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Old Sep 29, 2007, 10:15 PM   #1
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1) what is the "speed" rating for exactly on SD cards.. i.e. I see 33x,40x,80x,133x.

2) what brand should I go for .. Patriot 2Gb is $20 CDN right now. trustworthy? or should I go with Kingmax, Kingston, OCZ, Lexar etc??


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Old Sep 30, 2007, 8:44 AM   #2
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The speed rating in flash memory products is a way of stating the speed of reading data from the card, in the estimation of the manufacturer. The actual numbers (33x, 40x, 80x, 133x, etc.) are used so you can get an idea how fast they actually are as compared to CD-ROM drives that use the same type of values.

Of course, with flash memory cards, the read speed isn't as important as the write speed. A fast read speed is generally a good indicator of the write speed when comparing similar products from different manufacturers, but it's not an actual indication of the write speed of a device.

Rob Galbraith's CF/SD card performance database [http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007 ] is probably the best source of performance data on flash memory products. And even if your particluar camera isn't one of the ones he used to test the cards, it provides a good indication of the relative performance of different cards. While their actual performance may vary from camera to camera, their rank in the order from fastest to slowest doesn't change very much.

If you're considering brands that don't appear in the performance database, and write speed is important to you (for fast shot-to-shot times), I suggest you do your own comparison. Buysmaller size cards (say, 1GB) from two or more manufacturers, and see which one permits the best shot-to-shot times (set the camera for large image sizes, and continuous, or burst mode) format a card, and hold the shutter button down for 60 seconds, then do the same thing with each of the other cards. When you're done, which ever card has the most photos on it is the one that works fastest with your camera. You can continue to use the cards you bought, but the next time you buy memory cards, buy the brand that gave you the best speed.
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