How fast is tethered shooting on a Windows PC?

I was thinking about this after reading Terry White’s post about the topic, though he is more interested in Mac vs PC (or Mac vs Windows really).  Interestingly he was able to do a Mac vs Windows test on the same hardware which of course makes it much more valid test.  The interesting conclusion is that the Camera-to-Lightroom total speed is almost identical, though the download vs import speed varies a lot.

A lot of the time taken up is in Lightroom which I have not tried so far, I’m still using Adobe Bridge to view my JPG and RAW (NEF) files.  That’s why I did a version of my tethered shooting script that is optimized for Bridge – which is to say it sends a keypress to bridge to advance to the most recent frame.

Testing with my configuration showed that the total time of camera-to-bridge was averaging slightly less than 3 seconds.  I did these tests with my D40 shooting raw – so that’s a 5mb file, via a USB2 hub connected to a fast but rather old Dell PC.  I’ll try it again later with the D300 which has the larger files to see how much difference there is; not a lot I suspect based on previous un-timed test.

In Terry’s tests the CCP2 import under Windows took 3.2 seconds, which is similar to my script, but then the import into Lightroom took 8 seconds – I believe Bridge is showing images much faster.  Of course the intial view it gives you is a preview but it’s normally less than a second for it to render a high quality view.

Does all this make much difference?  Not if you are doing product shots I think, but if you are shooting models then shaving seconds off each shot would be good I think.

Conclusion?  If speed is important shoot into a temp folder and use Bridge to view as you go, then import later when you are done.

PS: Still need to upload my Tethered Remote Bridge script — aka the self-portrait script!

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