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Old Dec 6, 2007, 11:35 PM   #1
Pilaar39's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
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I currently have a Nikon D100 and am getting a D200 shortly.

I have been reading about the various CF cards available on the market, for example Sandisk has CF Ultra II, III, and IV cards, claiming transfer speeds of 10, 20, and 40m MB/second respectively.

My question: is there a limitation in the D100 and D200 cameras when using these higher speed cards? I don't want to pay the extra bucks for a 40 MB/Sec card, if the camera itself is not capable of recording at that speed, yet I cannot find any specs on the Nikon site with respect to this. Having said that, I presume these higher speed cards will transfer data faster from the card to the PC?

One of my reasons for getting the D200 is to shoot in bracketting mode, and I want to be sure I get a fast enough card to handle rapid shooting. But, I also want to be sure I don't spend money on fast cards that will not work fast in the D200.

And lastly, does the size of the CF card have any relationship to the transfer speed? Will an 8GB card transfer at the same speed as a 2 or 4 MB/Sec card?

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Old Dec 7, 2007, 5:58 AM   #2
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The D200 has a relatively larger buffer (fast internal memory). Until the buffer is full, there won't be any difference in camera performance.

After the internal buffer is full, you'll get faster flush times (how long it takes to write the contents of the internal buffer to memory card) and faster full buffer cycle times, if you are using a faster card.

See Steve's review conclusion section for speeds clocked using a Sandisk 8GB Extreme III:


If you want to know how one card compares to another, Rob Galbraith has some tests of cards in the D200 here:


It looks like it tops out at less than 9MB/Second to a fast card.

The D100 is much slower writing to memory cards. Rob no longer tests new cards in this model. But, it looks like it topped out at around 2MB/Second writing to 80x (10MB/Second) cards


Since the bottleneck is often the camera's interface to media, versus the speed of the cards themselves, you tend to get diminishing returns going with the fastest cards in most cameras (for example, you may, buy a card that's twice as fast and see a 5-10% increase in throughput after you reach a certain speed card).
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