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Old Nov 12, 2007, 7:47 PM   #1
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Have been told by two different camera stores that CF cards draw more current than SD cards. Not sure if I buy that and even if it is true would one card really draw enough current to make a difference on battery life while using the camera?

Just curious as I can't see that making a difference on what camera someone (me) would buy.

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Old Nov 12, 2007, 8:32 PM   #2
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I've read that, too. But, I don't know the exact differences between them.

From my perspective, it's a very minor issue.

Modern cameras are becoming more and more efficient from a battery drain perspective. It's not uncommon to see some modern DSLR models get close to 1000 images on a single battery charge (using a CompactFlash card, and needing to worry about moving optical elements in the lens around for Autofocus purposes).

My latest camera (a Sony DSLR-A700) has a CIPA rating of 650 shots/charge. But, that rating assumes that you're using flash for some percentage of the images, and from what I'm seeing, it's on the conservative side (I think it will do a lot more than that on one charge, even if you spend a lot of time reviewing images you've shot).

So, the difference in current draw between Secure Digital and CompactFlash is not something I'd worry about.

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Old Nov 12, 2007, 8:54 PM   #3
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Lexar specifies that, intheir SD Cards, read operations require <33mA and write operations require <35mA. In their CF Cards, however, read and write operations require 50mA in 3.3V systems and 65mA in 5V systems.


Higher performance cards will draw more current, but it seems that what you heard is true.

But read and write operations to a flash memory card constitute only a very small portion of what a digital camera uses it's battery for. I suspect that a digital camera uses far more battery power to backlight the LCD display than to read and write data to the flash memory card.
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Old Nov 12, 2007, 8:58 PM   #4
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Thanks Jim,

It really wasn't something I was worried about, just curious. Seems there is so much more to know about the current line of cameras on the market today, as to the cameras I started with a while back.


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