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-   -   Sandisc Ultr (

picturethis Jun 9, 2003 3:35 PM

Sandisc Ultr
People say you will only notice the benefit of higher grade cards with top end equipment, which I take to mean SLR type gear. I have a canon s50 and want a 256 cf card, but can't decide whether to go for the ultra or standard. Would I notice any benefit from the ultra?

DonalDuc Jun 9, 2003 5:03 PM

You can buy CFs with 24x 32x 40x speed. Usefull perhaps for PDAs.

A Canon 10D DigiSLR writes with 8x speed, a DSLR with 11 or 14 megapixels writes with 16x speed.

Consumer cameras are slower.

If you have (to much) money, buy the fastest.
If you are intelligent, buy a good, cheap card.

eric s Jun 9, 2003 5:25 PM

The 10D is the exception to the rule, for modern DSLRs. Most write much faster than it does (but many don't have as big a cache.) Both the Canon D60 and Nikon D100 write faster than the 10D.

But in general, I agree. The vast majority of cameras out there will not benefit from anything faster than around 8-12x. You might get an improvement when reading the card in your computer but that seems to be reader dependent... and even then it depends on the exact reader/card combination.

koruvs Jun 9, 2003 5:48 PM

I disagree but, only to a point.

When I used the stock Nikon 32MB 4x card in my 5700 on Fine JPEG at 2560x1920 took about 8 seconds to write the photo. The SanDisk Ultra (18x I believe) for the same photo took 3 seconds.

So there is definalty a benefit to high speed card, even if the camera is not a "true" DSLR.

eric s Jun 9, 2003 7:15 PM

I'm not surprised if that you got a benefit when going from 4x to 18x (I thought 16x, but I don't know why.) What we are saying is if you got the 12x (or 8x, if DonalDuc is right) then you have seen the same speed improvement as when you used the SanDisk Ultra that you got.

It's not that faster isn't better, it's that the card which comes with most cameras is really bad. So almost anything will be faster. But there is a point where faster doesn't matter because its a function of both the camera and the card... which ever is slower will win. Put the fastest card in the world right now into the cheapest camera made 3 years ago... and it won't be blazingly fast.

Of course, there are other reasons to get the Ultra. Lifetime warranty, for one.

NHL Jun 9, 2003 9:18 PM


A Canon 10D DigiSLR writes with 8x speed, a DSLR with 11 or 14 megapixels writes with 16x speed.
As a reference, a raw picture takes 5.06s with the microdrive in my 10D.

A 9 pictures raw sequence takes 41.04s, ie 4.55s/8Mb -> 1.75Mb/s (~11.72x), at least that what I've got with my 1G microdrive! The 1st LED's flash was a read, so I timed the 10D from the moment the red LED stayed on until it stop... It flashed another quick read when completed.

BTW there's no sense in buying a faster card if all you shoot is jpegs (dSLR or P&S)! The camera will buffer up all the shots and write them back leasurely to the card so one almost never have to wait for the camera (ie you can still shoot while the camera is writing). Beside timing the jpeg files is an inaccurate science since the file size varies with the picture content, so always measure the timing in raw since this file type is constant in size... 8)

DonalDuc is right!

If you have (too much) money, buy the fastest.
If you are intelligent, buy a good, cheap card.
... Although the difference in price now is not as big as it used to be (at least @ the 1G)

koruvs Jun 10, 2003 12:55 PM

RAW images (2560x1920 - 7.68MB file) in my 5700 take about 16 secs using my SanDisk Ultra 256MB. I have yet to test RAW on the stock Nikon (made by Lexar) 4x CF that came with the camera.

If JPGs are any indication of speed (3 compared to 9 secs using the cards above) then the current $50.00 Canadian extra for the Ultra is completely worth it. Of course I can't comment of other non-DSLR cameras and the benefit they may or may not receive when using a high speed CF.

SanDisk 4X 512MB $239.00 (Canadian)
SanDisk Ultra 512MB $289.00 (Canadian)

NHL Jun 10, 2003 3:17 PM


The point is your camera can shoot faster than 3 or 9s in jpeg (ie 3 frames/second) what the use of timing the write LED in this mode? Most of the time people spend time to reframe between shots... so unless you're using raw/tiff to overload the camera's internal buffer then you're spending extra for nothing! :cry:

One can always pay extra for the 'comfort' factor though, since the price differential for faster card is not that big anymore... 8)

eric s Jun 10, 2003 4:07 PM

I don't know how slow the SanDisk 4x is for reading, but I bet the Ultra reads faster as well. That would probably be worth the $50 if you regularly fill the camera (along with the lifetime warrenty.)


koruvs Jun 10, 2003 5:31 PM


Do you not think that when using the 5700 at 2560x1920 in JPG mode a 6 second faster write time is more beneficial when comparing a 4x to a 16x CF ? I certainly do, and that extra 3x faster speed for $50 more is a non-issue.

I use RAW for objects I can take time on and JPG for everything else.

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