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Old Nov 17, 2010, 1:59 PM   #1
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Default Recommend a memory card

I'm needing a memory card for an a 500. Is there anything in particular I should look for, or stay away from.
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 2:20 PM   #2
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Sandisk 30MB/Second Extreme III Memory Stick Pro HG Duo.

If you want the fastest card you can buy for a Sony a500, that's what you want. ;-)

But, any of the Sandisk Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards marked as 30MB/Second cards (you'll see that imprinted on the cards) should be reasonably fast in it (testing much faster than the latest Sandisk Extreme 30MB/Second Class 10 SDHC Cards, both in card reader tests and in Sony dSLR models). All SDHC cards are slower than the newer Memory Stick Pro HG Duo 30/MB Second cards (some of them can exceed 40MB/Second write speeds in card reader tests, something no SDHC card can do, and they're also faster in Sony dSLR models).

Note that the HG is the important part (non HG Cards are *much* slower).

If you decide to go with an SDHC card instead (and none of them will test as fast as the latest 30MB/Second Pro HG Duo cards), I'd stick with a Class 10 card from a major vendor (and the Sandisk Extreme 30MB/Second Class 10 SDHC are probably the fastest SDHC cards, although they're not going to be as fast as the Sandisk 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards in that camera). Ditto for card reader tests (the Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards are faster than the fastest SDHC cards around).

If you're on a tight budget, I'd probably look at the Transcend Class 10 SDHC cards (they have great "bang for the buck"). http://www.newegg.com has good prices on them.

But, if budget permits, I'd go with a Sandisk 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo card instead if you plan on taking lots of RAW photos in bursts using Continuous Drive mode (as they'll give you more photos in a burst before the camera slows down, with faster full buffer frame rates). You'll want to avoid the non Pro HG Memory Stick cards (the HG is the important part).

If you're not trying to take lots of photos in bursts shooting RAW, then most newer cards should work fine (but, I'd avoid the non Pro HG Memory Stick Pro Duo cards, as these are very slow compared to most Class 10 SDHC cards, or compared to 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards). Again, the HG is the important part when buying Memory Stick media.
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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With camera's it is all about WRITE speed.

Rob Galbraith has a good database of real world testing with various camera bodies (he needs to add a few recent bodies). Your camera may not be there but you can probably pick out a similar generation of body with similar features and get an idea of how a certain card will work in your camera.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007
- I find it interesting that RAW files write faster than JPEG's but this is likely due in camera processing of the JPEG's.

Another comparison site....
http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/

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Old Nov 19, 2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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See our Sony A550 Review Conclusion to get an idea of how the fastest SDHC and MS Pro HG Duo cards compare. We used the latest model Sandisk Extreme Class 10 30MB/Second SDHC card, as compared to a Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo Card. The MS Pro HG Duo card is much faster.

Here's a quote from it about RAW performance (and previous paragraphs went into JPEG performance).

"Switching to RAW with the Optical Viewfinder, I was able to capture 25 images in 5.2 seconds (4.8fps) before the camera slowed down, still capturing 87 images over 30 seconds. The camera's buffer took 7 seconds to clear with the Sandisk 8GB 30MB/Second Pro-HG Duo card. Switching to a Sandisk 4GB 30MB/Second SDHC card, I was able to capture 14 images in 3 seconds before the camera slowed down, capturing 49 images in 30 seconds. A full buffer took approximately 11 seconds to clear with the Sandisk 4GB 30MB/Second Class 10 SDHC Card. In other words, the best performance when shooting RAW is with a Sandisk 30MB/Second Pro-HG Duo card, allowing more RAW images before the camera slows down, with faster full buffer clear times (as compared to a Sandisk 4GB 30MB/Second Class 10 SDHC Card, which tested slower than Sandisk Pro-HG Duo media in this camera model)."
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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P.S.

See our Sony A500 conclusion for what to expect from a 30MB/Second Sandisk Extreme III Memory Stick Pro HG Duo in your A500.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...lusion-44.html
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