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01-25-2009, 08:23 AM   #1
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SD cards speed on K20D test

Today I have made small test of SD cards speed on K20d.

Test methodology:
SD card fully formated with official SD card formatting utility found here: SD Formatter - SD Association
Camera set to M, RAW DNG, Autofocus off.
I fired 10 consecutive shots (continuos mode). Timing commenced when the camera's card status light illuminated, and stopped when the light went out. Repeaded test 3 times, took average values.

Results are following:

Lexar Platinum 40x 1GB (0,95GiB]) SD card: 8.30MiB/s
Lexar Professional 133x 2GB (1,92GiB) SD card: 16.39MiB/s
Apacer Class 6 4GB (3.80GiB) SDHC card: 8.68MiB/s
SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition Class 6 4GB (3.79GiB) SDHC card: 14.84MiB/s

In italic I wrote real SD card size.

To my surprise, the fastest cards I own are two years old Lexar Professional SD cards, even the lates and the greatest SanDisk SDHC card was slower. Apacer SDHC card slow speed wasn't surprise for me, I felt that this card is slow in real life shooting.

Anyone care to do some testing with other cards?

03-18-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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Hi Edvinas,
I think it is an interesting test you have done there with the memory cards.

I would like to ask you what your conclusion is regarding the different speeds. Of course it´s nice to know that ones memory cards are fast, but does it affect your photography in any way? Like, will you be able to take more shots under a certain time limit if your cards are faster? Or what is the difference in a practical sense?

I made a somewhat similar test with a Sandisk Extreme III 8GB 30 MB/s and a Sandisk Ultra II 16 GB 15MB/s. The difference is that I tested how long it took to shoot ten pictures after the first 14 (that goes into the camera buffer) was shot. I did not measure the time for the camera to save the images - I mean, that does not bother me as long as I am able to continue to shoot new pictures.

What pussles me is that I could not find any difference between the cards. Even if one of the cards theoretically has the double capacity/speed than the other, it didn´t affect the time for me to take ten consecutive pictures in a series. Both took approximately 14.5 s as a mean value.

Am I thinking in a wrong way here? Or don't the card speed really mean that much for the practical photography?

Göran, Sweden
03-18-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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In practical terms Edvinas test was just a numbers exercise with little or no correlation to actual picture taking. Your test could relate more to how you would take pictures. What you will find is that most cards that are rated a minimum of Class 4 will be fast enough for real world shooting, there will be some variation between cards as the classes are minimum standards but I doubt you would see more than a single frame difference between cards with your 24 shot sequence.
03-18-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
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disagree. An Extreme III allows an 8 shot burst; an Ultra II allows only 5. That's a big difference IMO. At least, that's what the camera says... the Extreme IIIs are consistent amongst themselves, be they 1,2, 4 or 8Gb. I feel the Ultra II taking time when transferring and while I was at the ice track.

Caveat: this is a Firmware 1.2 K10D, not a K20.

Another note: the Extreme IIIs are rated down to -20C, no? The Ultras to 0, IIRC.


03-18-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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AFAIK, the Extreme III trumps the K10D/K20D for write speed.
The difference between write speeds onto the card plateaus to the camera write speed rather than being determined by the card.

I have no experience with the Lexar Professional series, but a lot of the Class 4 and 6 cards I've used in the past (Toshiba range) were as fast on the K10D as they claimed, and slower than the K10D write speed - hence me going with the Extreme III.
03-19-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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So far I have not been able to notice any difference between the Extreme III and Ultra II cards as regards handling the camera. So, for you who recommend the Extreme III before the Ultra II, please advice me some way to test the difference. The K20D, as far as I understand it, allows 14 bursts before the buffer is full - and this is valid for both of the two cards that I have tested.

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