About the 'brakes' of digital cameras

Sometimes I come across claims from digital camera users that the camera 'slows down', that is, it slows down in certain situations. In this article I will point out the main problem of braking some cameras.

Digital Camera Brakes

Digital Camera Brakes

I shot on many different cameras, and I have never seen serious problems in the speed of the camera. This does not apply to the speed of the focusing system. Almost all cameras respond very well and quickly to different menu settings, almost instantly execute all the given commands. Even very old cameras, such as Nikon D1H, Canon 350D very 'smart' thinkers.

The only I observe a serious puncture in the reaction speed of the cameras when working with slow memory cards, or with certain memory cards that may have 'conflicts' with the camera. Often the main cause of camera brakes is the time to initialize the memory card, This is especially acute when viewing pictures.

Almost all digital SLR cameras have a special memory card ready indicator. Usually this is a small bulb of green, yellow or red. When the camera is writing or reading data from a memory card, this indicator burning or blinking. A lit indicator on the memory card means that you can’t remove the memory card from the camera, some cameras even have a special sound notification to prevent data loss if the card is accidentally removed. The memory card may be active even after turning off the camera, for example, when shooting a long series and turning off the camera instantly, the camera stops working, but continues to record files from the frame buffer to the memory card. But besides reading and writing to the memory card, the camera holds some initialization and verification of the memory card. These operations are often the main cause of the brakes.

Memory card indicator

Memory card indicator

I will give an example on my Nikon D700... When I use a slow memory card, when I press the menu entry button, the camera 'thinks' for about 5 seconds before displaying the menu information. It's too damn long. In this case, the indicator of the active memory card is constantly on. With the same memory card, the camera 'thinks' for about 5 seconds after activating Live View. In this case, the shutter opens, but the picture is not displayed on the display due to the check of the memory card. The same goes for viewing the footage. After pressing the button to view the footage, there is a certain delay. I have not come across any information about what exactly the camera is doing all this time. I see this ailment in all Nikon SLR cameras. Canon has a slightly different principle of working with a memory card, with fewer such freezes. I noticed that the larger the memory card capacity, the more severe the slowdown effect is felt due to the memory card initialization.

Who faced with this effect, or knows how to solve it, or at least explain it - unsubscribe in the comments. Also a common phenomenon is the slow scrolling of the shot material, this is already connected precisely with the slow speed of reading from the card.

I also want to note that different cameras work differently with a memory card. On some cameras, the card can work very well, without brakes and glitches; on the other, the delay effect when working with the camera will be very visible. From personal experience I’ll say that medium-sized memory cards work very well with good read / write speeds, for example, 16GB 60MB / Sec. And I recommend formatting the memory card precisely through such a function in the camera itself, and not through a computer.


I relate some delays and brakes to cameras with poor quality memory cards. Therefore, I recommend that you carefully select a memory card for your camera.

Do not forget to press the buttons social networks ↓ - it is important for me. Thank you for your attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 67, on the topic: About the 'brakes' of digital cameras

  • SAD

    Hello everyone, I’ve taken a Transcend 5100 class of 10 GB with Nikon d8 and I didn’t want to work with it through the pictures for about 10-20 so the memory card is damaged and does not work,
    so I was a little scared because I didn’t know what to sin on which memory I thought was good or for a camera that I’m holding in my hands for the first time especially of this class, in general I changed Transcend to a silicopaver and everything worked like a watch here is the famous old brand “Transcend”

    • Dmitriy

      The whole point is that Transcend Transcendum has recently been divided, there are a lot of "leftists"

  • Sergei

    the problem is easily solved by purchasing SanDisk ExtremePro 8 GB series, or larger capacity, but 4 to 8 gigabytes is better than one per 32, because it's better to lose a quarter of the footage than everything, all other sd flash drives are complete shit, proven by many years of experience !!!

  • a lion

    Arkady, the speed of the memory card has nothing to do with it. My D700 works great with the pre-revolutionary Kingston Elite Pro (50x) 16GB card, but it stutters wildly with the Transcend 133Gb (XNUMXx).

    This is primarily due to the technology of the location of memory cells - SLC (Single-layer Cell) versus MLC (Multi-level Cell). The first has less access time, but more expensive to manufacture. More recently, all SanDisk cards were made using this technology, but now they have switched to MLC, and access time has been reduced due to the development of a new controller. Apparently, transcend and other manufacturers do not have similar controllers in all cards.

    In my case, taken as an alternative to SanDisk Extreme 32Gb (400x) has an MLC structure and works fine with the D700, the old Kingston does the same, but it is SLC, and Transcend - MLC and slows down.

    By the way, there was a branch on transcenders and D700 on dpreview, where this issue was just discussed.

  • Alexandra

    on my D3100 camera, when recording a video, it slowed down the sound and lagged behind the picture. When I bought a 95mb sandisk, and the problem with the sound disappeared, and the fotik in burst mode takes off very quickly))))

  • Alexander

    I use 2 Transcend UHS-1 32Gb memory cards in the D7000. Almost instant initialization. Images from the camera's buffer are also quickly saved. From the card reader of the same company of the USB 3.0 standard to a computer from these cards via USB 2.0, photos and videos are thrown off at the maximum speed for the USB 2.0 port. When using USB 3.0, the speed increases very, very significantly. For support for the UHS-1 standard, read the instructions for your camera. In general, I couldn't find better cards for the D7000 at an adequate price. Working with them 100% does not bother. If you shoot in Raw + Jpeg bursts, you only need small pauses when shooting. Although I don't shoot in series. Excellent cards for UHS-enabled cameras. Review for those who doubt what to take ...)))

  • Dmitriy

    Kingstone 32Gb 133x also worked with a delay when turned on on the D300 :(

  • Benjamin

    Good afternoon!
    What is called the “memory card ready indicator”, “active memory card indicator” in the review, is referred to as the “memory card access indicator” in user manuals such as the Nikon D700 and Nikon D5100.
    Over the years of using Nikon DSLRs and SDHC memory cards from class 2 to class 10, I have not observed any glitches.
    Question: Both of these cameras have a green memory card access indicator. Can it change the light from green to red? If so, in what cases?
    Thank you.

  • Dmitriy

    Salute! Will a 700GB card work well on the D64? I choose from these two:



  • Leonid

    “I associate some lags and brakes in cameras with insufficient quality memory cards. Therefore, I recommend carefully choosing a memory card for your camera. ”
    - And this is absolutely correct!
    Camera - Nikon D5300. With Silicon Power 32Gb or Kingston 64Gb card. So - there is no limit on the capacity of the built-in buffer, i.e. he takes a series of shots until the photographer gets tired of it!
    Regm - maximum resolution, RAW + JPG max. quality
    You in your conclusion were absolutely right, as I was convinced in practice.

    PS I take this opportunity to thank you for the invaluable help of your articles and reviews in my formation as an amateur photographer, they have provided and continue to provide invaluable assistance to me and probably many other people!
    Thanks you!

  • Nikita

    I read clients and ofigel simply.
    Buy cameras for tens of thousands and save on matches using the bottom of a memory card. Well, is it really difficult to buy a quick card right away.

  • Novel

    CF transcend 32 gb 1033x + Nikon d800 at first was not formatted in the body via the menu, but made friends with the camera by pressing 2 format buttons on the camera.

    • Novel

      Sorry not. 1033 a 1066x. Secondly, I figured it out and the camera formats it perfectly through the menu too. Now for the work of the card. I came across a good version of the card, for more than 2000 frames the flight is normal, the reaction in love is good, the recording speed also suits me. But recording on a computer ... here in different ways .. On one computer 5GB writes 15-20 minutes (see USB 2.0). But on the second tezhe 5GB fly in 2 minutes (usb 3.0) UDMA 7 card and fotik according to UDMA 7 passport.

  • Vladimir

    Nikon d 3s. Maps transdent and kingston. Everyone hangs when viewing a photo. Extremely served extreme 1 GB died. Vladimir

    • Pokemon

      Used a 32GB Transcend flash drive on this camera. And different -400x, 133x, 600x.
      If you use two cards at once, then it is desirable that they be the same.
      D3c is not a brake chamber at all and usually everything works quickly there.

  • Maria

    A good topic, and, apparently, does not become obsolete.

  • Maria

    Are there situations where even the shutter refuses to fire (especially after a very bulky series, although by all indications the af has worked out (there are plenty of distances and contrasts, there’s nothing to stupidly do), and the button lives without shutter release. Those camera is ready, but not I’m taking pictures. I sin on the memory card, but now I can’t take another one. And I can’t contact the service. The card is old, 8 GB.

    • Denis

      If the card is not fast or not very fast, then after serial shooting, photos from the camera’s buffer are written to the memory card and the shutter cannot be released at this time. You can see for yourself that the green LED for accessing the memory card is lit at this time.

  • Maria

    living *)

  • Jury

    A very strange thing happened yesterday - I took pictures of the buds on the bushes on the Nikon d500 - I slowly looked through the footage and .. after 10 minutes I already found it in the room - on the map some frames are out of focus (the same buds) i.e. completely random. I haven’t come across anything like it before. What is it ?

  • Kirill

    There was a problem, the solution to which I could not find, but the topic is similar. And so, Nikon D500, I only use SD cards. The camera is 3 years old, has a mileage of 40 thousand and it felt great until I started filming a video with it. After two hours of shooting, the camera in the area of ​​the right corner of the display got so hot. Having cooled down overnight, the memory card indicator began to blink constantly, what nonsense? The camera works, it sees the flash drive, but the light is blinking. I took out the USB flash drive, stuck it in the card reader - the computer does not see my flash drive. I changed the flash drive, first inserted it into the camera, then into the card reader - the same thing, the computer does not see! I threw out those old flash drives and bought a new Sandisk Extreme Pro. The camera opened the USB flash drive, formatted it - everything is fine, but the indicator on the camera still blinks! I put a new stick in the card reader, Hallelujah! Comp saw the new Sandisk. I took a desperate step - downloaded a new firmware and changed my camera down! Now the memory card access indicator blinks only at the moment when I pick up the camera and start doing something with it (twirl it in my hands, shake it, transfer it) ... Everything seems to work fine, but I don't like it at all. I'll take you to the service one of these days ...

    • Human

      These indicators are actually a strange thing, a friend had a canon 1200d at one time - how long, how long did this card access indicator light up and / or flash constantly in a nasty red color. Of course, I was not as worn out as you, I just sealed this indicator with a piece of black electrical tape and all the cases. After some time, it moved out a little and it became clear that the indicator behaves in the same strange way.

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