Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus Micro Four Thirds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 11, 2010, 3:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 312
Default Details about memory card use in EPL1

Rule of thumb: format your SD card in the camera and don't use the card meanwhile for other purposes such as holding music and transferring computer files. Otherwise, you'll run into troubles like slow playback and interrupted video recording, soon or later.

HD video is always cut off at 7:27, yes always, and SD is always 14:20. The maximum files size can be anything between 1.7GB to 1.96GB.

Therefore, the card must be able to write at 4-5MB/s. Fortunately, most cards including class-2 ones are able to. A real class-6 card can guaranty 6MB/s, that's why it is recommended in the manual.

From my tests, even very cheap C2 and C4 cards can write at 5MB/s, with C4 cards more forgiven in EPL1. Most C6 cards can do 10MB/s, except a Patriot C6 8GB. Most cheap C10 cards are actually slower than C6, except a Centon 16GB that indeed does a little better than C6 cards. Some of the 8GB and 16GB cards I've tested: Patriot, PNY, AData, Polaroid, Centon, WinTec, etc.

When you buy a SD card, don't take the class rating too seriously, because the logo is not verified by an agency such as FCC. All needed is to pay some fee. This list of actual in-camera speed test can give you some reference for your card purchase:


So, how do I know if a card is fast enough for my EPL1? Format it in your EPL1, then put your EPL1 on a table and press the record button. Near the end of 7:27, keep one eye on the little flashing red disc icon on the left upper corner. If this icon stops immediately once recording stops at 7:27, then this SD card is perfectly fast enough. If the recording stopped sooner than 7:27, or the red icon continues to flash for a while after 7:27, then the card is too slow for HD video in EPL1.

Because of the Motion-JPEG format used in EPL1, video file size is MUCH larger than those using H.264 format (such as Panny GF1 and Sony NEX-5). Cameras that use H.264 format uses far less memory space even at 1080P. Therefore, EPL1 is more picky on memory cards on writing speed and it requires a much larger card for the same recording length. For example, a 16GB can only record 55 minutes 720P in EPL1 while the same card can do double the length, i.e. 2 hours, in 1080P H.264.

The bottom line: no much need to spend more money for a faster or higher class card and microSD is a far better investment as it can be used in other devices such as phones for more ways of viewing and uploading your photos and video, and you won't waste your money when one day you sell your camera. Always get the highest capacity if price is reasonable, because smaller cards hold less and, more importantly, they become too small for anything much sooner.
sdcs is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 12, 2010, 10:35 AM   #2
Senior Member
Tullio's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370

Originally Posted by sdcs View Post
... Always get the highest capacity if price is reasonable, because smaller cards hold less and, more importantly, they become too small for anything much sooner.
Just make sure you check your camera specs first to be certain that it will accept the highest capacity card available. A lot of times, new higher capacity cards become available after the manufacturer has launched the new camera and in this case, there is always a chance the camera may not accept the new card. I've read over and over again people complaining about this and that card being bad because the camera did not recognize them when in reality the problem was simply caused by incompatibility between the two. Also check the card type. Some old camera models will not accept SDHC cards for instance (the same applies to card readers).

Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 12, 2010, 5:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
shoturtle's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348

no problems with a 16gb delkin class 6 or transcend 16gb class 10 with the epl-1
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:11 PM.