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Old Oct 5, 2003, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default Seeking advice for SD Memory Card for Pentax550

I am first time digicam buyer and decided to go for Pentax 550.
I need some advice for SD Memory card.
Q: a> which memeory card is good ..? How about Kingston..I got some negative reviews for Sandisk cards.
Q:b> Will it be OK to use 256 MB SD card for Pentax optio 550.

Any Help would be much appreciated.

Cheers :-)

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Old Oct 5, 2003, 4:05 PM   #2
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Kingston tends to make excellent products and are the largest (highest market percentage) producers or computer memory (system ram). I purchased a 64mb Kingston MM card for my older digital camera a couple years back and have never had an issues with it dispite the fact that it never sits in its little holder case and is currently laying on my desk. For the price you can't go wrong since for me Kingston media cards tend to be the cheapest priced ones available locally, at least for me.

You may also wish to look at Sandisks new Ultra2 SD cards as they seem to be the fastest SD cards on the market. I'm not sure if they would help any on your camera but it might be something to look into.

As for if a 256mb card will work with your camera.... I'm sure it won't have any issues even if the manual doesn't state that your camera supports it. Chances are it was printed before 256mb cards were actually available much like how my c750uz says it supports up to 256mb xD cards yet the 512mb card I have works perfectly. Your camera is new enough that im sure it won't have an issue supporting card sizes right up to 2gb's (fat16 limit?)....but don't quote me on it. :P

Just a suggestion, stay away from KingMax SD cards. My brothers Hp Photosmart 850 would not reconized a 256mb Kingmax SD card at all but had no issues with the 256mb Kingston SD card. I'm not sure if it because the Kingmax card was DOA or there was an incompatability issue. :?
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Old Oct 5, 2003, 4:25 PM   #3
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The new Sandisk Ultra Cards use a 10mb/second controller.

But, so do the Simpletech STANDARD 256mb and 512mb Secure Digital cards (they don't make a slower card in these capacities).

They've had 10mb/second for quite a while in their larger SD cards.

You can see the specs for their cards here (click on a card model to see it's specifications):


Their cards smaller than 256mb use a much slower 2mb/second write, and 3mb/second read controller. This slower controller is used in most Secure Digital Cards, by most manufacturers.

Now, whether or not the camera can take advantage of a faster card with a 10mb/second controller is another matter entirely.

The bottleneck could be in the camera's image processing, not the memory card.

The way I look at it, the cost difference between a Simpletech 256mb Secure Digital Card with a 10mb/second transfer rate, is negligble, compared to slower cards. So, why not just buy the faster card?

Also, if you ever upgrade your PC to USB 2.0 (with an inexpensive USB 2.0 I/O Card), along with a USB 2.0 Compatible Card Reader, you'll enjoy much faster transfer rates from your card reader to your PC -- even if the camera doesn't work faster.
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Old Oct 5, 2003, 4:42 PM   #4
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JimC, I totally agree with you there and thats excellent information to know about the Simpletech cards! It might not help you in the actual act of shooting pictures but there is nothing I hate more than transfering 500mb worth of picture to my computer at a snails pace.

That reminds me, I need a usb2 xD reader.
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Old Oct 5, 2003, 4:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tkmckay
[That reminds me, I need a usb2 xD reader.
Me too --- a USB 2.0 I/O Card and USB 2.0 Card Reader is on my short list for a new purchase. I think I'll get a reader that supports most known flash media types (CompactFlash, SmartMedia, xD PictureCard, Secure Digital, Memory Sticks, etc.- there are several of these out now).

Also, lots of newer devices are now USB 2.0 compatible, - not just card readers (new external hard disk drives, USB attached wireless LAN cards, etc.).

BTW, check the specs for Simpletech's other media -- the 10mb/second transfer rate is for their 256mb and 512mb Secure Digital Cards. I have not checked the specs for their other card types.

As far as media, there is one more advantage to buying faster cards. Even if your current camera isn't any faster, your next camera might be (provided it uses the same media type).

In any event, the cost difference between a 2 or 3mb/second card, and a 10mb/second card is negligible (at least with Secure Digital Media).

So, my advise is just to buy the faster card.
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