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Old Sep 28, 2005, 3:13 PM   #1
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Hello everyone. Currently I own Konica Minolta A200. I want to buy 1GB CF card tomorrow. I should make choice from Sandisk Ultra II or Transcend 80X. Which one is better, in vision that I'm going to use it in future with another, more advanced digicam? (like Canon 20D)? For my A200, There are no significant difference between 45X and 80X card. But I'm looking into future.

So, Sandisk Ultra II or Transcend 80X ?


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Old Sep 29, 2005, 7:19 PM   #2
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Just go out and buy a cheap card like a Kingston for about $50-60.

Don't buy into the speed hype, as your camera is buffering your images anyways.

You won't notice much difference except how fat your wallet is.

-- Terry
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 9:21 PM   #3
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If you know what you want (or will likely get), check out RobGalbraith.com as they have a CF speed database that is camera-specific. The price difference at places like NewEgg is pretty small and is a lot cheaper than places like BestBuy. For some reason the Transcend 80X isn't listed with the 20D, but the 1GB Ultra II definitely beat the 1GB 45X Transcend in the 20D

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-7303

The difference doesn't apply to my 1D so camera choice is important. A few bucks now may make a bigger difference later.
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 9:46 PM   #4
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I'd have to strongly disagree with Terry here.

If you want to shoot raw (and many A series users I know do), you don't have a big buffer to work with, so you want a faster card (unless you like waiting on the camera to flush to media). These cameras are nowhere near as fast writing to media as a DSLR, but there is a pretty big difference in card speeds, depending on which one you get for it.

I don't know of any A200 specific lists of card speeds, but I remember seeing some a while back for the A1 and A2. I'll dig around and see if can find one for you.

I also would strongly recommend avoiding the Kingston cards that Terry recommended in any Konica-Minolta model. A number of KM A1/A2 users had problems with Kingston cards (much slower than other cards in these cameras).

But, it may have just been the Kingston Elite Pro that was slow (versus the standard Kingston card), probably due to a compatibility issue of some type. For example, the standard Kingston cards test faster in the new KM 7D compared to the Elite Pro.

Kingston cards have also been known to cause problems in some Canon models (the S2 IS is an example). A number of users taking movies found that they were virtually useless for this purpose (with even old Lexar 4X cards performing much better compared to any of the Kingston cards, standard or Elite Pro).

Some users reported being able to get as little as 13 seconds with them before the cameras stopped recording (with almost any other card letting you record over 4 minutes with this model, even many older and supposedly slower cards).

But, Canon did release a firmware upgrade that appears to have corrected the compatibility problems with Kingston cards (at least some users have reported theirs now works properly after the firmware update).

Let me do some digging around to see what I can find out about what cards may work best in the A series KM models. If memory serves, I think users found that the Lexar 40x was about the best in these models (with no improvement in speed going to the 80x cards).

I don't recall how well the Sandisk Cards worked, so let me check into it. In the KM DSLR models the Sandisk Extreme III is tops (followed by the Ultra II). Heck, you can record about 1 frame/second with the new 5D using an Ultra III, after the buffer is full, shooting in raw (the KM 5D's interface to media is quite fast, testing at almost 9mb/second with an Ultra III, but you want a fast card with it shooting in raw, because it's got a much smaller buffer compared to the 7D.

Sandisk cards may not work as well as Lexar in the A series models, though. Let me take a look around for the speed tests that I've seen compiled for them, and I'll let you know.

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Old Sep 29, 2005, 11:28 PM   #5
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JimC,

Well, its true if you wanted to shoot RAW you'd appreciate the faster card. But my guess is most people don't shoot RAW, especially non DSLR owners.

My concern is, I've seen a number of people on the forums paranoid about buying a fast enough card when in fact they would be well serviced by the cheapest one.

I wasn't aware that Minolta's had problems with cards. I've owned several digicams and have never had problems with any cards.

I use an el cheapo Kingston 1 gig card for my Canon 20D and have never had a problem with it or noticed any kind of delay.

So maybe the rule should be "if your not shooting RAW, buy the cheapest card you can get, unless there's a compatibility problem".

-- Terry
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 11:40 PM   #6
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Terry:

A lot of people I know with the A series camera shoot in raw.

Even if you don't shoot in raw, you've got to keep a camera's buffer size in mind.

You've got a very large buffer in your EOS-20D. Not all cameras have that luxury (you've only got a 3 frame buffer in an A2, regardless of whether you're shooting raw or jpeg).

Also, digicam users often want to use their new movie modes, and with slower cards, this can impact how long they can record with faster cameras that allow longer recordings (which seems to be the trend in these cameras lately).

I'm digging through some of the numbers now for the A series KM models. The Kingston Elite Pro seems to be about the slowest card you can buy for it (taking in excess of 100 seconds to write 3 raw files, based on multiple user reports ;-)

I did findtwo user reports that had"good" Elite Pro cards (speed equivalent to most other cards). But, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule for these cards. So, you'd be "rolling the dice", and I personally wouldn't like the odds.

The standard cards actually don't seem too bad (although there were a couple of users reporting extremely slow times with a couple of those, too -- it appears to be batch dependent (some Kingston cards may be using different components compared to others, so you're rolling the dice trying them in these cameras).


I've seen similar problemswith them in some Canon models, too. They're definitely on my avoid list. Although, I did see a user report that the firmware upgrade for the S2 IS fixed their problem with a Kingston card.

I'm glad yours is working OK in your 20D.

In theA2, the standardKingston Cards actually don't appear to be too bad. But, I did find a couple of reports where thestandard cards were extremely slow (behaving more like the Elite Pro Cards). The users of these cards were good enough tolook at the details on them, so that others wouldknow which of the standard cards to avoid if they could see the codes on the cards:

Details of the slow Kingston Standard cards in the A2 were:

Orange 1GB 25 seconds for 1 RAW, Code 9930407-004.A00 and P746969X02.
On the side 4B22D0690 8QC01G1MY1-2LA00


Orange 1GB 58 seconds for 1 RAW Code 9930407-004.A00 and P744427X02.
On the side …user did not write down.


P.S. -- if you ever care about shooting more raw in a rapid paced environment, or shooting sports where you'll be using continuous mode a lot, shooting in longbursts (tennis, etc.), the Kingston Standard Cards are the slowest cardsRob Galbraith tested in the 20D.

My guess is this is becauseKingston is using the cheaper to manufacturer MLC (multi-level cell) memory in them (noted by Rob Galbraith), coupled with a slow controller.

You'll find them at the very bottom of his long list (slowest cards are at the bottom):

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-7303


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Old Sep 30, 2005, 2:15 AM   #7
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A-lex

I've been digging throught user tests for a while now trying to come up with a best choice for you between these two cards.

I don't normally spend this much time looking at cards, but the A series KM models are in a unique niche in the way they handle cards.

Even though they are much slower cameras writing to media compared tosome newerDSLR models, there is a considerable difference between the speeds of different cards in this model, and I had some trouble finding any user reports on the Transcend 80xcards (even though there are lots of reports on other cards, including other Transcend cards).

Since you've got a relatively small buffer to work with (the amount of memory internal to the camera before it fills up and writes to your CompactFlash card, card selection for this model can be important if you're in conditions warranting better speed.

It appears that KM did increase the buffer size to 5 frames in this model (the A2 was only 3 frames), butthe A200uses a peculiar buffer scheme, only beginning to write to mediaafter the buffer fills up in continuous mode.

It'srelatively complex to explain, but this ishow it should work with acurrent generation Ultra II.

After shooting a burst of 5 images JPEG images, you'll need to wait for around8 seconds before you an take another shot. But, then, you'll be able to take another one after about 2 seconds (then roughly 2 seconds between them).If you stop shooting and wait until the buffer flushes (which will take around 14 seconds shooting in JPEG),you can take another burst and start the process over again.

With raw, after shooting a burst of 5 images, you'll need to wait about 9 seconds (or a bit longer based on some user reports) to take another photo, or around 45 seconds before you can take another burst of 5 and start the process all over again.

The Transcend 80x card is going to be slower in your camera (about 50% slower based onauser report, taking around 15 seconds per raw image writing to media). Some older generation Ultra II cards may also be this slow in your camera.

Now, I can tell you that tests results do vary with the same brand of card. This is because manufacturers change components fairly often (different controllers, etc.). If you get an older Ultra II, your times may be slower.(around 15 seconds per raw image, like the Transcend 80x card).

The Lexar 40x cards seem to be the most consistent in these models, with the 80x cards not far behind (one user with both anUltra II and Lexar 80x indicated that the Lexar is the fastest card in his camera).

The PNY 40x cards are also quite fast in this camera for some odd reason (sub 10 second times per raw image consistently, with multiple user reports).

There are quite a few user reports (carefully timed with bursts of raw images, while watching the light writing to media) for the A2, carefully consolidated and ranked in some forum posts elsewhere.But, because some of the data was older, and card components change within the same card type, I wanted to dig for some more current numbers using the A200.

Short answer: Between these two cards (Sandisk Ultra II and Transcend 80x), I'd go with the Ultra II, since it's more likely to be faster in a DSLR later (based on tests I've seen with different models it's going to be faster than the Transcend cards in a DSLR),

Even if you get a *slower* Ultra II (not using the fastest components compared to the newest ones), it's probably still going to be as fast as the Transcend in this model (and faster in a DSLR later)

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Old Sep 30, 2005, 9:04 AM   #8
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JimC,



Thanks for the info (at least for myself, anyway). That's a pretty thoughtful analysis of cards and the unique situation of that person's camera.

Maybe in the future we'll see much larger buffers as a general feature on all digicams.

You would think that a 64mb or 128mb buffer would be commonplace in the next few years, or maybe there's a cost consideration.

Using PC's as a comparison, most people these days work with 256mb, 512mb or 1 gig memory, so why not expect the same on a digicam?

Then the "card writing" phase could be managed secondarily, unnoticed by the user.

-- Terry


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Old Sep 30, 2005, 9:26 AM   #9
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I know there are a lot of us with Canon 20Ds 350XTs, 300Ds and 10Ds that use the Kingston Pro Elites and the Sandisk Ultra IIs. I have heard of almost every make of card causing some person somewhere a problem. Go over to Robs site and see if the A200 is listed. I do say get the faster card over the slower cards, especially since the price difference is not that much. It is the camera that limits how fast it downloads to the card, when the buffer is full it is full period. Some cameras take advantage of a faster card and some don't. Between the Sandisk and Transcend, I would choose the Sandisk. If the Kingston Elite Pro was thrown in the mix as it has been for me, I would buy the Kingston. Right now I have 2GBs Kingston Pros and 1GBs Sandisk Ultra IIs, and both work fine in the 10D and 20D. Now, with that said maybe there is a problem with certain brands/cards with the A200.
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 10:02 AM   #10
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I don't know what causes it, but there does seem to be something different about these Kingston cards in some cameras. A number of Canon S2 IS owners reported similar problems with them.

This wasn't a problem here and there .... more users had problems with them versus those that didn't have problems (they were virtually useless for recording video in this model when it was first introduced,based on most user reports -- even worse than some of the old Lexar 4x cards).

But, Canon released a firmware update to the S2 IS thatfixed some of the CompactFlash compatibility issues, and that seems to be the case (works just as well as any other card after you do the latest Canon firmware update for this model).

You sometimes see these kinds of "quirks" with compability with new camera models, and new cards. Buyers of the S2 IS now, probably get them with the newer firmware already installed by Canon.

Now, it could an issue with the way the camera manufacturer is writing to media (versus a design flaw in some Kingston cards). I don't know what causes it. But, it's not uncommon to see some compatiblity issues with certain cards, with a given camera model.

Ditto for KM A series users. Problems with Kingston Cards (in this case, the Elite Pro cards seem to have the the most problems versus the standard cards), were the rule versus the exception (especially true for A2 owners). Interestingly, the standard Kingston cards tested OK in these models (with a couple of exceptions, as noted in my previous post). The Elite Pro caused a problem for most users (much slower than most other cards).

Some newer Kingston cards do seem to be OK in them, based on a couple of reports I've seen. Like any other card manufacturer, chancgs are made during a product life cycle to improve compatibility.

I saw the same thing with Secure Digital in some of the Konica camera models (designed by Konica prior to the merger with Minolta).

At one time, Konica-Minolta had specific warnings in the "approved cards" lists for the Konica KD-400z, KD-410z, KD-500z, KD-510z and Minolta G500, that use of the Sandisk 256mb Secure Digital Cards could cause the camera to malfunction with errors.

When Secure Digital was introduced, there were only 3 "real" manufacturers of it (Sandisk, Toshiba, and Panasonic). All other manufacturers (Kingston, Lexar, etc.) were using rebranded components from the "big 3" SD manufacturers. So, you saw lots of reports of problems when anyone tried to use a card using Sandisk Components in one of these cameras (and Kingston was one of them by the way).

But, newer SandiskSD cards don'thave the problem. So, KM eventually removed the specific warnings about using Sandisk SD cards in these models (but, still left them off of the tested cards list, probably in case someone got an older generation card).


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