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Old Dec 22, 2010, 8:23 PM   #1
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Default Sony Alpha memory cards

Hi,

I am new to Sony dSLRs. I have always worked with CF and SD memory cards, but I noticed my new Alpha has a Memory Stick Pro Duo slot in addition to an SD slot. Is there an advantage of using the Memory Stick format over SD? If so, what is it?

I just figured Sony included the proprietary slot because they heavily market their cards in the Sony Stores and online. I also wonder if I am missing out on speed or something.

Thanks for the help!
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 8:51 PM   #2
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They're not trying to trick you. The two slots allow you to have a spare card in there all the time. I normally use the sd card but have a MS pro-hg duo in the other slot. if i ever fill up unexpectedly, a simple slide of the switch and i'm live again. it's possible, even likely, that a good pro-hg is faster than the sd card. look at this thread:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/me...type-card.html
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 5:39 AM   #3
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Memory Stick Pro HG Duo cards (and the HG is the important part) are faster than SDHC cards.

See our A550 review conclusion to get an idea of how they compare (the Memory Stick Pro HG Duo card allows for faster full buffer frame rates, faster flush times and more if you plan on shooting raw). We tested performance using a Sandisk Extreme 30MB/Second Class 10 SDHC card (the fastest they make) as compared to a Sandisk 30MB/Second Extreme III Memory Sick Pro HG Duo card. The MS Pro HG Duo card is much faster in it.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...lusion-43.html

They also test faster in card readers. See here for some tests of SDHC cards:

http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/sp...cards-sdc.html

Using a faster reader (since USB 2.0 wil be the bottleneck once you get into faster cards), they tested write speed with a Sandisk Extreme III MS Pro HG Duo at over 40MB/Second (something you're not going to get with any SDHC Card).

http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/cs_SDMSHX3-008G.html

Agaiin, they test faster in Sony dSLR models supporting both memory types, too (see the tests in our A550 review conclusion). I'd make sure to get a card specifically marked as being a 30MB/Second Memory Stick Pro HG Duo card if you go that route (some of the older cards may not be as fast). Make sure it's labeled as HG (the non-HG Cards are *much* slower).

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Old Dec 24, 2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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Does the speed really matter if I am not shooting continuously? I can see where a class 4 SD would get bogged down when shooting sports... I typically shoot JPEG, but will switch to RAW if the picture is important.
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 11:37 AM   #5
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If you shoot JPEG and don't shoot continuous, then a Class 4 card should do fine. But RAW files are a lot bigger, so a Class 4 card may slow you down.
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Old Dec 25, 2010, 6:55 AM   #6
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If you're not going to be shootng a lot of bursts using continuous drive mode, then a fast SDHC card should be fine it.

For better "bang for the buck", I'd get a Class 10 Transcend SDHC card. They're almost as fast as the more expensive Sandisk cards, but at a much lower price point, and the premium Transcend cards like these have a Lifetime Warranty. See some tests here (same page I linked to in my last post for SDHC cards):

http://www.hjreggel.net/cardspeed/sp...cards-sdc.html

Newegg.com (my favorite vendor for memory cards and any computer related components and accessories) has good prices on them:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ame=Class%2010
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