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Old Sep 13, 2006, 8:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 41

I sold my Canon S2-IS... and am seriously looking at the Fujifilm s6000 (too new for reviews I guess) BUT what I'm wondering is in regards to the speed of startup/picture taking with an XD card. I am not familiar with these only SanDisk II Ultra 1gb in my Canon S2 was very fast each way (which I demand). Am I going to notice any difference in an 1gb XD card even if it's the best availble speed...what ever that is....

Anyone... anyone... Bueller?

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Old Sep 14, 2006, 12:56 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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It's hard to say until someone actually tests the camera.

As for memory cards, as a general rule, xD Picturecard is slower than most other card types. That's improving with the newer Type H cards (although they're still slower than newer cards available in other formats, and not all cameras are compatible with these cards).

But, the bottleneck is not really the card in most cases (provided you're using a relatively fast/modern card). More often than not, the bottleneck is the camera.

For example, your Canon S2 IS has a maximum throughput of around 3MB/Second to a card like an Ultra II, because the camera's processing and interface to the card doesn't really take advantage of it's potential. As a result, you tend to see diminishing returns with a faster card (a card that is twice as fast may only give you a small improvement in that camera).

Yet, you could take that exact same card, put it into a fast DSLR model, and you may see a huge improvement in throughput. For example, a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II can write to an Ultra II Secure Digital Card at around 8MB/Second.

Some newer DSLR models have even faster throughput. For example, a Sony DSLR-A100 can write to an Extreme III CompactFlash Card at around 14MB/second (and almost as fast to an Ultra II). It's throughput is more than 4 times as fast as your S2 IS to memory cards, because it's got a much faster interface.

A lot of factors go into a camera's performance. The size of the images come into the equation, whether or not you're shooting jpeg or raw (raw files are much larger), how many images the camera can bufffer in it's faster internal memory before it slows down from bottlenecks to memory cards, how fast it is in processing the images internally, and the speed of it's interface to media (MB/Second). Usually, with most non-DSLR models, you reach a bottleneck in the camera before you reach a bottleneck with card speed (when using relatively fast cards).

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