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Practical comparison of fast and slow cards

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marlon127 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marlon127 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 June 2009 at 00:07
something I've noticed is that slower cards seem to fail more often with shooting over 4-8 hour period. The longer write   times must contribute to sensor heat up.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote TCav Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 June 2009 at 00:08
I've had some results that are different from your own. On my KM5D, I switched to M Mode, MF, left the lens cap on, and held the shutter button down. Each card was formatted immediately prior to the test.

RAW
2 GB                                    Images     Images B4 Lag     Shots / 10 sec.
SanDisk Extreme III               215                 5                      11
Lexar Platinum II 80x              216                 5                        9
Kingston Ultimate 133x           219                 5                        7
Kingston Ultimate 266x           210                 5                        6
PNY Optima Pro                      211                 5                        6
PNY Optima Pro UDMA 266x    214                 5                        6
SanDisk Ultra II                      215                 5                        6

Extra Fine - Large
2 GB                                    Images     Images B4 Lag     Shots / 10 sec.
Kingston Ultimate 266x            324            (No Lag)                 29
PNY Optima Pro UDMA 266x     331            (No Lag)                 28
SanDisk Extreme III               333            (No Lag)                 27
Lexar Platinum II 80x              333               38                      24
Kingston Ultimate 133x           338               25                      21
PNY Optima Pro                      325               22                      20
SanDisk Ultra II                     332                 18                      8

Fine - Large
2 GB                                    Images     Images B4 Lag     Shots / 10 sec.
PNY Optima Pro UDMA 266x     650           (No Lag)                  30
Kingston Ultimate 266x            636          (No Lag)                   30
SanDisk Extreme III               653          (No Lag)                   29
Lexar Platinum II 80x              654          (No Lag)                   28
PNY Optima Pro                      638             (No Lag)               27
Kingston Ultimate 133x            663             (No Lag)               27
SanDisk Ultra II                      652                  61                    15

What surprised me most was that the UDMA cards worked so well for JPEG images, but so poorly for RAW images. (The KM5D doesn't support UDMA.)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 June 2009 at 00:35
Regarding earlier comments about JPEG card speed...

No, memory cards are not used as RAM, that is the puspose of the camera buffer, which is typically much higher access speeds that flash memory.

No, jpeg conversion does not slow the camera down as this is limited by processor clock speed etc, not by the buffer or card speed. Indeed, depending how the hardware is designed, the buffer may be controlled quite independantly of the central processor (ie you can move data to and from the buffer / flash device whilst the processor is active doing other tasks).

DRO significantly slows down burst rate since the data must be processed by the DRO program code whilst it is in the buffer, before the JPEG image is created. Due to its nature, this is processor intensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bharnois Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 June 2009 at 16:09
Originally posted by marlon127 marlon127 wrote:

something I've noticed is that slower cards seem to fail more often with shooting over 4-8 hour period. The longer write   times must contribute to sensor heat up.


Marlon, I think the cards themselves heat up. I used to get my 5D to lock up when shooting xFine JPG's in repeated long bursts. Whenever it happened the card was super hot (Sandisk Ultra II). Cooling the card always fixed the problem. The camera always got hot too when it happened, a 5D gets pretty hot after 400-600 shots in a 15-20 minute period.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nygus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 June 2009 at 16:21
Slower cards on my A700 means to review (with histogram), or just delete photo, just after taking a picture means about 4 seconds wait time, really annoying.
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2010 at 13:28
Did some new timings with a variety of cards on my a700 and put the data into this graph...


Note that there is no real difference in the speed of shooting until the buffer fills (any variation is likely to be due to my sampling rather than speed of anything else). Also shown on this graph is a datum line for 3 frames-per-second - using the Kingston Ultimate 266x the rate of clearing the buffer is quite close to the slope for this datum, so if you are shooting at 3 FpS with the a700, it should be quite difficult to fill the buffer in the first place?

Comments welcome.

I have a couple of new cards on the way - one 300x CF and a SAndisk MS-HG card that claims 30mb/s, so I might add those in when I have the chance.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2010 at 23:29
Just did some timings for the Sandisk Ultra II MSPRO-HG-Duo 30mb/s card and it performs exactly as the Ultra CF 30 mb/s card - value seems quite good with 7DayShop's current offer of a 16GB card for 28GBP (the equivalent CF is 41GBP for the same size).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2010 at 17:29
Some more comparisons of various speed cards - data obtained by taking continuous shots of a digital stopwatch.

(Seconds on the Y axis, No of shots on the X)

Results for RAW files:


...and for cRAW:


As you can see, you don't get any difference on speed of shots until after the 14th - however, I also looked at the times taken to clear the buffer in each case - taken by comparing the time recorded in exif for when the shot was taken with when it was last modified (which was as it was written to the card) for the 40th shot (when we know for certain the buffer is full).

The Kingston cleared its buffer in 3 seconds for cRAW and 6 seconds for RAW, the 30mb/s cards cleared in 5-6 seconds for cRAW and 8-9 seconds for RAW, while the original extreme III (15mb/s took 10 and 15 seconds. The Video MemoryStick too 15 and 22 seconds to clear (which you might well notice in use).

I had originally assumed that the buffer would hold more cRAW files than RAW ones, but if this was so I would have expected buffer clearing to be the same for both, as it is it would seem that the a700 will buffer 9 shots of cRAW or RAW, but will manage to clear the cRAW files quicker.

Edited by Bob J - 20 November 2010 at 17:30
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Rno. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rno. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2010 at 01:34
Odd finding:

I am doing simultaneous exposures with a coupled twin-5D setup. One has a 1GB Sandisk Ultra II, the other a 4GB Lexar 300x.

When I go into continuous shooting mode, guess which card stops the sequence first? No, not the slower Sandisk, but the faster Lexar!

When I upload to the PC via a Sandisk reader, the world looks okay again: the Lexar is the faster card.

Anybody, why it is reversed while in the cameras?
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Heidfirst View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Heidfirst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2010 at 02:29
the KM 5D isn't UDMA capable afaik so a 300x CF is wasted in it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rno. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2010 at 04:30
Yes, wasted maybe, where it can't shine with its higher speed. But why is it SLOWER?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bharnois Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 December 2010 at 14:53
Check card specs carefully. In the camera you care about write speed and a lot of cards read way faster than they write. A good specification includes both speeds.
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2010 at 09:53
Originally posted by Rno. Rno. wrote:

Odd finding:

I am doing simultaneous exposures with a coupled twin-5D setup. One has a 1GB Sandisk Ultra II, the other a 4GB Lexar 300x.

When I go into continuous shooting mode, guess which card stops the sequence first? No, not the slower Sandisk, but the faster Lexar!

When I upload to the PC via a Sandisk reader, the world looks okay again: the Lexar is the faster card.

Anybody, why it is reversed while in the cameras?


Setup of the cameras is the same? If you swap the cards does the Lexar still stop first?
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