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. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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

  • Ivan Rodin

    I have the same! On the D200, a 32GB Transend card. The camera thinks for a second when you click on a menu or to view !!! What for?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I had two with 200 GB each and D32, and both also Transend (400x, the second without speed, went on occasion). One worked well, the other slowed down.

      • Sergei

        Transend even in cards with the same names uses different controllers and different technologies. As a rule, old Transend cards work without problems, new ones - compatibility problems with readers (read - brakes at best).

    • Sergei

      How much card should the D200 reader recognize by specification?
      put 8GB and everything will be without brakes. :)

  • Lynx

    IMHO - for an amateur to buy a pair (to throw one into the bag in case of “forgot-lost-unreadable”) 8GB cards (16 if from greed) each, 10th grade (to the edge - 8th), and there are no problems with brakes.
    Considering their cost in computer stores (in no case in the mobile phone departments that charge exorbitantly for such things!) At this moment, 220-270 rubles / pc is not a very expensive solution to the problem. And cards with classes lower, for example, 4-6 cost 20 rubles cheaper in the same place, not the savings in order to wait 5 seconds each time for it. )

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I have this card as a spare (32GB, 400x). The speed of writing and reading suits me. I have never been buggy, but that's why the delay is 5 seconds - I don't know.

      • Lynx

        hmm .. I can’t vouch for CF cards directly (I only work with SD), but I can mention two possibilities:
        1. this is due to the too high volume of the card, more despite the fact that manufacturers often declare "reading up to 64, up to 32, etc." - in reality, brakes are possible.
        2. more probable - the card is slowly “dying” (or it was dead initially). If it is old enough, then any hard drives have quite a certain resource of write-erase cycles, and slowly some memory sectors can “fall off”. And cameras in general are extremely capricious for this thing. For example, the D90 stopped seeing the card when the corner of the case flew off (while the card itself is not buggy and the computer is readable).
        I would recommend to find a program on the network “for checking disks” (not necessarily for flash drives, although there seem to be specialized ones). Plug the flash drive into the computer, and run the "memory tests" on bad clusters / cells / sectors / whatever the flash drives have.
        Perhaps this will solve the problem.

      • Sergei

        try Sandisk 8GB. the brakes should disappear. A transend larger than 8GB has compatibility issues with readers. Due to the long recognition of the file system, the brakes are obtained.

        • Dmitriy

          Sundisk has one bad feature - the card has a flimsy body with excellent read-write performance (I use 2 x 32GB cards). With frequent pulling out of the card from the camera, the body opens, and the tab that blocks the recording stops working, the card goes into read-on mode. It is treated by replacing the tab from any other memory card (by the way, the tabs from adapters with micro-sd are great) and the card's soldering with a hot pin. The spike is also suitable for preventing the flimsy of the case.

      • Anatoly

        Arkady I have a D700 and also a 32GB transdend, 400x, I have it alone, they work very correctly even without brakes, I format it very rarely. what a delay of 5 seconds is it

        • Arkady Shapoval

          The one that I described in the article. When you click on the menu, live view, view, the card indicator lights up for 5 seconds, after which only the camera shows the data. With other cards, the delay is minimal.

          • Anatoly

            I tried it, there is a delay of about 0,1 seconds, maybe even less, in a word a menu opens or viewing frames in an instant.

  • Ivan

    Yesterday I watched a similar picture on the Nikon D800, and the owner had a camera before this card worked in the D700 and there were no brakes. Alas, I don’t know the parameters of the card.

  • Sergei

    this problem is mainly with CF. CF cards usually have the main controller in the card itself. depending on the interaction between the reader and the CF card controller, problems may (or may not) occur. There is a well-known problem between readers in Kenons and Transend CF cards. actually, only Transend 8Gb had no complaints. all that is more - formatting problems, loss of files, initialization (including access to the file system of the card), etc.
    The conclusion is simple. There is a list of cards recommended by the brand for use with a carcass reader. it is desirable to use them.
    Transend - cheap cards, with all the questions that come with it. yes, they are almost two times cheaper than SanDisk, but sometimes it makes sense not to save money on matches.

  • Artyom

    In general, I have already encountered a problem more than once (on the same Transend card), you take it off, take it off, then it sharply writes that the card does not work, etc., not getting through to it in any way, only formatting on the computer helps, what could be the problem?

  • Alex

    I use 3100 GB in the Nikon D16 Sandisk with a read / write speed of 45 mb / s - no brakes. Nikon even mentions cards from Sandisk in his recommendations ...

  • Gene jb

    The problem with SD cards is most likely due to the sequence of data transfer. Apparently some card manufacturers do not respect the timings, or maybe overclock them to get class 10. With CF, everything is much simpler. CF in addition to its native mode also has an IDE mode UDMA33. I personally checked it myself. In general, I once bought CF Transcend for a server, installed Linux on it, and then I somehow didn’t need the server anymore and bought a camera. I don’t observe any problems. At the time of start, the fotik loads CHDK for me for a second, without CHDK it starts quickly. Photos take off for a long time, most likely due to incorrect USB mode, not as a storage device, but as an image transfer device. 500 pictures can be thrown off 30 minutes. When you connect the card as an IDE device, photos are dropped 10 times faster.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      By the way, I had someone else's card at 90mb / s, so on a regular 7200rpm hard drive through USB 2.0 and a card reader greater than 30MB / second the speed did not rise, most likely due to the limitations of the reader \ usb \ winchester.

      • Sergei

        I have a 90MB SanDisk card. work really on 90Mb. test on my blog.
        Of course, the reader / usb should be 3.0

    • ontebeoteg

      Gene JB, but do not tell me how to reassign the device to Win7? When I connect the photo cable to my computer, everything is downloaded very quickly, and if I insert the card, then for sure, once thousands of frames were copied for about an hour.

      • Lynx

        You most likely have a reader-for-card-vkcomp format yusb1, instead of yusb2. It seems that usb1 has long been irrelevant, but no, often even in normal computer stores you can get to such a China. Itself so recently flew.

  • lavrenko

    Well. I have cf transced 8 gigabytes. On my 400d it works like a watch. the only problem with the rate of fire of the cameras, as the roll is slow. and so no problems) well, and corresponded to the computer for a long time. Fotik sees the card and reads without any problems.

  • Andrei

    Oh guys, you didn’t work with Sigma cameras :-)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If not difficult, share your experience :)

    • Koba

      I have a Sigma SD14 and work with them sometimes. One file in RAW records about 5-6 seconds, regardless of the speed of the card ... Here are the things ...

      • Pokekmon

        I have Merrill on the SD-1 faster. Even on cheap CF cards, 2-3 seconds per file.
        On the D3s and D700, I didn’t feel it at all ...)

  • Alexander

    I use Sandisk 5100GB 32mb / s class 30 on the 10. brakes about 95% of the card’s filling appear and that’s not significant! The card is super! Besides, there are two gift cards of 4 gigs just in case, one slows down and the second is normal.

    • Sergei

      problem with CF cards. you have SD.

  • Anatoly

    Useful information about memory cards

  • Alexander

    And I have a problem with the 8GB SP card, in the camera the Canon-550D sees no problems, through the card reader on the computer it does not detect and does not see at all. What could be the problem?

  • Serge Dombrowski

    Canon 7D + Kingston CF 16gb 133x. There are no brakes or delays at all, the exception is recording a long series of frames (10 raw of 25 mb each), which takes several seconds. It is formatted exclusively in the camera, excess is removed only by the camera, the contents are copied either by a card reader or by a cord directly from the camera.
    I tried once Trancend 4 GB (the speed seems to be the same) - I watched the brakes when recording photos.

  • Alexey

    On my Nikon D80, I only encounter brakes with autofocus in a dark room and with a shooting distance of less than 0,5 meters. And there is no problem with the card, it is 10th grade

  • Ayrat

    The Nikon d7000 has Sandisk Ultra 32 Gb 30Mb / s, no freezes. Only after long series - but that's natural. Especially before buying

  • Ayrat

    Especially before buying a card, I used the Internet and tried it on a camera. Cheap and cheerful.

  • Dmitriy

    I’m using Nikon D7000, I’ve tried cards, both transend and Kingston. And I’ll say one thing compared to the same speeds, she smokes nervously with a 16GB sandisk. 45 priy / oddda and 16GB Toshiba. 60 hi / odd, I just had a udiblion at such a speed, I always had transend and Kingston cards slowed down as described, changed to dignity and Toshiba, then the same rockets, though a little bit more expensive. ALL RECOMMENDED

  • Kostya

    Good day! Mayu Nikon D90 and San Disk 16 GB 30 Mb / s card. Duzhe garn in exploitation. Slow down the tank only as soon as you write the video, the camera heats up and there may be some glitches. And so there are no brakes in the robot camera. Alone Once when sending a photo to a computer, the photos of the camera stopped being read, but everything was read on the computer.
    I want to use my brother's cards recommended by the virobnik and one memory card for the supply of mothers.

  • Lumin

    On my EOS 1100D, cards below grade 6 refuse to write video (at first I experimented and somehow stuffed a grade 2 card), so I have two 8 GB class 6. I did not notice any special slowdowns while watching the shot. Quite satisfied.

  • Anatoly

    I use cards of class 10 on the nikon d5100, I did not notice the brakes, but the built-in flash began to slow down the shooting, after pressing the shutter, it thinks for about a second and then flashes when everyone has already fled. Modes changed everyones the same result. Now I think of buying an external one, I can see if the external one is not so slow.

    • Mixail

      After the brakes with the built-in D7000, I used an external one. At approx. 50% of the power allowed to make short series.

      • Dmitriy

        I have a mileage of about 7000 shots on the D16000, I didn't notice any flash brakes ...

  • Gennady

    For the owners of Boots, and for other comrades, I can recommend a class 10 transend card for 32 GB, my Boot EOS 60d, started to work normally and the speed increased, I tried the class 4 card ... the brakes are hard.

  • Eugene

    I had two Transend 16GB and 8GB cards on the d3100, they worked fine. I switched to d7000 - 8GB is excellent, 16GB is not readable at all and does not allow the device to work, after two minutes of hanging the camera says that the card is damaged, and with the second card, when the first is inserted, it does not work. It does not allow formatting in the camera either through the menu or with two buttons. Formatted on a computer, inserted into the camera - the reaction is the same. At the same time, the computer reads freely, d3100 - freely, and d7000 - does not want to. The result is that I did not achieve anything, I sold it together with the d3100, and it works for my friend as if nothing had happened. I bought myself another one, the reason for the incompatibility remained unknown.

  • Leonid

    Thank you for the article. I use sandisk class 10 sd cards, toshiba class 10 not when I had no problems. The formatting of the cards in the article is 100% true, format with the camera. As for other cards, you have good cameras that cost much more than a memory card. Why push any… into it. After all, it's the same as buying a Mercedes and refueling 76 with gasoline or moonshine. I don't understand people who save on little things. After all, the most expensive thing in case of card failure is the pictures that you have lost forever. Therefore, I threw out transend, selicon power and the rest….

  • Sergei

    I bought a Transcend 7000GB for the D16, after about 150 photos he stopped seeing it. It is not formatted. Delivered SanDisk 8GB, no problem. Both are 10th grade.

  • Novel

    On Canon, the Magic Lantern add-on adds a second and a half (with a blinking card indicator) to the camera’s camera readiness, sometimes it is annoying. Without it, everything is almost instantly on class 10 cards

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