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Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:13 pm
by carrollmorgan

I had been using Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 and Lightroom with my D3, but the NEF transfer rate added to the "Rendering: Larger Preview" became way too slow and clients became impatient to view their shots. I took another look at FPV and became "sold" on the program. The transfer rate and render in FPV was 2-4 seconds, as compared to 12-17 seconds for Lightroom!!! Big time reduction and I am happy. You have a convert.

All is now good EXCEPT for 1 thing...not all the images transferred to the Images Folder. They were still on the card, so I was fine. Was I shooting too fast?

Thanks again for a fine program! Here are some shots from Sunday's shoot:

Carroll Morgan

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:56 pm
by Axel

Are you using XP or Vista/Win7 ? The program uses different techniques depending on the platform (but all images should get transferred nevertheless).

The Home Basic Edition does not understand NEFs and will only pull the JPGs (if you shoot in RAW+JPG mode). The Professional Edition will pull both files. In RAW-only mode the program will quickly preview the NEF with color management and the "Nikon rendition", i.e. vivid and colorful.

In all cases, the images are always written on the CF card by the camera so there is no data loss no matter what happens on the PC side. Note that the 2-4s latency that you seeing partially depends on the memory card's write speed, it gets shorter with faster cards.

Nice pictures, by the way :-)

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:30 pm
by carrollmorgan
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I'm using FPV Pro and XP Pro and shooting RAW only (14 bit) lossless compressed. I'm happy with 2-4 seconds.

Still not sure why all images were on the card, but only ~85% made it to FPV.

Thanks again for a great program!

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:36 pm
by Axel
I'll have a look at this. The tethering function was mostly tested on Windows Vista where it uses a reliable mechanism introduced with this operating system: I had no problem tethering a D2Hs and a D3 both connected and firing in "Ch" mode at the same time (that's 17 fps), so the shooting speed should not be an issue. Of course the transfers took a couple of minutes but no picture was missed, I even added a D40 to the mix and I could fire all three cameras at the same time (I ran out of Nikon DSLRs at that point, but the program can connect to and pull data from more than 3 cameras).

On Windows XP the program falls back to a more ancient technique which was originally designed for slow imaging devices like scanners. I have to see what's going on here, leaving 15% of the images behind is not normal: from your report it looks like the program was missing events.

2-4 sec is about as fast as it gets for 14-bit RAWs. The lag comes from the CF write time, the USB transfer time and disk write time, then the JPEG preview extraction, decompression and display. You can try RAW+JPG as a test, perhaps with a medium JPG, for shorter lag as Nikon cameras sends the JPG first from what I've seen.

I'll post here whenever the problem is reproduced and hopefully fixed.

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:12 pm
by carrollmorgan
Thanks, Axel for chasing this down! I look forward to hearing what you find out.

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:32 pm
by Axel
I've tried to reproduce the problem you mentioned but all images were transferred faultlessly. However, I see what can happen: under XP, when a device gets connected, the system enumerates the device's content during the connection procedure. If your memory card already contains some images, the connection time can be long (several seconds) while Windows grabs the properties of every files on the card. The camera operates normally during that time and you can take new pictures, which will be stored on the card, but on the Windows side the "new picture arrival" events won't be fired as the connection procedure has not yet completed: there is a gap where you can take pictures and the program will not notice them. Those pictures will be on the CF card but no transfer will occur. After the connection completes the program starts monitoring for new images and transfers them as expected.

The connection times gets longer as the memory card fills out. If the camera gets disconnected during the session (e.g. you turned it off during a pause or to change lenses, or because of a loose cable connection) and the card already contains many pictures, it is possible that the first few shots taken just after turning the camera back on (or reconnecting the cable) are not noticed by the program and thus not be transferred to the PC. No pictures are lost because they are always written to the CF card no matter what.

There is no workaround that I know of, except to wait for the connection to complete before taking new shots. I’ve made a slight update to the program: it should now display [Connecting…] during the connection phase and you need to wait until it says [D3] before taking new pictures. You will notice that the connection is fairly quick when the card is empty or near empty.

Note that this connection behavior is due to the fact that Windows XP insists to retrieve the properties of all existing images at connection time. When they designed this mechanism in the late ’90 the perspective of a device containing multi-gigabytes of data was very remote. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no provision to alter this behavior.

An entirely new transmission mechanism has been introduced in Windows Vista. The program uses this new mechanism on that platform and the connection to external devices occurs nearly instantly, no matter how many pictures already reside on the card(s).

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:02 pm
by carrollmorgan
Thanks Axel. Never thought I would have a reason to upgrade to Vista!

Re: Not all images transferring. What am I doing wrong?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:45 pm
by Axel
There are many good reasons ;) ...besides fast and reliable tethered connection you also get improved GPU acceleration support in FPV (works with many more graphic cards under Vista or later) and also thumbnail preview on FastPictureViewer's quick navigation slider (with more to come). Vista and Windows 7 also are generally much more aware of image files, with raw preview support in Explorer, search on medatada etc... Maybe for your next computer? FPV (and tethering) works great on 64-bit too...