Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shooting Tethered: Part 2

I practiced it. I got it to where Sofortbild would not crash. I practiced shooting with the 6 foot USB cable. I was comfortable with it.

But when it came time to shoot tethered, I couldn't do it.

2 things made me stop.

1. No backup
2. It's too slow

It bugs me like hell that after a day's worth of shooting, I'm transferring the RAW (NEF) files to my MacBook as the sole source of the pictures. What happened to my JPEG CompactFlash card? Don't I have 2 slots? Yes, but I didn't use it today because I thought I'd be tethering so I accidentally wrote to only the first CF card. Anyway my concern is that this process is too risky. Usually I have 1 CF with NEF and 1 CF with JPEG of the same pictures. If one crashes I have the other. I would most likely never lose work. So it bothers me that today I only have 1 copy of the pictures. It bothers me just as much that when tethered, the D3 doesn't also write files to the CF cards. WTF is up with that? Canon got this one right on the money. Backups are a must! Especially on a pro-grade camera.

Secondly. Today we popped off 900+ frames. That's unusual because I usually only shoot 300-500 frames these days per shoot. I got a dynamic model today. She gave me a lot of motion/movement and therefore I needed to follow fast enough. If I shot tethered today, there would have been no way that the MacBook (USB 2.0 file transfer) could have kept up with the writing of the files. Luckily I have a big memory buffer in the D3 which would have served me well if I were tethered too, but the write speed isn't as fast as my Sandisk Extreme III CF cards.

Anyway, I DID use the MacBook after a few test shots to verify that the focus and exposure were correct. I predict that on the next iteration of the Nikon flagship (possibly D4) we'll see an even larger LCD. The LCD can't be big enough. I'd take a 5-6 incher if I could but that's not gonna happen LOL :)

Tethering and transferring to the computer is going to have to wait until there's a better solution. I can't be tethering without a backup. I can't be tethered with wires, too dangerous. I can't be tethering with such slow transfer. I can't wait until Eye-Fi releases a CF version of their card! Or at least until Nikon releases a better Wireless Transmitter!

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