Comparing Burst Mode Shutter Speeds of Various Nikon DSLRs

Last Friday, we shared a video that compared the burst mode shutter speeds and sounds of various Canon DSLRs, and lest Nikon fanboys think we’re biased towards one brand or another, here’s a similar video by YouTube user bauercti that does the same thing for several of the camera’s in Nikon’s lineup.

By the looks of it, bauercti is a sports photographer who shoots mainly golf. As such, a quick camera that can capture every aspect of Tiger Woods’ or Adam Scott’s swing would make a great addition to the ol’ camera bag. In the video, burst mode speeds (at full resolution) are shown for the D700, D3X, D300S, D7000, D800 and D4.

Between those six cameras, continuous speeds range from 4fps for the super-high resolution D800, to a “machine gun” 10 fps for the much more expensive D4.


It’s worth noting that the D4 can actually go way above and beyond 10fps, it would just require you to drop the resolution … in some cases significantly. If you’re willing to shoot at 2.5-megapixels in live view, you can push that baby to 24fps, at which point you might as well just say “to heck with it” and record video.

Also, while Canon’s 1D X may be able to shoot at a mind-bending 14fps, that limits you to JPEG files. RAW ability maxes out at 12fps, and even then you can only shoot 38 RAW files max before the camera needs to buffer. In comparison, the D4 can keep 10fps going (with full AF and AE performance) for almost 100 RAW shots (according to Nikon).

In other words, if high-speed continuous shooting is your game, then Nikon’s slightly slower D4 may still beat out the 1D X when you consider all the facts. On the other hand, you could always just click play, listen to the cool shutter sounds, and not weigh in on the Nikon vs Canon debate at all … yeah, we’re gonna go with that.


  • Chris Malmberg

    Bust mode?

  • aminucyrus

    When are the Sonys coming up, from the slower slr’s to the 12fps slt’s?

  • Jones


  • Zos Xavius

    Wow. Nikon shutters are really loud. My k-7 and k-5 sound like leicas compared to that!

  • Phil Warner

    I came across someone testing out a Nikon D800 firmware upgrade at a race Sunday. He had the grip, shooting jpg fine and it was faster than 6 FPS. I would guess it was around 8 FPS. He told me that a firmware update could be 5-8 months away unless there is a major rewrite that would need additional field testing. It was cool to hear the faster shutter clicking on the D800 and I hope it makes it as an update this year.

  • Norshan Nusi

    I think the mic was set a little too high where it even records sound of surrounding conversation…

    In real use, it might sound not as loud as in the video…

  • ilo photo

    Here’s an insteresting topic: Why do we still have shutters? Soon the sensor will just flash on and off and we’ll do away with this silly shutter count and flash sync business! So says Scott Robert Lim anyways (and I think it makes sense).

  • Ken Elliott

    Look at the Nikon 1 for your answer. It has both electronic and mechanical shutters, and each has different capabilities.

  • Zos Xavius

    I’ve heard how loud a D3 is in person. Its quite loud. Using that as a reference a lot of these shutters are pretty similar. The k-7 even is pretty quiet. On a busy street nobody would hear it unless they were standing next to you.

  • Zos Xavius

    a physical shutter still has advantages for sure.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Yeah I saw the video of Pentax shutter sound. Impressively quiet…

  • Goliadkin

    Thanks for this! I’m writing a short story in which a guy is shooting a dance performance with a “bulky, chattering Nikon,” And I need to know whether chattering was the right word. It is.