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Old Dec 19, 2004, 1:35 PM   #1
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I have just received a Dane-Elec secure digital memory card from a camera store in NYC. The sales person advertised this to be 50X faster than the standard secure digital memory (at more than twice the price). However the card looks identical to the standard speed Dane-Elec card with the exception of a sticker on the box proclaiming "Ultra Performance 50X". It appears from Dane-Elec's web site that they only manufacture two memory versions, a standard speed and a 45X Professional XS High Speed Memory Card. The card I received is clearly not the XS version and I suspect is simply a scam to sell standard secure digital memory cards for the price of high speed cards by adding a sticker to the box. How can I determine if I am the victim of a scam and how can I prevent this camera company from stealing from others if this is indeed the case. A picture of this memory card is attached.
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Old Dec 19, 2004, 2:00 PM   #2
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How to identify high speed memory cards?
One way is to buy a brand that only has fast cards in larger (> 128mb) sizes (for example, Panasonic Standard SD Cards). ;-)

I think I'd avoid the vendor you got the card from, if it appears that the sticker was added later, though. But, there may be another explanation. Chances are, Dane-Electric doesn't really manufacturer the cards anyway. So, their OEM supplier may have let them know that the last batch was faster, and they added stickers to the packaging later (speculation onmy part).

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The sales person advertised this to be 50X faster than the standard secure digital memory (at more than twice the price). However the card looks identical to the standard speed Dane-Elec card with the exception of a sticker on the box proclaiming "Ultra Performance 50X".
Actually, the 50x doesn't really mean 50 times as fast as the standard cards. Most manufacturers have adopted a system where 1x = 150kb/second. So, 50x would be 7,500 kb/second (7.5 mb/second). The faster cards on the market (i.e., Sandisk Ultra II and Panasonic Standard Cards in larger sizes ) run 9-10mb/second (60-66x). Of course, both manufacturers have announced newer cards that are rated at 20mb/second now (Panasonic's new Pro Series, and Sandisk's new Extreme III series).

The slowest SD cards generally run around 2-3mb/second (13-20x), with the faster speed being for reads. Although, some of the newer Standard Speed cards have been testing just as fast as the latest High Speed Cards (manufacturers have been known to use the same faster components in some of their standard speed cards from time to time, too).

In any event, you won't get anywhere near the rated speed of the high speed cards in any current digital cameras anyway (the stated speeds are simply not achievable, given the way most models access the media).

You can see a difference going to high speed cards in some models, though. This can help with longer movie record times for some models that have this feature, as well as faster recovery times after a burst of photos. But, not all models will take advantage of faster SD cards.


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Old Dec 19, 2004, 2:37 PM   #3
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On the Dane-Elec UK site, http://www.dane-elec.fr/index_en.htm, they show the Secure Digital Xs as reading at 60X (9mb/s) and writing at 38X (5.7mb/s), while it would appear that their "standard" cards have data transfer speeds of between 2mb/s& 4mb/ s.

This may not mean that you have been conned, but i would certainly like to know for sure if it was me !! Perhaps the card you have bought is an older version not produced any more by Dane-Elec, consequently not advertised anymore, but still in stock at the retailer. Are there any identifying marks on the card itself ? For example my Lexar cf cards have a serial/model no. on the opposite edge to the pinholes. If you can see one then i would suggest you email Dane-Elec with any info on the card & packaging, pretty much asking them what you have asked here. mailto:[email protected]

If what i suspect may be the case, then the retailer will only be guilty of having old stock. If not, then at least you may be armed with the necessary info to deal with them.

Good luck.

Stevekin.

EDIT : Alternatively, if you know someone that has a "standard" Dane-Elec sd card, you could take the same picture with both cards, timing the write speeds, (in the same camera of course), do the same when uploading to your computer. If the differences are not considerable, bearing in mind 2/4 mb per second for the standard and the claimed 7.5mb per second(50x) for your card, I would definitely contact Dane-Elec.




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Old Dec 22, 2004, 1:09 PM   #4
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I received a reply from Dane-Elec and here is what I learned. The card has a READ of 50X and a Write of 12-22X. Thus the camera store did not mislabel the product. However the Dane-Elec packaging is a bit misleading since no where on the package does it have the read/write stats. I would guess that speed for picture taking will rely mostly on the write speed which is looks to be within the range or at most twice the speed of "standard cards".

I am interested to learn more about actual stats on picture taking delay and time for downloading to computer based on read/write speeds of memory cards.

Finally, this incident does bring up an issue for the need for clear labeling of read/write stats for memory cards in order consumers to make informed comparisons--perhaps a good topic for a column or a web-comparison chart.

thanks all for your comments.
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