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06-24-2010, 07:07 AM   #1
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SD memory

Is one memory card really superior to another.

06-24-2010, 07:16 AM   #2
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Yes.
06-24-2010, 07:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by busseyrjr Quote
Is one memory card really superior to another.
Yes, although that's not to say less expensive cards won't work. When it comes to certain things, like recording video, using a higher end card with more reliable write speeds helps out quite a bit. I personally use SanDisk Extreme III cards (and before that Ultra II) and have had no issues.
06-24-2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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I don't know about when comparing with different formats (CF, SD, MS, XD) but with regards to "class" (speed of read and write) they surely are.
There is Class 2 to Class 6 right now that I know of. Class 6 is the fastest but it all depends on the brand too since with independent tests not all class 2, for example, speeds are the same.
One thing is for sure, these class categories have a minimum required read and write speeds for it to be classified on that certain class.
Other brands may overclock the minimum speed rating but they certainly won't go over the speed of the next class 'lest they be classified for the next upper class speed.

06-24-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
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I now supplement my previous short answer with an entire article, Choosing An SD Card, which I hope helps you.
06-24-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I now supplement my previous short answer with an entire article, Choosing An SD Card, which I hope helps you.
Thanks for the info.
06-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by busseyrjr Quote
Is one memory card really superior to another.
Cards vary in capacity, speed and reliability. So yes.
06-24-2010, 04:27 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Card confusion

Tom's Hardware site has a comparison and discussion of fast cards. I cannot lay my hands on the URL right now but it's worth a search.

There is a whole pile of incomplete and incorrect info on cards floating about. I can understand why so many people are still so confused. I'm in that group on some days.

Thoughts:

* Throughput is always limited by the slowest device, e.g., camera, card, reader, computer port, etc. Many a good card has been blamed for the sins of a old/cheap/slow card reader, or a camera for the sins of a slow/flaky card.

* Good (meaning reliable and fast) cards are not cheap. Ask yourself how much you'll care about saving $20 after you've lost a card full of hard-won images.

* Cheap cards are generally provided by companies with poor quality control at some point. That's one way to keep the cost down. They all produce winners. Some brands simply have a higher percentage of winners. We should find and support those companies.

* To get fastest and longest burst on the camera, and minimum time between shots, you care about sustained write speed. Read speed is often faster and is often advertised because of that. But read speed is important only if you're impatient in moving images from the card to the computer. I'm not that impatient. Instead, I look for fast write speeds to clear my buffer faster. Them airplanes are not going to hang in mid-air until I'm ready.

* Most people seem to agree that SanDisk and Lexar are deserving of their fine reputations and are at the top of the heap. Not everyone agrees that they're worth the money. I watch for sales and rebates, buying (lately) only SanDisk. I don't want to worry and therefore I pay what's needed.

As always, YMMV. The important thing is to keep shooting and keep getting better!

06-24-2010, 05:45 PM   #9
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My K200D seems to prefer Sandisk cards.
06-24-2010, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quite popular in some part of Asia is the Toshiba SD which are MIJ, if you care. The black ones are C4, white C6, and there are some even faster one just released. My C4 32GB has actual R/W speed 10/20MB/s. Max C6 size is 16GB only at the stage. According to Amazon user reviews, any brands have their share of failures, including Sandisk, and different batches from different periods are different on everything (origin, quality & speed) so it is impossible to draw any conclusion. The major difference is that if your Sandisk failed, and you are in the US, they will replace it trouble free. Beyond that, Sandisk is not that much more reliable imho.
06-24-2010, 06:28 PM   #11
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For dSLRs, you should be looking at SDHC cards as they're faster/higher capacity than regular SD cards. The higher the class #, the better performance. But even within the same SDHC class, cards are not made equal.

I have a number of SDHC Class 6 cards from different manufacturers such as SanDisk, Kingston, Patriot, and OCZ and I've noticed different read/write times between them. In my experience, the SanDisk Extreme III's perform very well (20mb/s) but they're more expensive. Yet I like them so much that I bought their newest Class 10 card in 8 GB, renamed the Extreme (now 30mb/s and no more Roman numeral).
06-24-2010, 06:29 PM   #12
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Although, my latest sandisk extreme III came with their recovery software. Not sure how good it is, but that's useful.
06-24-2010, 08:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Although, my latest sandisk extreme III came with their recovery software. Not sure how good it is, but that's useful.
FYI, there is good free file recovery software on the net, notably PhotoRec. So no reason to pay for it.
06-24-2010, 08:42 PM   #14
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The Extreme III's are fast, and can be had rather cheap if you wait for one of Sandisk's rebates (I think they are running one now). I have 6 4gb cards, and I think I paid less than $75 total. Surprisingly, the second fastest card I have is an Ultra brand 2gb card that was about $10. I have some PNY cards that seem to take a number of seconds to write a single image.
06-25-2010, 06:36 AM   #15
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I will summarise the conclusions from my article.

SanDisk 8GB Extreme III Class 10 is excellent. (SanDisk Extreme also, but it's overkill.) Good if you get a price deal. Lexar, Transcend and Patriot are also recommended as they are the best performance-price balance. For example I use Transcend 8GB Class 10 at half the price of SanDisk.

OCZ, Crucial, Samsung can be very reliable but will have lesser performance. They are fine for undemanding tasks, for example if you do not do video and don't require massive burst rate card writing.

Kingston and A-Data often fail reliability tests, as do other popular names. Never get generic memory or buy from a non-trusted internet source. Bootleg SanDisk abounds on eBay.

8GB now seems to be the sweet spot in size, but consider 4GB as well.
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