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Memory cards - fancy or cheap?
orinjuse 
5/8/08 1:30:49 PM
Hero
Immortal


I have a Nikon D80, so I decided the first card I got for it would be a sexy Sandisk Extreme III 2gb SD card, figuring it was the cheapest part of the system so I may as well buy the best.

I just bought a new card 'cos I need a spare, but I only got the Sandisk Ultra II this time, which tells me it has half the read/write speed of the Extreme III.

I don't do continuous shooting very often, so how much of a difference does it really make?

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linke 
5/8/08 1:56:47 PM
Guru

How many shots does it buffer?

I'm not familiar with that camera, but if you don't shoot more than 5-6 shots in a burst I wouldn't imagine it mattering at all. It will buffer a certain number of shots before writing to the card.

Just stick in the card and start shooting to see what happens.

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Athiril 
5/8/08 2:07:05 PM
Titan

Even if youre a slow shooter or slow camera.

If you plan on using larger cards, say 8GB.

I would get a 300x UDMA card, and a UDMA speed card reader.

The transfer time (or opening direct off memory card) on the computer would make it worthwhile.

And you can get 'cheapie' memory cards that are as fast as extreme 3 (or there abouts) in most cameras for real cheap, yes I know there are tonnes of fakes, but I go to my local computer shop (good prices, near comparable to online) to order me the highest speed CF (in your case SD) card he can get in, 8GB cost me $60.

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orinjuse 
5/8/08 3:22:27 PM
Hero
Immortal


Quote by linke
How many shots does it buffer?

I'm not familiar with that camera, but if you don't shoot more than 5-6 shots in a burst I wouldn't imagine it mattering at all. It will buffer a certain number of shots before writing to the card.

Just stick in the card and start shooting to see what happens.



Frame Rate: 3 frames per second.

Buffer: Depends on settings, since the camera clears the buffer about as fast as anyone can shoot. At puny settings like Medium, Nikon claims 100 shots deep, but only 6 in RAW. I've never needed more than a 9 shot buffer.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d80.htm

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Die, you zombie bastards!

stadl 
5/8/08 4:00:49 PM
SuperHero
Titan


http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007-8531

This site is interesting for comparing the speeds of the cameras with the different speed cards. It often allows you to determine the point of diminishing returns for faster cards.

eg, it shows that your camera does benefit from the difference between Extreme III and Ultra II cards.

For my CF cards, when I had the D70, I didn't worry about extreme cards because the Ultra IIs (66x) were as fast as the camera could shoot. New camera can use the UDMA cards, so I only buy Extreme IV (266x).

But as said before if you're not filling up the buffer, then the speed of the card only applies when reading the card on your PC - a convenience thing but less important IMO since it doesn't make you lose the shot.

If you're not sure how close to filling the buffer you are watch the rXX display in the viewfinder/top LCD when shooting in continuous mode. It'll give you a countdown of how many shots the buffer can still handle. When it hits r00 you'll slow down to the speed of the card.

Brand wise it's a personal choice if you consider sandisk to be worth the price they charge. I've got 6 sandisk cards, and all continue to run fine, and I've never had a single corrupted file. so based on my experience I'll continue to spend a little more - it's as you say, the cheap part of owning a digicam these days. I also have a Lexar Pro 80x CF card that I bought for other needs but also use for camera stuff. It's never missed a beat either, but it's been used a lot less. My photos are worth too much to me to risk on really cheap cards.

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World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

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orinjuse 
5/8/08 4:30:43 PM
Hero
Immortal


Quote by stadl
My photos are worth too much to me to risk on really cheap cards.



That's my thought, too. I use my camera professionally (sometimes), so I want reliable cards.

Interesting site you linked to. Maybe I should have forked out for the Extreme III again after all...

Oh well, I'll just make sure that's the one I use if I'm doing continuous shooting.

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Die, you zombie bastards!

stadl 
5/8/08 6:15:55 PM
SuperHero
Titan


The interesting thing I found looking around the site is the differences in "actual capacity" between different brands.

There can be a difference of 150MB or more between the capacities of 4GB cards. at about 3% it's probably not enough to make a deciding point between brands, but still that could be another 15-20 photos to fit on a card!

It's not even brand consistent, and it would be interesting to know if it's related to the controller managing dead cells or different architectures.

-----
...so brilliant in fact, that by simply harnessing the power of one live frog, it.. it.. uhh.<poke> <poke>
World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

Waffles, Lots of Waffles... And Chips...

Athiril 
5/8/08 6:59:11 PM
Titan

*shrugs* the Transcend card I got is fast and reliable for me.

and in my 30D there is a huge difference between an Utra II and Extreme III in flushing the buffer to the card.

I use the 8GB transcend which still seems a lot faster than Ultra II (is it just me, or were the Ultra II's painfully slow?), works for me when I want to shoot large stitches in RAW.

Most of the time I shoo with my 1GB Extreme III (lost my 2GB a few months ago :/), the Extreme III also has is super tough and durable, large range of working temperatures, goes down to 20 below zero I think, but these cards have been used in the artic circle.

There's also been the case of an exploding bridge destroying a camera and the photos still being intact on the CF card, and a submerged camera under salt water, but being able to retrieve photos on the card that was with it.

Therefore if youe going to an Ultra II, I see no point in not getting say a Transcend/other brand, if you want the very tough durabiliy and recovery options, Extreme III or IV

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Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

stadl 
5/8/08 8:51:15 PM
SuperHero
Titan


Ultra IIs at 66x were considered fast back in 2004 when they were the performance mainstream card (most people were using slower 4x or 20x cards in P&S cameras), and the Extreme IIs were for the pros - same speed just more durable, and I think the fastest card on the market was probably a Lexar 80x.

Around 2005 I remember that $185 was a good price for an 1GB ultra II CF card so I bought 2 more, and the Extreme IIs were over $300 in shops.

By modern standards Ultra IIs are nothing special, but many people are happy with their average performance - it's still better than Sandisk "standard blue". And sandisk do have a good reputation for reliability, so people will buy them. But the price difference between UltraII and ExtremeIII is not what it used to be, unfortunately ExtremeIV is still expensive, but they are SLC cards (where ExtremeIII is MLC) and they are faster so it stands to reason I guess.

-----
...so brilliant in fact, that by simply harnessing the power of one live frog, it.. it.. uhh.<poke> <poke>
World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

Waffles, Lots of Waffles... And Chips...

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