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Old Oct 20, 2006, 6:10 AM   #1
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i have moved from olympus and xd cards, can some one recommend memory cards for pentax, also a quick explanation of the differences in cards as well please. as there seems to be a large ammount of different makes available (unlike xd cards)

thank you, alan
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:56 AM   #2
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My Pentax *istDS has a USB 1.1 interface so there's no real advantage to using high speed SD Cards if the camera is to be used to transfer the images.

Also, tests carried out with standard & high speed SD Cards showed that the storage time was the same for both cards - i.e. no speed increase when using higher speed cards in the camera.

However, faster cards will allow you to transfer images at higher speeds using a dedicated high speed USB 2 Card Reader which, given the capacity of modern cards would prove an advantage.

I've always used a card reader to transfer images & have2 Integral x60 1G cards & 1 Kingston x50 2G card.

I would suggest staying with a branded name & purchasing from a good dealer so as to avoid the possibly of 'fake' cards that seem to causing concern for some.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:58 AM   #3
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Hi Alan. As I'm sure you already know, the Pentax K100D uses Secure Digital (SD) memory cards. There are MANY different brands and speeds available at a wide range of prices. There are quite a few inexpensive "bargain cards" out there, but I would be very leery of them. I've reada fewhorror stories of people being on vacation with hundreds ofirreplaceable photos on a cheap card when the cardfailed and the images were lost! When I decided to make the jump into the world of DSLR, I wanted to make sure I gota good card. It needed to be RELIABLE and it has to be as fast as the camera so there's no bottle-neck of data flow. After a good bit of reading I decided on the SanDisk Ultra II. They are widely considered to be the gold standard of SD cards. It will cost you a little more than a "bargain card" but I feel it's well worth it. I chose a 1GB for my K100D. In the finest setting, it will hold 340 photos in jpeg. You may want a larger card, but 1GB is plenty for me. Here's a link to the one I have. You may want to shop around and compare prices.

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4003910
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 2:18 PM   #4
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I also use the Sandisk Ultra 2 cards - I have several 1 gb cards originally purchased when I had an FZ30 (definitely a memory hog when compared to the K100D!). They've dropped so much in price they are quite reasonable. There are other good brands out there also. I agree that buying from a reputable shop/source is more important than anything else - too many fakes out there. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 2:27 PM   #5
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The Sandisk Ultra 2 is getting pretty slow compared to most high-speed cards today. The Ultra 3 is about the fastest out there but VERY expensive!

I recently got an Ultra (name of the brand, not Sandisk) 133x 2g card for $20 after rebate, free shipping. The price is good until the 23rd. It works great in my DL and seems a bit faster than the standard-speed 512m card I was using. The write speed is what's important and that's what they usually don't tell you, but this one is IIRC 15.5g/s, which is about average for a 133x card. It reads at 20x or faster. For comparison, a Sandisk Ultra 2 reads at 10 and writes at 9. The Ultra 3 reads and writes at 20.

I'm not too concerned about reliability, and there is a lifetime warranty if anything goes wrong. I also bought a PQI 150x 2g card but it was DOA so I'm awaiting the replacement. It reads slightly faster but the write speed is about the same as the Ultra 133x.

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Old Oct 20, 2006, 2:52 PM   #6
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Damfino wrote:
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The Sandisk Ultra 2 is getting pretty slow compared to most high-speed cards today. The Ultra 3 is about the fastest out there but VERY expensive!

I recently got an Ultra (name of the brand, not Sandisk) 133x 2g card for $20 after rebate, free shipping. The price is good until the 23rd. It works great in my DL and seems a bit faster than the standard-speed 512m card I was using. The write speed is what's important and that's what they usually don't tell you, but this one is IIRC 15.5g/s, which is about average for a 133x card. It reads at 20x or faster. For comparison, a Sandisk Ultra 2 reads at 10 and writes at 9. The Ultra 3 reads and writes at 20.

I'm not too concerned about reliability, and there is a lifetime warranty if anything goes wrong. I also bought a PQI 150x 2g card but it was DOA so I'm awaiting the replacement. It reads slightly faster but the write speed is about the same as the Ultra 133x.
It's true that most of the cards have a warranty.But if I loose a few hundred irreplaceable photos, getting a new card will be the last thing on my mind.

One thing to remember about card speeds.....it only matters that it can be written to at least as fast as the camera processes the shot. A card which is slower than the camera will slow you down. Anything faster than the camera will not make a bit of difference. The SanDisk Ultra II is faster than the camera, so any card faster than that will not make a difference.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 3:36 PM   #7
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I'd recommend consideration of the Transcend 150X 2 GB SD card. Very inexpensive at NewEgg, for example (and they always ship quickly).

I have a Transcend 80X 1GB SD also.

I have used these three cards between my Pentax ist DL and my Canon A520: perfect performance. No problems with formatting or downloading (SanDisk multicard reader to a laptop via USB 2).

This past week I *fortunately* was keeping up with downloading my SD cards as soon as they were fullto the laptop as I drove from location to location.

Near the end of the day I somehow mishandled one of those buggers and LOST IT. :?

Now I plan to have a clear plastic bag taped to my dashboard where I will drop the card when it is not actually in the camera or in the card reader. If I can see them, I know I have them!

The 80X appears to be just as fast as the 144X for clearing the Pentax buffer, and the Pentax seems to do a good job of capturing and transferring as I push the camera continuously with 3-shot brackets.




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Old Oct 20, 2006, 4:57 PM   #8
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Yes, but that's assuming that the Sandisk is significantly more reliable than the competition. I have no reason to believe that it is - just anecdotal evidence and lots of Sandisk marketing trying to convince you that the extra cost is well-spent. Flash memory is generally pretty reliable, and people have reported Sandisk failures just like any others. We're not talking hard drives here with lots of moving parts. Actually losing the card itself is probably a much more common problem that card failure, like happened to SteveModena.

I haven't seen anything reporting the maximum write speed of a DL, K100D, etc. Subjectively, the 133x certainly SEEMS faster than my standard-speed 512m cards. (It should, the standard-speed ones only write at 1.5m/sec.) Also, if all goes well, the memory cards will outlast the camera, and even if the current camera can only write at, say, 8m/sec, the next camera might be able to take advantage of the higher speeds.

Ultimately, I cannot justify paying 2x as much for something that doesn't the same level of performance just because of the manufacturer's name on the box. (Insert Canon joke here if you're feeling rude.:lol: )



gadgetnut wrote:
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It's true that most of the cards have a warranty.But if I loose a few hundred irreplaceable photos, getting a new card will be the last thing on my mind.

One thing to remember about card speeds.....it only matters that it can be written to at least as fast as the camera processes the shot. A card which is slower than the camera will slow you down. Anything faster than the camera will not make a bit of difference. The SanDisk Ultra II is faster than the camera, so any card faster than that will not make a difference.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 9:37 PM   #9
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Damfino wrote:
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Yes, but that's assuming that the Sandisk is significantly more reliable than the competition. I have no reason to believe that it is - just anecdotal evidence and lots of Sandisk marketing trying to convince you that the extra cost is well-spent. Flash memory is generally pretty reliable, and people have reported Sandisk failures just like any others. We're not talking hard drives here with lots of moving parts. Actually losing the card itself is probably a much more common problem that card failure, like happened to SteveModena.

I haven't seen anything reporting the maximum write speed of a DL, K100D, etc. Subjectively, the 133x certainly SEEMS faster than my standard-speed 512m cards. (It should, the standard-speed ones only write at 1.5m/sec.) Also, if all goes well, the memory cards will outlast the camera, and even if the current camera can only write at, say, 8m/sec, the next camera might be able to take advantage of the higher speeds.

Ultimately, I cannot justify paying 2x as much for something that doesn't the same level of performance just because of the manufacturer's name on the box. (Insert Canon joke here if you're feeling rude.:lol: )



gadgetnut wrote:
Quote:
It's true that most of the cards have a warranty.But if I loose a few hundred irreplaceable photos, getting a new card will be the last thing on my mind.

One thing to remember about card speeds.....it only matters that it can be written to at least as fast as the camera processes the shot. A card which is slower than the camera will slow you down. Anything faster than the camera will not make a bit of difference. The SanDisk Ultra II is faster than the camera, so any card faster than that will not make a difference.
I understand where you are coming from. Believe me, I shop around for the best deal on everything. I decided on the SanDisk Ultra II based on multiple user reviews, not marketing hype. While nobody can really say exactly how reliable a card is, you can certainly find out when it isn't. That's what I was discovering....virtually every other card by every other manufacturer had at least a few (some many) bad user reports of failure. I did not read a single such report on the Sandisk Ultra II. Maybe I paid more than I need to, but it was worth the peace of mind to me.
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 8:55 AM   #10
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I think the first Google result I found was someone who talked about their Sandisk Ultra 2 failing. They're out there. I don't really trust anecdotal evidence, especially on the internet - everyone who has a failure is going to tend to talk about it. Unfortunately, there's no reliable test for these. But generally, if it's not DOA (manufacturing defect), most flash memory cards should last a while. A recent article over at The Register talking about hard drives using flash memory indicated that the flash memory cells usually are good for about 10,000 writes.

That doesn't mean that I'll buy a fake one off eBay, but I haven't been convinced yet that the Sandisk is significantly more reliable than any other big-name memory manufacturer. I'd certainly be happy to buy one if the price was right - but $100 for an Ultra 3 vs$30-40 (non-rebate) or even cheaper (like the $50 - $30 rebate Ultra card) is just ridiculous. The Ultra2 seems to go for $75 normally. That's nuts.

If you do insist on Sandisk, there's a $20 rebate on the 2g Ultra2 at the moment... so "only" $55 or so. That's at ZipZoomFly and maybe others.

One guage you can use is the user reviews at NewEgg... the Ultra2 has 5/5 average but the regular Sandisk is 4/5. Several others get 5/5 (looking only at 2g cards): Patriot, Kingston, Kingston Elite, Corsair, Transcend... and few get lower than 4/5.

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