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Old Feb 25, 2010, 9:48 PM   #1
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Default CF card. Which One?

It's been awhile since I purchased a CF card. The last one I bought was a Transcend 8 GB UDMA 300X card over a year ago.

Have they improved much?

What are you using?
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 9:53 PM   #2
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sandisk extreme pro are 600X cards, with a price tag to match. But if you are happy with the transcend they have 600X card for a bit less. 50+mb write speed with 600X. Way faster.
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 5:56 AM   #3
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Are you looking for a larger card?

Rob Galbraith has some tests of some of the newer UDMA cards. The latest 600x Lexar and the 533x Photofast GMonster Plus cards tested fastest in an EOS-7D. The Transcend 600x and Sandisk Extreme Pro cards were a bit slower (although they're all pretty close).

For example, if you scroll down on this test page, you'll see one section where Rob clocked the number of photos a 7D could take in 30 seconds shooting raw+jpeg. If you look at tests for the 16GB Cards, a GMonster 533x Plus and Lexar 600x card were able to store 58 photos in 30 seconds. The Transcend 600x and Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB cards were able to store 50 photos in 30 seconds. So, there's not a lot of difference between them. I think the card reader tests are only for read performance (card to PC). Here's the link to those tests:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...=7-10044-10297

Also, one camera may behave differently compared to another. So, the card that's fastest in one camera may not be the fastest in another camera.

But, unless you really need those kinds of speeds, I'd probably stick to a lower priced card. For example, you can get a Transcend 16GB 400x card for $64.99 right this minute at http://www.newegg.com (and if you look at the photos for the packaging, you'll see that card has a lifetime warranty, as the listings show the wrong warranty info for some of their cards).

That's less than half of what they sell the 16GB 300x SLC card for. Note that the 300x SLC card is probably faster for writing (the 400x card uses MLC memory so write times probably won't be quite as fast as the 300x SLC card). But, from my perspective, unless you're doing a lot of consecutive bursts shooting raw+jpeg, the less expensive card is a lot easier on the wallet. ;-) You'll see the 400x card in this list of Transcend 16GB Cards:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ash%20%28CF%29

They also make them in smaller and larger sizes (that link is filtered to show 16GB cards only).

If you do want a faster card and want to try the Photofast cards (which appear to have more "bang for the buck" compared to the larger brand names if you look at the fastest cards now), you can get them from dvnation.com. The 533x Plus cards are the fastest (the non plus versions are a bit slower on write times). They appear to work fine in both the A700 and A900 from user reports I've seen (someone with both cameras posted thoughts about the 32GB Photofast 533x Gmonster Plus cards a while back on another forum, and highly recommended it after using one for a while).

http://www.dvnation.com/Flash-Media-Cards.html
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Old Feb 26, 2010, 6:08 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, lots of useful info.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 5:17 PM   #5
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lomatamike:

As an fyi, I took a few minutes to do a very quick test of a Sandisk 16GB Extreme Pro (600x) card in my Sony A700 today (not as thorough as I'd like because I didn't measure frame rate after a buffer full using raw, but the test should give you a good idea of what to expect). I remembered this thread, so I figured I'd update it.

JPEG files at any quality setting were no issue (no decrease in performance, regardless of the number of frames). With RAW files, I saw 21 shots before any slowdown at all, with a very fast buffer clear time (consistently measuring 4.8 seconds with 3 repeated tests).

Using cRAW (compressed raw), I didn't detect any "burp" in performance until I got to 31 frames using the 5fps drive mode (repeating the test more than once), and even then, it only slowed down to around 2 fps for about 1 second before it appeared to go back to full speed again (very odd, with only a slight "burb" at around 31 frames with more than one test before resuming full speed again). Buffer clear time was virtually instantaneous (*under* 1 second), regardless of the number frames shot, which surprised me. That's very fast (virtually unlimited shots at 5fps if you stay with compressed versus uncompressed raw; with virtually no time to clear the buffer).

So, you may want to see how that compares to your existing Transcend 300x SLC card before deciding if it's worth the extra bucks to move up to one of the faster cards.
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