Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #1
Veteran Member
Anton Magus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Durban, South Africa
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 351
Which SD Card is best?

I have just got a new Pentax X90 and now need an SD Card for it. My question is will the shot-to-shot times on this camera be quicker if I buy a class 10 SD card over a class 6 card. Some people have told me that the shot-to-shot time is governed by the camera and a class 6 card is more than adequate to keep up with the camera. Other people have said the shot-to-shot time is governed by the SD card speed and a class 10 card will give me quicker times for multiple shots.

Obviously class 10 cards are more expensive than class 6 and while camera reviews cover almost every aspect of the camera, including shot-to-shot times, I have never found anyone who says it is x with a class 4 card, y with a class 6 card and z with a class 10 card. Surely this is important?

If anyone has any views or comparative test data for different cards in the same camera I would really like to hear from them.

Thanks
Anton

04-10-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,841
Maximum card speed is probably more important for video than stills. The data is continuous and you notice when there's a gap.

I tried to test for a difference between class 4 and class 6 cards for stills, but my K-7 has a large buffer and that covers up any differences. I buy class 6 because they aren't much more than class 4, I don't shoot video and I really want the card to work every time.
04-11-2011, 01:27 AM   #3
Veteran Member
Hypocorism's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne .au
Posts: 623
QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote

Obviously class 10 cards are more expensive than class 6 and while camera reviews cover almost every aspect of the camera, including shot-to-shot times, I have never found anyone who says it is x with a class 4 card, y with a class 6 card and z with a class 10 card. Surely this is important?

If anyone has any views or comparative test data for different cards in the same camera I would really like to hear from them.
You probably won't want to hear this but the reality is that no one can really accumulate that extensive comparative data that you seek in any meaningful, useful way. Camera makers and professional testers included.

It's just not practical to attempt to test and table it all and would have to be updated almost daily because that's the speed that new cards, various brands and their various types... come onto the market space.
The camera specs comparisons out there are bad enough to keep up with. Generates more confusion than real help or knowledge. (Does anyone really enjoy comparing mobile phone plans?)

We all face the same dilemma: prisoners of our own demand for low cost, or other big/small/fast/slow characteristics, and such wide choice overall that it becomes senselessly mindboggling (so frustrating).

Couple all the tech specs and numbers claims, v's real-life experience performances that people (owner-users) relate that do, and always will vary immensely; against the raw fact that cards are pretty cheap these days anyway...

And we all have to find our own methods of dealing with it, that often means being self-testers, learning by experience just what level of balance can best fulfil our personal needs.

I can only suggest you dip your toes in -- Go out and buy a brand/type/claimed_speed/capacity_size of card at a price range you're comfortable with and learn to swim along the way like 98% of us do.
There's not much to lose and some worthwhile personal experience to gain that will carry you along as a guide to your next flash-memory storage purchase.

Sorry I realise that's no real help to you, but I think a lot here would tend to agree with the principles of how it works.
Few are prepared to rush out and buy a $150 card, even though it has the best track record.

Now to leave you with an example to ponder:

1. A few months back I needed 2x 8GB cards and bought what were fairly reputable brand, marked with the Class 10 logo And also paid a fair premium for that C.10 grade too. Got them off a flash memory specialist dealer, who I'd bought from before so had reasonable confidence that they'd satisfy.
They worked OK in the cameras (only tried with stills), but were dismally slow when copying images off to the PC.

2. A while later I was in a supermarket and saw some 8GB cards in a specials bin that were 40% of the price that I'd paid for those above. So I said what the heck... and bought 4 of them purely on chance. (was going to test one out and intended to return all 4 for refund if it proved total crap.)

On comparing their corresponding data transfer rates (the usual, shift a large set of random sized files in Windows Perfmon, flush buffers, shift back, rinse & repeat...), I found that the cheap C.6 cards easily outgunned the 'alleged' C.10 ones.
Results: the former's transfer speeds are R_15.3MB/s W_9.63MBs [sustained rates] which almost meets official 10 specs, while the rotten C.10 cards couldn't even sustain Class 4 write rates! They were absolute shit, and should NOT bear the Class 10 logo so I only use them in my pocket P&S now. Otoh; the 2nd lot I got have proven absolute rippers at true bargain price.

YMMV, but I think you'll find it's often a bit of a lottery. Caveat emptor.

Some light reading in case you haven't already...
Home - SD Association
Secure Digital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

.R. -- Not all problems require a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 04-11-2011 at 03:21 PM.
04-11-2011, 02:16 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Anton Magus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Durban, South Africa
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 351
Original Poster
Which SD Card?

Thanks for the speedy replies. I am personally not too interested in video which I why I bought the X90, even though it can't zoom in video mode etc etc instead of a Canon SX30.

What really prompted the whole thing was one reviewer who was quite critical of the Pentax X90 saying that the shot-to-shot cycle time in single shot mode was just over 3 seconds and below par for a camera of this price and class. That same reviewer also complained that it was slow to store data and he often had to wait for it to finish before he could change a setting or switch the camera off.

In contrast, another reviewer remarked that the shot to shot cycle times on the X90 were excellent at around 1 second and faster than the competitive Nikon P100 or the Canon SX30, Fuji etc.

I can only surmise that the first reviewer was using a slower SD Card then the second reviewer?

I do take the point that an SD Card's Class rating really only covers the "guaranteed minimum speed" and some brands are quite well known for performance far ahead of the rated speeds for the class. Also the differences between write speed and read speed.

Interestingly my old Nikon Coolpix came with a CF card when I bought it and I just always bought the same brand/type thereafter - just bigger capacity. That has changed and only some special deals include an SD card (usually a class 4 card with maybe 2GB capacity).
The new camera buyer is then left having to buy a card, with a bewildering array of different brands, classes and capacities to choose from. To make matters worse many cards are emblazoned with marketing hype like "Up to 20MB/s" on a class 6 card.

To add to the difficulties, here in South Africa 2 cards of 32GB class 10 will cost more than a brand new Pentax X90 while for the same price you can get 9 or maybe 10 class6 16GB cards. Add to this the comments of many experienced digital photographers that it is better to use several smaller cards than one large capacity card, except if you are using the video capability of your camera...


At least a discussion in this forum helps to give new camera owners some guidance and any input is gratefully appreciated.

04-11-2011, 03:32 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Va
Photos: Albums
Posts: 119
I have 2 Kingston cards (class 4 - 4 and 8G) 1 PNY (class 6 - 8 gig) and 2 Store brand (Microcenter class 10 8gig) and the only two ways I can tell that one card is different then the other is by the color of it and how mauch I can fit on it...

Thats not saying that soemone else may see a performance difference between the Class 4 and Class 10 card based on their use.

Im a casual nature shooter and can still rattle off quite a few shots in continuous mode before the camera/card(?) starts to slow.

While I believe there are differences in the cards and classes you can be limited by the camera and even I believe battery power even with the fastest of cards.

Last edited by Aknot; 04-11-2011 at 03:33 AM. Reason: added text and spelling
04-11-2011, 07:50 AM   #6
Pentaxian
reeftool's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,109
I have used PNY Optima cards without any issues at all. Some are over 3 yrs old. I use them mainly because the are very well priced at my local BJ's Wholesale club. In real world use, they seem to be faster than the similar spec'd Lexar cards. Get a few good cards from a known brand at a reputable source. There are a lot of counterfeit copies out there and most of the issues people complain about in the forum about SD cards involve bargains in online purchases. I'll mention I'm only shooting stills. My 4 gig PNY's get about 1000 jpegs which is enough for me to put on one card.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, card, cards, class, pentax help, people, photography, sd, sd card, time, times
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
*ist DS "memory card error" - card won't format WMBP Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 04-05-2016 04:39 PM
Memory card "card not formatted" error mickc Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 7 07-12-2011 08:49 PM
SD card Stjonnypopo Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 12-28-2010 04:35 AM
Card locked error no card fault Lighthunter Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 2 08-24-2009 01:42 PM
Credit Card vs Debit Card dosdan General Talk 13 05-07-2008 11:40 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:05 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top