files, and 30 com­pressed 14-bit Raws. It looks like you can have shoot­ing speed or Raw buf­fer ca­pac­ity, but not both at the same time.

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