Sony a7 buffer and card write times

During my brief time with a preproduction Sony a7 camera, I ran a quick test to determine buffer depth and clear times. This detail always interests me about new cameras and I was curious to see how the a7 stacked up, in part because I couldn’t find any information about buffer depth in the initial reports.

With a Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 card:

RAW: 28 frames and 25 seconds to fully clear the buffer.
RAW + JPEG: 24 frames and 35 seconds to clear.
JPEG extra fine: 55 frames and 47 seconds to clear.

With a Panasonic Gold 32GB SDHC UHS-1 Class 10 card:

RAW: 35 frames and 18 seconds to clear.
RAW + JEPG: 28 frames and 22 seconds to clear.
JPEG extra fine: 78 frames and 32 seconds to clear.

Keep in mind this was with a preproduction camera (firmware version 0.90). Therefore, results may differ once the camera starts shipping.

Considering the relatively slow fps rate, at least the camera isn’t going to hit a buffer limit quickly. If there is an annoyance, it took a few seconds before a just-shot image could be fully reviewed on the camera. Based on at least these two cards, the camera will benefit from a faster card. And as with all modern digital cameras, the a7 will continue to operate and allow you to shoot additional frames as buffer space clears.

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2 Responses to “Sony a7 buffer and card write times”

  1. Dave Rearwin Says:

    Thanks for taking the trouble to include buffer and write times. It’s hard to understand why so many manufacturers and online reviewers routinely fail to include this very important information. This makes the a7 look a lot more attractive for action shooting–although a faster burst rate would be nice.

  2. Ron Says:

    Thanks Dave, I agree. Buffer is pretty decent, but the camera is definitely no speed demon. 3-4fps isn’t exactly what I’d want for ‘action’ work (well, I’m spoiled with 12fps with the 1DX). I imagine eventually there will be one available in the 8-10fps range.

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