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Old Jun 4, 2009, 9:55 PM   #1
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Default Compact Flash Card Comparison

I'm looking for a discussion of the relative differences of using a Sandisk Ultra II card (4GB) vs the same capacity Extreme III card. I can get the Ultra at a very low price but wondering how much practical speed I will be sacraficing. I'm using an E-510.
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Old Jun 4, 2009, 10:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Card writing speed comparisons

These articles will give you some info you need and more.

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/card.html

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/c/c5050-card.html


FWIW, I have both an Extreme III and Ultra and have used both at one time or another on an E-510 and now the E-30. I honestly don't see much of a speed difference between the Ultra and the Extreme III. I do shoot Jpeg and not RAW.

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Old Jun 5, 2009, 1:03 AM   #3
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While the Extreme card is twice the price ($64.95 vs. $33.95 for the Ultra II at B&H), if you have any doubts you might regret not getting the faster card, just buy the Extreme. It's not like we're talking 4 years ago when I remember paying $300 for my first 1GB compact flash card!

Flash memory is extremely cheap today. Three years ago I sprung for a 40GB Wolverine portable hard drive when I went to Paris. Today, I'd just go buy more cards. I already have 14GB worth of Ultra II cards and a 4GB Lexar 133x card I use with my E1 and E520.
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 9:09 AM   #4
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Default ......my .02$

.............I agree with Greg, maybe because I too have a 40G Wolverine, that I no longer use regularly, from when CF cards were limited in size and were expensive by comparison.

For CF size I limit to 4GB because it just makes sense to me for the same reasons it makes sense to me not to have ....terrabyte HDDs, the bigger the repository the more junk that accumulates.

So, I don't have or buy cards bigger than 4GB and most of what I have are 2GB.....they hold a lot of files, E-3 RAW files are 10-11MB each.

As for speed, I find that the 133x ratings at 20MB transfer speed are ok for me because I only shoot 'still' photos with the E-300 and E-3. For movies I use a camcorder. I do shoot mostly burst mode which can count up a buffer in a hurry but 3-7 triggers just don't cause a problem with the 80x - 133x cards for me. The 20MB and faster cards record many bytes while glancing at the 'blinking data write light', they keep up with the data flow.

So, I recommend buying the best of labels at sizes you are comfortable with and prices that are sensible. For me anything over 20$ for 4GB is too much these days...I just bought another Kingston Elite 4GB.

Here is a sample listing of favorable labels and prices....http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...compact+flash+
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 9:24 AM   #5
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Default Compact Flash Cards

Thanks for the response. I d have a 4 GB Extreme III that I am using for some action shots and burst mode. I keep a 2 GiG XD card in my camera , just to save some favorites to. I shoot mostly landscapes and am thinking that the Ultra would be fine for that.
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 2:26 PM   #6
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MyOlympus.org has a section where members submit speed ratings for their cards, shooting the maximum number of RAWs their camera can handle in burst mode (4 for E-500), and then time how long it takes to finish writing to the card:
http://myolympus.org/E500/writetime/

In this test, UltraII takes twice as long to write than ExtremeIII.

What really matters is how you shoot, if you ever use burst mode (although the speed difference is also noticeable when writing single RAW or TIFF images).

I do one the older ExtremeIII and paid the $350 for it; there's a newer version that came out a year ago that's faster, but can't say if the E-510 (or any E) will take advantage of the faster ExtremeIII, never mind the ExtremeIV.
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 6:26 PM   #7
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Default pretty good price

Currently Adorama is offering 3paks of 4GB Extreme III CF cards for 44.95 after MFG. rebate.

http://www.adorama.com/IDSCFE34G33X....chinfo=cf+card
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 6:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefellh View Post

What really matters is how you shoot, if you ever use burst mode (although the speed difference is also noticeable when writing single RAW or TIFF images).
Thanks Mike - that's what I was going to say. If you do bursts of images the speed really matters - otherwise it probably isn't so important.

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Old Jun 5, 2009, 9:15 PM   #9
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Also reading, if you take your card out of the camera and pop it into a high-performance card reader like one that connects to Firewire.
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 8:33 AM   #10
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Here's another link:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

This guy seems to have a rather extensive, well done set of test on various cards. The tests are done in various cameras to give some guide as to how they influence the actual speeds attained. There is also some good info on card readers.
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