Fuji X100: Write speeds on SD cards

by Klaus on July 14, 2011

in Photography

I love my new Fuji X100 and my I’m quite sure my Nikon D7000 is jealous (though it probably wouldn’t admit it…). If you haven’t already, you should read my Fuji Finepix X100 first impressions.

But this article is not about praising the X100, it’s about how fast/slow the X100 writes to SD cards.

Currently, the newest firmware for Fuji X100 is version 1.10. Before that, I believe there was a huge difference in start-up time and writing your photos to the SD card, depending on how fast your SD card was. With version 1.10, there’s still a difference – especially if you’re using anything slower than a class 10, 30mb/s card.

Note that a class 10 card does not guarantee that it’s a 30mb/s card, so be sure to check your SD cards’ specifications.

If you have anything slower than a 30mb/s card, upgrading to either a 30mb/s Sandisk 8GB class 10 or 45mb/s Sandisk 8GB (UHS class 1) will be a good idea as the camera will be able to save data faster and be ready to shoot again, faster.

However, if you already have a 30mb/s card, there’s no need to upgrade to a 45mb/s card. With the current firmware 1.10, there is no difference in write speed on a 30mb/s and 45mb/s card when used in Fuji X100. I thought there was going to be a little bit, but my own tests shows exactly the same, no matter which of the two speeds I’m using.

Here’s some data…

Shooting RAW files, 5 fps burst (8 frames), will take 19-20 seconds to save to the card. I start the timer once the last frame has been shot (listening to the shutter) and stop the timer once the camera is ready to fire again (and the SD card activity LED turns off).

The same, but with RAW + JPEG NORMAL takes around 25 seconds.

Saving a single RAW frame takes around 3 seconds, but, the camera is ready to fire again instantly. You do not need to wait for the photo to be saved, before you can shoot again.

Shooting 10 JPEG FINE frames in 5 fps burst takes 13 seconds to save, from when the last frame has been shot and till the camera is ready again.

Finally, starting the camera takes less than 3 seconds (from cold) and less than 1 second (with “quick start mode” enabled), until it’s ready to shoot.

All in all, I’m fully satisfied considering what kind of a camera this is. It’s by no means a DSLR. It lacks some of the features that a fast DSLR might have, but it’s also lacking some of the downsides of a DSLR, such as being big and much more attention grabbing.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

DJ ARIF July 17, 2011 at 06:40

You’ve posted an article on the same Camera a few days ago, I’ll try to buy it after getting my adsense check of this month…. :mrgreen:
DJ ARIF recently posted… Ramadan And Taraweeh

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John McGraw July 20, 2011 at 20:05

I have a Fuji X100 and have been trying to sort this out so your article is much appreciated.

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Johan September 1, 2011 at 18:13

Har varit riktigt sugen på x100 nu ett tag eller alternativt nya x10. Kan du säga hur högt man kan gå i ISO innan bilden bryter samman, min Panasonic fungerar bara stabilt till 800 vilket inte är någon höjdare..

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Klaus September 1, 2011 at 18:25

Hi Johan,

In my view, ISO 1600 is fine. If necessary, you can apply some noise reduction on your computer afterwards. But I have no problems going all the way up to ISO 3200. I even have my auto-ISO settings set to allow up to ISO 3200 if the shutter speed goes too slow. X100 does go up to ISO 6400 if necessary, but then you can clearly see the photo getting worse, but convert to black & white and apply noise reduction or even add fake film grain, and it’s still useable when you HAVE to get the photo.
Klaus recently posted… New photo eBook: “Andes – the print and the process series” by Andrew S. Gibson

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Alexis Phi November 19, 2011 at 15:48

Hey Klaus, It was nice reading your post. The X100 is my weapon of choice right now and funny enough, I’ve been into the same mindset of trying the performance with different cards.

Well below is a link to my post, hope you’ll find it interesting:
http://www.stuff-review.com/2011-10/fujifilm-x100-startup-time-and-sd-card-write-speed-tests-how-to-make-the-x100-faster/

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