FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

CF card speed comparisons

Page  123>
Author
Bob J View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 23 December 2005
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London
Status: Online
Posts: 25574
Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: CF card speed comparisons
    Posted: 06 December 2008 at 21:46
I did some comparison testing today of the speeds of my SanDisk CF cards in my old 5D and new a700 and found some quite surprising results.

First a little about the method of measuring I used: To give a level playing field I set up both cameras the same – shooting RAW on cards each had formatted themselves – set to manual exposure 1/2000 at f3.5 with the same lens, autofocus and AS/SSS turned off and pointed at the same subject. In each run I shot over 20 shots, discarded the first picture taken (in case there were delays associated with adding the first file after a format) and then compared the time in minutes and seconds between the write time of the earliest and latest files (ie first file has creation time of 18:34:48 and the 24th file has a creation time of 18:35:14 so the 23 files between these two took 26 seconds to write to the card); from this I was able to work out an average time in seconds for the write of each picture. Now, of course Windows only records time down to a second, but if you include a large enough sample you iron out the rounding errors – by taking an average timing over 20+ shots I reckon I’m probably accurate to somewhere below 1/10 second.

I used three different Sandisk cards – an Ultra II 2GB, an Extreme III 2GB and an Extreme III 4GB (30MB/s version) - Now, because the two Extreme cards are of different sizes, that could account for some of the difference in their performance, but I think the results are interesting none-the-less…

Ultra II: 1.13 Seconds per picture for the 5D, 1.74 Seconds for the a700 – but remember the a700 RAW files are over twice the size of the 5D ones, so the 5D is able to write a complete file to card quicker, despite the fact its write speed is slower (7,950KB/s against 10,499KB/s) – In practical terms you don’t notice this on short bursts as the a700 has a much bigger buffer and doesn’t need to slow down because of card writes until well over 10 shots have been taken - much more than the 5D.

Extreme III: 0.95 seconds per picture for the 5D, 1.2 seconds for the a700. 9,393KB/s against 15,000…

Extreme III (30MB/s version): Slower than the other Extreme III for the 5D at 1.04 seconds per shot, but a rather stunning 0.7 seconds for the a700 – (8,610KB/s against 28,530 by my tests…)

I had expected more difference between the Ultra and the normal Extreme III, as the latter claims 'ESP technology', but the near doubling of write speed between one version of Extreme III and another was totally unexpected, particularly as the faster card is very cheap now in the UK.

Of course, the speeds I measured are ideal – the camera did not have to take extra time to open the shutter for long, close down an aperture much, focus or try to keep the sensor steady – and in practical terms the enormous buffer of the a700 makes any of the above cards very usable.

Bob
 



Back to Top
fauxpas View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 16 October 2008
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Posts: 194
Post Options Post Options   Quote fauxpas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2008 at 08:02
I tried to run some comparos and found a good speed indicator was the actual act of formatting...

One of my 4gig cards takes around 6sec to format, my better card takes a tad over 1 second...

Edited by fauxpas - 09 December 2008 at 08:02
Back to Top
polyglot View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 25 June 2007
Country: Australia
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Posts: 3622
Post Options Post Options   Quote polyglot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2008 at 08:48
As an aside, I have been using 4GB EIIIs since I got the A700 and they work well. Bought the $29 Lexar 16GB from Fry's and noticed that it now takes a lot longer, like nearly a second, before the preview image appears on the screen. I'll be going back to the EIIIs and keeping the Lexar in the bag for when both small cards fill up, e.g. at the tail end of a wedding.

Mind you, seeing the frame counter showing 1206 instead of 307 in cRAW mode is edifying
C&C always welcome
ex-Pic-A-Day
on flickr
Back to Top
Bob J View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 23 December 2005
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London
Status: Online
Posts: 25574
Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 December 2008 at 12:14
After being so impressed with the Extreme III 30mb/s cards, I thought I would try one of the new Pro Duo 4GB Mk2 cards from Sony - which is supposed to be capable of 30mb/s with Pro Duo compatible devices...

The results were not so impressive - approx 7900 kb/s - about a third of the speed of the SanDisk Extreme III. I note that SanDisk do some Pro Duo cards rated at 15mb/s - I wonder if they would be any better...?
Back to Top
kiklop View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum owner

Joined: 14 July 2005
Country: Croatia
Location: Rovinj
Status: Offline
Posts: 10563
Post Options Post Options   Quote kiklop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 December 2008 at 17:17
I do have PRO-HG Duo in my a900 as an emergency storage and i'm quite satisfied with how it performs (20MB/s) on a900.

On a side note; i'm now using kingstone ultimate 266X 16GB cards with both a900 and d700 and i'm quite satisfied with the performance/money ratio. I'm a long time sandisk user but extreme IV 16GB (with 35MB per raw file one really need those large cards) are on too expensive side and those kingston turned to be quite good.
Back to Top
Bob J View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 23 December 2005
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London
Status: Online
Posts: 25574
Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 January 2009 at 19:51
Picked up a very cheap Kingston Ultimate 266x card from 7 day shop (L15.99 for a 4GB card) to test against my Extreme III 30mbs. I repeated the test as described above for both card shooting at an identical target - the SanDisk card performed a little better than before (could a fresh battery be a factor?) 0.62 secs for each file, and 29,367KB/s, but the Kingston was ever faster at 0.53 secs per file, 34,177KB/s - so very good VFM.
 



Back to Top
TTaponen View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie

Joined: 04 November 2008
Country: Finland
Location: Finland
Status: Offline
Posts: 48
Post Options Post Options   Quote TTaponen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2009 at 09:39
I have bought 8 GB Sony CF 300X -card which isn't listed in Dyxum card speed chart. It seems to be quite fast, but I don´t know how to make valid test that compares to chart. Is there a standard test to measure card speeds? Anyway card seems to be at least 30 percent faster than my Sandisk Ext.III (older model). Nowadays I never run out of buffer when shooting CRaw with A700 like with ExtIII (subjects are usually small birds and children...)

Cheers,

Tapio Taponen
Helsinki, Finland

Back to Top
Bob J View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 23 December 2005
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London
Status: Online
Posts: 25574
Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2009 at 16:42
The method I describe in the opening post is about the easiest I can think of, as you leave the timing down to the date/time written on the file.

Another way of budging relative speed between two cards is to count how many RAW shots the camera will take with each - my slower cards take 14 quick pictures and then slows down for the card, the faster ones do well over 20...

Edited by Bob J - 07 January 2009 at 16:48
Back to Top
TallPaul View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 17 March 2006
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Posts: 2823
Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 12:53
Just found this thread reading up on cards and A900 speeds.

So Bob your 2GB and 4GB Extreme cards will perform at different speeds because they are FAT16 and FAT32 formatted possibly. FAT16 only goes to 2GB, so a 4GB card needs FAT32. The 5D reads both (and naturally the A700) but I believe if you format a 2GB card it uses FAT16.

The A700 supports UDMA mode though for writing to the flash more like a hard disk, so cards that support UDMA should be a lot faster, but only in the A700 as the 5D does not support UDMA.

I think these two differences account for the results you saw between your two extreme cards. The 5D writes to the 2GB card faster as its FAT16, than the 4GB card which has to be FAT32. The A700 writes to the 4GB card faster than the 2GB as it probably is UDMA enabled, which assuming your 2GB card is older may not be.

Incidentally if you format a card and write to it twice, its not like a hard disk that starts at the begining, the controller in the card will write new data to the least used area's of the card. So if you had a brand new card for example and used 1GB of a 2GB card, then formatted it, then wrote 1GB, you in theory have not used the first half of the card twice, but the whole card once, as the inbuilt controller spreads the writes the second time to the least used areas. These algorithms try to make sure all of the flash is used equally, as eventually the flash can fail after a finite number of bit toggles. So if it always used the start of the card it could wear out while then end remains unused.

Interesting results anyway. With my 5D I find no difference in shooting speed between my Ultra II cards (2GB) and my Ultra III card (1GB) in real life terms. Reading back to the PC though is a lot faster with the Ultra III card. These are older cards so not the newer 30MB/sec Ultra III. I bought the ultra III as it came with capture one as part of an offer, and the card with software was cheaper than the software on its own!

I think with an A900 hopefully on the way though, I will have to consider it time to upgrade my trusty 2GB cards for something bigger and faster.
A900, 16-35/2.8Z, 70-200/2.8G, 85/1.4Z, 28-75/2.8, 50/1.7. Nex 6, 16-50mm & Rokkor MC/MD lenses.
Back to Top
SHUM View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie

Joined: 04 February 2007
Country: Canada
Location: Toronto
Status: Offline
Posts: 69
Post Options Post Options   Quote SHUM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 13:15
This website has the A900 write speeds sorted by CF type.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/camera_multi_page.asp?cid=6007-9652&sort_col=raw&sort_dir=DESC
Sony A7 | My Pics | My Site
Back to Top
Bob J View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 23 December 2005
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London
Status: Online
Posts: 25574
Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 14:03
@Paul: Thanks for the insight! As you can see from the Galbraith site, the Kingston Ultimate 266x card is amazingly fast in the a900 and is available at a good price from 7 Day Shop - I understand Kiklop uses them in his a900.
Back to Top
TallPaul View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 17 March 2006
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Posts: 2823
Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2009 at 16:27
Ah, thanks for the pointers I will check that website out.

I am not into buying the latest and greatest if its not needed hence I am considering the options. Will check out the Kingston you recommend Bob, I have some 64MB Kingston Compact flash cards that worked well with my Nikon 775, both megapixels of it, and did not let me down

I was considering the SanDisk Extreme III, listed on that website as "SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition 8GB", but I can see it did 24MB/Sec against the Kingston's 32MB/sec which is quite a differential... but I note they only used a 2GB card for the Kingston, see above comments on FAT16 vs FAT32 performance... could be relevant, I note that their Extreme IV 2GB was faster than the 16GB one they tested.

Edited by TallPaul - 13 January 2009 at 16:31
A900, 16-35/2.8Z, 70-200/2.8G, 85/1.4Z, 28-75/2.8, 50/1.7. Nex 6, 16-50mm & Rokkor MC/MD lenses.
Back to Top
Hezu View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 13 October 2007
Country: Finland
Location: HKI/KSNK
Status: Offline
Posts: 2290
Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2009 at 22:06
I am still somewhat suspious of Kingston cards, as few years ago I bought 2 GB Kingston Elite Pro 50× CF and found that it was unusably slow when used with KM 7D. But I guess the newer Kingston cards and Sony DSLRs are quite different...

With α-700 A-Data 266× and especially Sony 300× cards have served me well. And after looking at the model identifications listed on Galbraith's CF database and one printed on side of my Sony card, I think that most likely these Sony cards and Lexar cards may come from the same manufacturer as the strings are so similar. Thus I guess it is safe to assume that Sony cards also perform similar to Lexar cards.
Back to Top
TallPaul View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 17 March 2006
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Posts: 2823
Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2009 at 11:59
Depending on how you connect the card to the PC, you may be able to see the memory controller details in the card, although I would assume that Sony have this re-branded as well
A900, 16-35/2.8Z, 70-200/2.8G, 85/1.4Z, 28-75/2.8, 50/1.7. Nex 6, 16-50mm & Rokkor MC/MD lenses.
Back to Top
Dyxum main page >  Forum Home > Equipment forums > Other photographic topics Page  123>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.

Monitor calibration strip

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer

In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Feel free to contact us if needed.