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Old Jan 22, 2004, 6:19 PM   #1
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Default CF Cards worth the money?

Any suggestions for a good Compact Flash card to go with the Olympus C-5050? Looking at the SanDisk Ultra II 512MB card but not sure if the camera can write fast enough to take advantage of the supposedly "superior" speed of the card.

Any suggestions in general as to which cards/brands are worth the money?
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 9:29 PM   #2
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Default Same question, different newbie

I have heard about this "matching" of CF cards and cameras. Is it true? How can you tell if the camera can write fast enough for the chosen card? I am considering the Dimage A1. Any suggestions for us?
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Old Jan 22, 2004, 10:19 PM   #3
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The way CF works is that the card has very little logic in it (some, but not much.) What this means is that the camera can be the limiting factor. Most cameras can't write fast enough to take advantage of the Ultra II's.

The usual statment here is that most camera's won't beneft from a card faster than about 12-16x. This isn't hard fact (i.e. we haven't tested it), but just the feeling people have gotten and voiced.

And yes, technically its true that to get the best performance you really should match the card to the camera. This is because the way the camera writes to the card might not match the way the card was designed to accept data. The pattern it writes in, the size of the data chunks it writes. If you get a perfect match, then the data will be written faster. If it doesn't, then the card will have to buffer up what it can't handle at that time (and tell the camera to stop for a sec.)

The reality is that no CF maker or camera maker says this info. You'll just have to hunt around and try to find a web page that's done the testing... and done it consistantly and well. I know of a site that does it for high end cameras, but that doesn't help you.

Personally, I like Lexar. SanDisk isn't bad either. Both companies charge a bit more, but their quality is higher. At least, that is my opinion.

Eric
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Old Jan 25, 2004, 9:19 AM   #4
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Doesn't the faster speeds come into play while d/l'ing??
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Old Jan 25, 2004, 9:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce
Doesn't the faster speeds come into play while d/l'ing??
No! The downloading is always a read operation... ie read operations (varying with the USB speed of the interface) are always several magnitude faster than writes cycles !

Writes are the limiting factor -> try saving files (or pictures) this is where you notice the most on the computer with a slow flash card... and will usually take much longer than reads
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Old Jan 26, 2004, 1:48 PM   #6
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I was of the impression that the read speed was significant in a USB2 reader up to a certain point. Good USB2 readers can be very fast and stress the read capability of a slow card. Probably the slowest card can keep up with downloading from the camera.

For the A1 you might have a look here. The A1 has a different 14 bit processor than the D7/7i/7Hi cameras reported but I think there is probably some information for you there. Really crappy cards like Mr Flash and the old Sandisk are probably slow in everything. http://webpages.charter.net/bbiggers...rd_speeds.html Brian plans to do a set for the A1 but it might not be in time for you to make a decision.

Major brands are probably honest in their speed reporting but I donít think I would put much trust in an El Cheapo 60X. If Lexar or Kingston says the card is 40X it probably is.
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