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Photo 5 Mar 21, 2009 11:39 PM

Sandisk Extreme III Question
My employer just gave me 2x 8GB Sandisc Exterme III cards that they bought of I already had a lot of memory but who can complain when its free.

How is a Sandisc Exterme III in terms of x factor. I see a 20GB/per second listed rate. I am used to using 133x transcend cards. Will these be faster?

Hopefully I will be able to test it Monday.


TCav Mar 22, 2009 12:30 PM

You can't presume that all 133x cards are equally fast. I have a Lexar Platinum II 80x that's faster than a Kingston Ultimate 133x, and a SanDisk Extreme III that's faster than both of them.

a-beginner Mar 23, 2009 4:33 AM

Photo 5 wrote:

How is a Sandisc Exterme III in terms of x factor. I see a 20GB/per second listed rate. I am used to using 133x transcend cards. Will these be faster?

X-speed ratings can be misleading. Each manufacturer seems to have its own interpretation.

I have an Apacer with a 133X rating and a Sandisk Extreme III. The write time difference is very, very noticeable. The Sandisk is much faster in write time. Although I am not really clear about the comparison of 133X with Sandisk's ratings.

Photo 5 Mar 31, 2009 10:37 PM

Ok here is what I found out from testing on Sunday. The Sandisc Ultra III is faster-gives me more shots faster in continous mode than my transcend 133x compact flash card. The snadisc keeps shooting at a constant speed but after about 9 shots the transcend 133x speed card slows just a little, but keeps shooting.


a-beginner Mar 31, 2009 11:02 PM

Photo 5 wrote:

Ok here is what I found out from testing on Sunday. The Sandisc Ultra III is faster-gives me more shots faster in continous mode than my transcend 133x compact flash card. The snadisc keeps shooting at a constant speed but after about 9 shots the transcend 133x speed card slows just a little, but keeps shooting.

I have a similar experience. Unless I am doing bursts, both the Sandisk and the Apacer allow me to continue shooting. But I noticed that the write-to-card speed is a lot, lot faster with the Sandisk - the red LED that stays lit when writing to the memory card is my basis for this conclusion.

Photo 5 May 15, 2009 11:06 PM

I have also found out over the past two weeks of using the memory card on some larger photo projects that

a.) the cards advantage extreme III vs 133x is in burst mode as single shoot to shoot is about same time but in burst mode I get way more shots before it even begins to slow (9 shots on 133x -- then goes to 2fps vs 16 before it slows just slightly like from 3fps to 2.5fps)

b.) The card takes 22 seconds less per GB to upload to my PC once the card has been used.

c.) battery wise it seems to drain the battery at the same speed -- same number of images made with each before battery goes dead.


JimC May 16, 2009 10:38 AM

You've got multiple factors in how fast a given card model will be in a given camera or card reader.

For one thing, many cameras can't take advantage of the fastest available cards, due to limitations with their processors and protocols supported (including newer UDMA modes); and some cameras have better compatibility with some cards compared to others.

You will also have different speeds with different generations of the same card model. It's not unusual for a manufacturer to improve controller electronics and nand flash speed or type (SLC versus MLC) in a given card model as time passes. The Sandisk Ultra II and Extreme III models are good examples of that (a newer Ultra II may be much faster than an older one; ditto for the Extreme III, even if it's not the latest 30MB/Second version).

If you look at some of the card reader tests using faster UDMA capable firewire readers, the Transcend 133x 16GB cards actually have read speeds that are roughly twice as fast as the earlier generations of Sandisk Extreme III Cards (clocking at around 30MB/Second read speed, with write speeds of around 14 to 15MB/Second, which is about what you'd get with the older versions of the Extreme III for write (and *much* faster read speeds than you'd get with earlier Extreme III cards in a UDMA capable reader).

See some of Rob Galbraith's Card Readers tests for examples of that (where the Transcend 133x 16GB Card has read speeds more than twice as fast as most generations of the Extreme III, provided you're using a UDMA capable Firewire reader). Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you'll see what I'm talking about:

That's probably because these 133x Transcend cards support UDMA Mode 4 (although they don't support the faster UDMA Mode 5 or 6 transfers you see in some newer generations of cards). BTW, Sandisk didn't even make an Extreme III card that large at the time I got my Transcend 16GB Card (Transcend was early provider of 133x 16GB Cards, whereas Sandisk didn't come out with their Extreme III in sizes that large until much later).

Here's an example showing some CF cards supporting UDMA (but not all support all the fastest UDMA modes, as many are only UDMA mode 4). Note the fast read and write speed of the newer 30MB/Second Extreme III, too.

With my A700 (or the newer A900), which support UDMA, including newer modes), you'll tend to see a much bigger difference in speed with newer 300x card designs with UDMA Mode 5 or 6 support.

For example, look at some of the user reported write times using an A700 here, where the Transcend 133x cards tend to show write speeds of around 14MB/Second (about what you'd find with an Extreme III in this particular camera model). Yet, newer generations of cards supporting UDMA Mode 5 transfers with fast controllers and SLC memory can be more than twice as fast:

You'll see the same thing at review sites that show card performance in this model (newer UDMA Mode 5 capable cards are going to be dramatically faster in a camera like the A700 compared to a model like your A200).

Very few cameras are going to support the fastest cards now. With other Sony dSLR models like your A200, you'll tend to "max out" at *much* slower speeds. Even though they technically support UDMA cards (as do most other modern cameras using CF), they don't actually use fast UDMA mode 5 transfers, and sometimes you find reports of UDMA cards even slowing down some camera compared to non-UDMA capable cards due to compatiblity quirks with a given camera/card combo. That may be what you're seeing with the Transcend if it's testing slower (as it's got UDMA support through mode 4). So, you could buy a new 45MB/Second Extreme Ducati and see no difference in performance compared to an older generation of the Extreme III.

For example, note this comparison between a Lexar 133x and Sandisk Extreme Ducati (a 45MB/Second card supporting UDMA Mode 5) with an A200. The results are virtually identical, because the camera is the bottleneck, not the speed of the card.

If you took that Ducati and put it into a Sony A700 or Sony A900, you'd see a dramatic increase in performance, due to the way these models support newer UDMA transfer modes. Ditto for any reputable speed comparison between these two cards in a fast UDMA capable reader. The Ducati would run circles around the Lexar 133x for both read and write speed -- just not in a model like your A200, since the camera is the bottleneck.

IOW, you really need to take each camera/card combination on a case by case basis due to a lot of variables involved. Even then, you'll find differences in speed between the same card model because of changes and improvements manufacturers will make over time.

Ditto for tests in readers (as most readers are not going to support newer UDMA Mode 5 or 6 transfer modes, if they support UDMA modes at all).

Photo 5 May 17, 2009 8:39 PM

Thanks for the excellent info....


LizG May 19, 2009 2:26 PM

I have a Sandisc Extreme III 4gb SDHC card rated at 30gb/per sec.

It works very well in my TZ7 except for video where I get clicks during recording. It was suggested that this might be because it draws a higher current when writing to card.

Any recommendations for a Class 6 card that might be more useful in this respect. I do want to do burst shooting and so need a good compromise between that and video.



JimC May 19, 2009 2:57 PM

Clicks while recording, huh?

That sounds more like you're hearing the lens mechanism focusing while the camera or subject is moving, versus any kind of card problem. It's unlikely that it has anything to do with the memory card you're using or the amount of current it's drawing.

LizG May 20, 2009 2:45 AM

I took a short video shot with the Panny TZ7 just pointing straight at the floor and not moving at all so there would be no change in focus .... still regular "clicks/beeps" type noise.

JimC May 20, 2009 7:00 AM

That's very odd. Is lighting relatively constant with something like standard tungsten (incandescent) bulbs, versus fluorescent lighting that may be cycling causing the aperture to vary?

Frankly, I'd be surprised if the memory card had anything to do with it. But, I guess anything is possible. Have you tried a different card in the same conditions? How about a different battery?

LizG May 20, 2009 8:28 AM

Standard incandescent bulbs - we don't have any fluorescent in the house.

I'll have to get a different card to try, but the battery is new as I have only had the TZ7 for a week. On another forum they say their cards OK and only those with Extreme III are reporting this issue.

Think I will send back the second one I had ordered that arrived today - one advantage of buying over the 'net is the distance selling timescales for returns.

Any recommendations for an alternative - Kingston or Transcend for instance.

JimC May 20, 2009 12:06 PM

You can find some pretty good deals on the Class 6 Transcend SDHC cards now. Some of them even include card readers for only a few bucks more than the cards without one. Here are some examples from

Transcend 4GB Class 6 SDHC card with card reader for $12.99

Transcend 8GB Class 6 SDHC card with card reader for $21.75

Transcend 16GB Class 6 SDHC card with card reader for $43.25

Transcend 32GB Class 6 SDHC card with card reader for $111.00


If you look at the photos of the packaging, you'll see a small blue circle with text indicating that these cards have a lifetime warranty, too.

LizG May 20, 2009 12:37 PM

Thanks Jim

decbohan22 Jun 7, 2009 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by LizG (Post 970384)
I took a short video shot with the Panny TZ7 just pointing straight at the floor and not moving at all so there would be no change in focus .... still regular "clicks/beeps" type noise.

Same problem ..

Just got a TZ7 last week and went to a Beyonce gig with it and love it.

Then just messing about trying the different recording modes I noticed the "life support beeping" (as someone perfectly named it on another forum) :)
It's so annoying and I nearly sent it back but then found this forum and so see there's not much point in that.
Mine is every three seconds on SVCHD and every second or so in HD.

I have Firmware Version 1.0 and am using an Integral 16GB Class 6 Ultima Pro card. Cost a fortune too :)
Don't know about everyone else's camera but mine eats through the battery usage. I get about 30 minutes on SVCHD video shooting with lots of zooming and auto-focusing etc.
I'm surprised that more people are not talking about this issue. Maybe only 10% of buyers of this camera get it for video and only 20% of those would ever video something of a low level sound.
I wouldn't have noticed it myself if I had of just stuck to recording concerts for instance.
So what 16GB or 32GB card would you reccomend as getting if your camera has this problem?

NickyM May 3, 2010 2:38 PM

I have just purchased the TZ7, waiting for it to arrive.
I have several of the Sandisk extreme class 6 for DSLR which work perfectly.
I was hoping to use one of these for my TZ7, however now I have found all these reports of beeping during video and am scouting round for a decent alternative.
My question is has this problem been solved?
If not which card can be recommended - lots of folk on here seem to think the Transcend is good - but one look on Amazon Uk tells me this is definitely not the case with many people reporting errors and data lose - this to me indicates that it is not 100% reliable and this is not acceptable - don't reply to me that yours is OK, many are not - I need 100% guarantee, no question and am willing to pay more for it.
Sandisk is 100% in my book and proven from many reviews and no data loss reports that i can find, but since it doesnt work in the TZ7 which is the next best???
I have been looking at the Lexar class 6 - anyone else tried this in the TZ7? Or the Kingston although I am reading that this is only as fast as a class 4 and so the video is jumpy.
Im happy to spend on the right card - I just dont want to waste cash on the wrong card!!

DonalDuc May 3, 2010 2:55 PM

WHYYYYYYY do you make photos if you cann't buy a card for $ 10 ?

Buy a Transcend 4GB class6, go out and be happy!

... and do not believe all what people write about data loss, end of world, UFOs a.s.o.

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