Listening in on the D5

One of the requests I get a lot is “how does it sound?” “Is the X camera quieter than the Y camera?” 

Let’s do this the easy way (I think) and turn it back to you. 

Here’s the D5 taking a shot at 1/250:

And here’s what that looks like in a sound editor:

bythom D5 single

You can see that there are three basic components to the sound: mirror up, shutter, mirror down. But is has the usual Nikon pro ker-chunk to the sound to my ears. 

Here’s the D4:

bythom d4 shutter


And the D810:

bythom d810 shutter


Now let’s set the camera to 1/1000 and continuous shooting. I’m also going to do something else: I’m setting RAW+JPEG Optimal Quality, and turning on all the things that lower the buffer performance. What I’m trying to come up with here is a worst case performance. So we’re at 14-bit, uncompressed, all the noise reductions turned on plus the lens corrections on, etc. 

bythom d5 continuous

From initial press to the buffer stuttering, it’s almost exactly six seconds (72 shots). This is with the supplied Sony 32GB G Series card, by the way. Nikon’s manual says I should get 102, but remember, I’ve turned everything on that I know will slow the camera, trying to get a worst case. 

CompactFlash D5 users should scale that number down some more. If the CF performance scales the same as the XQD worst case, that would imply 47 shots in the buffer before slowing. Note also that the after-buffer-full performance of the CF version would be worse, too.

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