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Old Nov 16, 2003, 1:18 AM   #1
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Default generic compact flash

Hi, I own a Nikon CP 2500 since 3 days ago.

I still use the 8MB compact flash that came with the camera but next month plan to get a 128MB memory card.

I´d like to know if there´s any difference between generic brands of compact flash and more famous ones, eg. Sandisk.

The salesman told me that there´s no difference and that I should get the generic brand because it is a lot cheaper.

Is that right?
If not, what are the good brands of memory card?

Thanks
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 6:21 AM   #2
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Viking makes excellent CF and this seems to be a good deal: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...E=PRICEGRABBER

Generics are usually rebranded cards. They can be good or bad according to who made them. There is a difference between brands though, and I wouldn’t personally get generics.

These are times submitted by Minolta owners of CF cards on D7x/A1 cameras. Read down through the various cameras and look at the speeds for the 128Mb cards. You will see that the good cards can be over 3 times as fast as poor ones. Your times won’t be the same of course, but the relative speed would probably hold true in general terms. A small difference should be ignored but cards like Sandisk that take twice the time or Mr Flash that take 3 times as long to cycle should be avoided IMO. http://webpages.charter.net/bbiggers...rd_speeds.html

On a similar thread Steve recommended Lexar cards, and he certainly has plenty of experience with them. Vikings are good as well and the link is a pretty good deal.
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 8:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
Your times won’t be the same of course, but the relative speed would probably hold true in general terms.
I wish this were true, but don't be surprised if it isn't. The fastest card in the majority of cameras can be very slow in others. It's all about how the camera matches up with the card. Cards are optimized to expect the data in certain sized chunks and in certain patterns. If the camera writes to the card in a way which is similar to how the card expects the data, then it will be fast. Put the same card in a different camera that writes in a very different pattern and it will be slow.

Of course, without a deep understanding of the cards and the camera, you won't be able to guess which cards will be faster in your camera.

My general statement is that for cameras in the price range of the CP2500, don't waste your money on a card faster than around 12x to 16x. They won't be any faster in your camera after that. The D7 family of cameras are much more expensive (higher end, use more expensive parts) and therefor will probably write in a different pattern than the CP2500. (Of course, this isn't guarented... maybe Minolta purchased the same CF writing parts as Nikon did... I bet neither made them, they ordered them.)

The other problem is you don't know how well those tests were done. They were submitted by people on the web. Well meaning and all, but how well were they done? Although it doesn't cover your camera, this link is a better example of how different cards work, well or badly in different cameras:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

Eric
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 8:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
The other problem is you don't know how well those tests were done. They were submitted by people on the web. Well meaning and all, but how well were they done? Although it doesn't cover your camera, this link is a better example of how different cards work, well or badly in different cameras:
The Minolta D7 series is probably closer to a Nikon 2500 than the DLSR tests you linked. And there seem to be a good bit of relative consistency between different cameras on those tests. I agree that it is a tenuous association, but I would avoid cards like Mr Flash just based on the absurdly slow performance in the Minoltas. You don’t know that Mr Flash and another generic didn’t come from the same lousy supplier.

Most of the contributors of times are regulars on Brian Biggers’ Minolta forum. They seem to be a consistently sharp group. When I ran the tests on my particular card the times were within a fifth of a second of the two other people who reported that card’s speed. If a particular result is off the wall compared to the other results you might suspect the person didn’t follow the instructions to format the card and then run them on an empty card. But the results seem pretty consistent with different cards. http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/151930
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 5:41 AM   #5
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Why even discuss off names like mr flash. Most cards work just fine but you have to really be carfull of the cheapo ones. Actually I haven't ever hear of mr. flash so I shouldn't trash it, but you can get good cards cheap. There are cheapo, made in china cards that are crap. Why by one when you can probably get a good card for almost the same price. There are of course the most common cards, sandisk, lexar, memorex (I see them in lots of stores out here), but there are also brands like pny, kingston, transend, viking (beware of viking rebates, especially form dell), as far as speed goes, brand has nothing to do with speed. Sandisk is one of the most common cards in yur major stores, and their regular speed card, Is perhaps, the slowest card ever made, on any camera. And as stated, performance of a card will vary drasticaly from camera to camera. It will not effect tking single shots with most prosumer cameras though. The speed of the cf card is irelavant compared to the cameras own internall memory. Beyond that, it depends on how the cameras memory interfaces and dumps to the cf. There are lots of good cards out there and many of the generics are just rebranded, but why take the chance?
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 7:21 AM   #6
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Although the cards may be the same, quality control may be lower...a bad card may slip through. I've seen various complaints over the year from some cheaper card users.

Let me ask this, is the risk of losing your pictures (memories, work, etc.) worth saving a few dollars? Personally, I bought a Sandisk card with a 5 year warranty.
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 7:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardh
Why even discuss off names like mr flash.
Our attention span is a little short early in the morning. :P
Reread the title and Choco’s post again. The thread is about cheap cards.


Quote:
as far as speed goes, brand has nothing to do with speed. Sandisk is one of the most common cards in yur major stores, and their regular speed card, Is perhaps, the slowest card ever made, on any camera.
Brand has nothing to do with speed but Sandisk standard cards are slow – I’ll have to ponder that.


Quote:
And as stated, performance of a card will vary drasticaly from camera to camera.
You seem to be with Eric that Sandisk standard cards, which were among the very slowest in the DLSR tests and took twice as long as the better cards to write in the Minolta, are as likely to be the fastest card on the Nikon 2500 as one that performs fast on other cameras. Or that maybe Mr Flash will blow them all away in the Nikon. For lack of any other information I would personally choose a card that had performed faster on other cameras if data were not available for my particular camera. And I would take the Mr Flash performance as a warning that El Cheapos can be slow.
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Old Nov 18, 2003, 8:19 AM   #8
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Excuse me. Please do not put words in my mouth.

I am an engineer, and therefor do not like making absolute statements that are clearly wrong. I did not say that the SanDisk standard cards "are as likely to be the fastest card on the Nikon 2500 as one that performs fast on other cameras" (the emphasis is mine.) I am only saying that comparing performance between two different brands of cameras, let alone a camera which costs more than twice the one in question, is not a very wise thing to do. And I am not saying that the performance on any of the tests on that site will patch what the CP2500 will do (but I think you realize that.)

By your logic the fastest card out right now (which looks to be a toss up between the new SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Ultra II) should be what is purchased because it's the fastest on many different cameras. What a waste of money in a CP2500. Lets not pick apart the logic offered in one-off posts please, I could rip yours too. Extending logic to extremes to form a position of attack is pointless.

I only referred to the Rob Galbraith site because I have faith that the tests are done consistently. It demonstrates better than any place I know that cameras (even by the same maker) will have different speeds (some times dramatically) with the same cards. They also have a fairly good write-up about why the performance differs. And its well written and well presented. Have you seen what that site looks like on IE 6? (That isn't a statement about the quality of the data, but they laid it out so it doesn't it on a screen and I'm at 1280x1024!! And one block is only 10 characters wide.)

If you believe in that site's numbers, good for you. I have no knowledge of the site, and tests results collected in that manor have a way of being infiltrated by people just trying to cause trouble. Even when it does them no good, or gains them no recognition there are many people out there who like to mess things up for others... putting up bogus numbers on that site would be considered "fun" by them. That is something that will not happen on Rob's site. It is good to hear that your results matched their, at least someone there is doing a good job. (Oh, and I think we both agree that we need more sites like that one. It would be very helpful to have a good clearinghouse of performance info about lots of CF cards with lots of cameras in a variety of price ranges.)

Here is a strong statement that (I hope) can't me twisted or misunderstood.

I would stay away from the serious no-name brands (like Mr. Flash.) I would also stay away from the standard SanDisk, as it is also very slow (but the quality is fairly high.) Of the second tier manufacturers I would consider buying would be Viking, Transcend, Delkin, and Ridata. I have generally heard good things about all those brands. Personally, I buy Lexar, but they aren't a "second tier" manufacturer. I pay extra for that, but I'm willing to do that for the piece of mind it gives me. (I stay away from SanDisk in general because people here have had trouble with customer service from them.)

Some of the store brand CF cards are actually remarked cards from other companies. This makes them hit or miss. Because of this, I just don't go that route.

Eric

ps. I wouldn't shoot down Mr. Flash because of speed. They might have licensed their design from someone else... they might be reasonably fast (I certainly don't know.) I wouldn't use them because of the potential quality control issue already stated by others. Rejecting fewer bad parts is a great way to make lower prices profitable.
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Old Nov 19, 2003, 9:12 PM   #9
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Thanks very much for the replies.

I live in Argentina and things cost a lot more here. For example, I saw one from Viking 128MB here on ebay Argentina for $60 (dollars).

After reading the replies, I think I am staying away from the standard Sandisk.

=) Have a fruitful day
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Old Nov 19, 2003, 11:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Have a fruitful day
Now that is a salutation that you don't hear every day. I will certainly try.

You have a great day too.

Eric
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