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12-25-2006, 05:59 AM   #1
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K10D & SD card speeds

This is something I posted on dpreview and thought those here might be interested as well. First, these "tests" were not conducted under tightly controlled conditions. In fact, the conditions are laughable by any scientific standards. Second, card write speeds are somewhat important to me because I still only use 1 GB cards because 60+ K10D RAW files or 90+ DS RAW files are a lot compared to the 36 shots on a single roll of 135 film (and remember, you can't change cards until the camera finishes writing to the card.)

For the K10D, I shot in DNG format. All cards are 1GB.
ATP 150x Promax: I can get 12 consecutive shots in DNG and the camera takes about 12 seconds to clear the buffer of all 12 shots.
Sandisk Extreme III: I can get 11 consecutive shots in DNG and the camera takes about 16 seconds to clear the buffer of all 11 shots.
PQI 133x: I can get 11 consecutive shots in DNG and the camera takes about 17 seconds to clear the buffer of all 11 shots.
ATP 60x: I can get 10 consecutive shots with a slight pause (fractions of a second) before the 11th shot; the camera takes about 21 seconds to clear the buffer of all 11 shots.
Sandisk Ultra II: I can get 10 consecutive shots with a slight pause (fractions of a second) before the 11th shot; the camera takes about 24 seconds to clear the buffer of all 11 shots.

I was surprised to find the Sandisk Extreme III was slower than the ATP Promax card because the Sandisk Extreme III is advertised as having a "minimum of 20 MB per second sequential read and write speed" while the ATP Promax is advertised as 22.5 MB/sec read and 15 MB/sec write speeds. As for the PQI cards, I bought 2 because they were so cheap and I've had the occasional problem with one of them, though the other works just fine. But for me, the cost savings of the PQI versus the ATP or Sandisk cards isn't work the potential headache of a lost shot.

Hope you find this useful.


Last edited by Jun Park; 12-25-2006 at 06:18 AM. Reason: 11 (not 12) shots for Sandisk Extreme III and PQI 133x
12-25-2006, 06:17 AM   #2
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Here's an easy to read version

K10D, DNG format

ATP 150x Promax: 12 pics: 12 seconds
Sandisk Extreme III: 11 pics: 16 seconds
PQI 133x: 11 pics: 17 seconds
ATP 60x: 11 pics: 21 seconds
Sandisk Ultra II: 11 pics: 24 seconds
12-25-2006, 08:35 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jun Park Quote
I still only use 1 GB cards because 60+ K10D RAW files or 90+ DS RAW files are a lot compared to the 36 shots on a single roll of 135 film
This line really hit home for me. I was thinking I had to get a least 2 GB cards for my K10 when it arrives but you made me remember those rolls of 35MM film. It was no big deal changing rolls back then and it would be no big deal changing cards now. Still, I'll go with 2 GB cards (I use 1 GB with my Panasonic FZ20 so I'll keep using them as backups.)

QuoteQuote:
But for me, the cost savings of the PQI versus the ATP or Sandisk cards isn't work the potential headache of a lost shot.
I use Ridata and Transcend and have always found them to be completely reliable. They're about half the price (or more) of the faster Sandisk cards. If I'd had a problem I'd be apprehensive about them but they've been foolproof (literally).

Dan
12-25-2006, 02:49 PM   #4
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Transcend is a Taiwanese brand and so much cheaper. Definitely reliable. I am thinking of getting more when I visit Taiwan in March.

8 giga is already available...

12-25-2006, 04:59 PM   #5
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I get 94 shots with a standard 1 Gig card with my K100D shooting RAW.

but I supposed I will have to purchase a couple of 2gig high speed cards when my K10D arrives.
12-26-2006, 02:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jun Park Quote
I was surprised to find the Sandisk Extreme III was slower than the ATP Promax card because the Sandisk Extreme III is advertised as having a "minimum of 20 MB per second sequential read and write speed" while the ATP Promax is advertised as 22.5 MB/sec read and 15 MB/sec write speeds.
I'm not surprised at all. I have 1GB Sandisk Ultra II Plus (66x) and 1GB Lexar Platinum (40x) cards. Sandisk is considerably slower than lexar with my *ist DS. I've noticed that without measurements. First I thought that it is just wrong impression but some quick measurements proved that Sandisk is slower.

So, my suggestion is that if you go fro expensive brand name product -- don't buy Sandisk. Get Lexar, Kingston instead.

BTW, I've read that declared write speed of Sandisk Extreme III is just ~16MB/sec, where did you get that 20MB/sec figure?
12-26-2006, 03:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
I'm not surprised at all. I have 1GB Sandisk Ultra II Plus (66x) and 1GB Lexar Platinum (40x) cards. Sandisk is considerably slower than lexar with my *ist DS. I've noticed that without measurements. First I thought that it is just wrong impression but some quick measurements proved that Sandisk is slower.

So, my suggestion is that if you go fro expensive brand name product -- don't buy Sandisk. Get Lexar, Kingston instead.

BTW, I've read that declared write speed of Sandisk Extreme III is just ~16MB/sec, where did you get that 20MB/sec figure?
Hi, Edvinas. I got the Extreme III speed rating from their website.
SanDisk | Products | Memory Cards | SD Cards | Extreme III SD Cards

I don't have any experience with Lexar or Kingston but I have 5 ATP cards and I've been very pleased with their performance and reliability. My only issue is that I'm having difficulty finding 1 GB ATP Promax cards while there seem to be plenty of 1 GB Sandisk Extreme II, Lexar 133x, and Kingston 120x cards. B&H has the Lexar 133x cards for a pretty good price so I'll be getting one here shortly to try them out.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Edvinas.
12-27-2006, 06:30 AM   #8
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Not to take away from the original thread, but I'd like to know if anyone has done any sort of similar testing with the K100D? I have a low end Kingston (dunno what speed it is...perhaps 40x?) and a PQI but haven't had the time to really check for differences. I got both of them each for $20 CDN. I'm ok with the speed/responsiveness for now since the K100D is sooooo much faster than my old Fuji, but I'll see when spring comes around.

12-27-2006, 07:27 AM   #9
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its the card that governs the speed pretty much.. some tests i did comparing a few odd cards i have.. they vary quite a lot.. the first figure is minutes and seconds..

copying a large-ish file from my pc to a card useing a card reader..

2.40.. 581 meg hd to flash 218 mpm or 35.3 mps kingston keymem 2g

3.15.. 581 meg hd to flash.. 178 mpm or 2.9 mps photoflash ultra11 170x 2gb

30 sec flash to hd..

3.20.. 581 meg hd to flash 174 mpm or 2.9 mps unbranded OC/UK 1gb

1.50.. 581 meg hd to flash viking 1gb

1.17.. 581 meg hd to flash tomtom 1gb

1.28.. 581 meg hd to flash sandisk extreme 111 2gb

with a k100 a fast card empties the cameras buffer in under five seconds a slow one takes over ten seconds..

a fast card is just under one second per jpeg once the buffer is full.. it will keep doing this till the card is full..

u can speed test cards quite easily useing a pc to write a known file size to them.. just time how long it takes to copy the file from pc to card.. this translates well to the cameras write speed..

twice as fast in the pc wiill be (roughly) twice as fast in the camera..

its the card write speed that matters.. the claimed speeds dont seem to mean that much..

the viking did quite well for a cheapo card.. and an old 512 lexar i have had for a couple of years did as well as any of them..

trog
12-27-2006, 07:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
with a k100 a fast card empties the cameras buffer in under five seconds a slow one takes over ten seconds..

u can speed test cards quite easily useing a pc to write a known file size to them.. just time how long it takes to copy the file from pc to card.. this translates well to the cameras write speed..

twice as fast in the pc wiill be (roughly) twice as fast in the camera.. trog
Wow! 5 seconds! I must have slow cards then. But at $20 a piece, I can't complain.

I wouldn't know the diff when reading to my laptop I think. My machine has only 1 USB 1.1 despite having a USB 2.0 capable card reader plugged in.
12-27-2006, 02:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alvin Quote
Not to take away from the original thread, but I'd like to know if anyone has done any sort of similar testing with the K100D? I have a low end Kingston (dunno what speed it is...perhaps 40x?) and a PQI but haven't had the time to really check for differences. I got both of them each for $20 CDN. I'm ok with the speed/responsiveness for now since the K100D is sooooo much faster than my old Fuji, but I'll see when spring comes around.
When I was comparing my Lexar and Sandisk cards I did it like that (www page is not mine!):
Timing Test - Pentax DSLR card speed timings

1GB Lexar Platinum managed 24 RAW shots in a minute, 1GB Sandisk Ultra II Plus managed 20.

Haven't tested those cards with my K10D yet.
12-27-2006, 03:38 PM   #12
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i have done these tests with a k100.. i had three what i would call fast cards at my disposal.. the expensive sandisk extreme 111.. the old 512 lexar which was slightly faster if anything.. and the "tomtom" card.. fastest of the lot.. one a euro sat/nav map came on but it now lives in my camera.. it was wasted on the tomtom.. he he

hold the button pressed.. five quick pics.. then one per second after that.. or pause for four seconds and u get another quick burst of five pics..

take five jpegs.. time how long it takes before u can take another five.. roughly five seconds..

keep the button pressed u get one pic per second..

card speeds can vary by a factor of three..

with a fast card u aint really gonna be waiting long before being able to take another jpeg pic..

i never bothered testing the really slow cards.. to run the pc test u need usb 2..

u want speed u want jpegs.. raw is much slower.. the files are much larger and simply take much longer to write to the card..

trog

ps.. the speed test is writing to the card via a usb 2 card reader not reading from it.. this is what the camera has to do.. write to the card.. its also what matters..

Last edited by trog100; 12-27-2006 at 03:46 PM.
12-27-2006, 11:06 PM   #13
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Did some speed testing with my K10D.
Performed following test: set camera to RAW, continuous shooting, manual exposure, manual focus, pressed shutter and let camera take pictures for one minute.

Results.

SanDisk Ultra® II SD™ Plus USB 1GB:
33 pictures in DNG
43 pictures in PEF

Lexar Platinum 1GB 40X SD Card:
40 pictures in DNG
53 pictures in PEF

So, test confirmed that it is not my DS but my SanDisk Ultra® II SD™ Plus USB 1GB is slow.

Also you can easily see that with slower cards you get faster shooting rate because of smaller file sizes of PEF.
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