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02-23-2010, 04:34 PM   #16
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I personally have a 16GB Panasonic 'Gold Series' Class 10 card, and it is fast for me! In all honesty, I don't think I'd need a faster card for my camera...
For now

02-23-2010, 05:00 PM   #17
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Thanks to all!

I have watched the responses all afternoon and want to thank everyone for their input. I just this evening purchased one SanDisk Extreme Class 10 16 gig card which I will be comparing to the Extreme III Class 6 8 gig cards I already have (as well as Kingston). I am also upgrading my K7 to firmware version 1.03 which may also have an effect. I will let you know the results.

Why 16 gigs? I do not wish to have to change cards in the middle of a show. That happened last time and I had problems getting the card out. (The K7 is not meant for big fingers in this area of the camera body.) I lost some very good pictures as a result. For anyone having this problem I recomment the purchase of an SD card extraction device.

Thanks again all!
02-23-2010, 05:52 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpk Quote
I just this evening purchased one SanDisk Extreme Class 10 16 gig card which I will be comparing to the Extreme III Class 6 8 gig cards I already have (as well as Kingston). I am also upgrading my K7 to firmware version 1.03 which may also have an effect. I will let you know the results.
Be very interested in your results.

BTW - I think the 8Gb SanDisk Extreme III - if it is the 30Mb/s Edition -
even though may be marked Class 6 - actually conforms to Class 10,
the Extreme III 30Mb/s was out before Class 10 became available recently.

Which Kingston card(s) do you have?

EDIT to ADD -

Just out of interest -

Class 10 is NOT yet an official SD standard -

from the Wikipedia entry on Secure Digital on Speed Class Ratings -

" On 21 May 2009, Panasonic announced new "class 10" SDHC cards, claiming that this new class is "part of SD Card Specification Ver.3.0". Toshiba also announced cards based on the new 3.0 spec As of December 2009, the SD Association's Web site does not include information on this new class or new specification. "

SD Association page on Speed Class
currently only shows speeds up to class 6 - no class 10

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-23-2010 at 06:14 PM. Reason: no class 10 at SD Association
02-23-2010, 07:11 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
There is a point to be made about not putting all your eggs (images) into one basket (card). Safest practice is to use many smaller cards rather than one huge card. The largest cards I have are 8 GB, Lexars, and they are noticeably slower to write to than my 4 GB SanDisk Extreme III cards. I get a predicted image count of 481 with the 8 Gb cards. That is a lot of images to keep in one place.

I think I will standardize all my cards to SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB cards that hold about 240 images (K10D, RAW only). In my head, that is 6 2/3 rolls of 36 exposure film. Plenty to take a chance on a card flaking out.

I have even thought about changing to 2 GB cards and swapping them out daily. As it is now, I have four cards, 2x4 and 2x8, and rotate them through day 1-4, so that on vacation card 1 will have days 1, 5, 9, 13 and 17. Day 2 will have 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. etc.

I have not yet had a card go bad on me, but I just had a 500 GB LaCie Drive go South. That's a pain, and the spindle failed, so I have to go to Salvage Data for $2K or thereabouts to retrieve the data. Luckily I have multiple backups and don't need to spend the money.
You have a very good argument, Rockies.
After not much thought, I guess the way to go, and avoiding major disaster, is to keep at 4/8 Gb cards.
Likewise, I swap cards often.
I certainly wouldn't like loosing a huge amount of pics with a 32 Gb card!
Also, the speed of the Extreme III 8 Gb seems plenty sufficient to me. I carry the older 4 and 8 Gb cards, still Class 6, and I am satisfied with them.

I just wonder if there will be any noticeable difference in "speed" between using it (the Extreme III 8Gb) on the K20D vs. the K7.

JP

02-24-2010, 12:16 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
Interesting. Is yours an SDHC or simple SD?
SDHC class 6
02-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
There is a point to be made about not putting all your eggs (images) into one basket (card). Safest practice is to use many smaller cards rather than one huge card. The largest cards I have are 8 GB, Lexars, and they are noticeably slower to write to than my 4 GB SanDisk Extreme III cards. I get a predicted image count of 481 with the 8 Gb cards. That is a lot of images to keep in one place.

I think I will standardize all my cards to SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB cards that hold about 240 images (K10D, RAW only). In my head, that is 6 2/3 rolls of 36 exposure film. Plenty to take a chance on a card flaking out.

I have even thought about changing to 2 GB cards and swapping them out daily. As it is now, I have four cards, 2x4 and 2x8, and rotate them through day 1-4, so that on vacation card 1 will have days 1, 5, 9, 13 and 17. Day 2 will have 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. etc.

I have not yet had a card go bad on me, but I just had a 500 GB LaCie Drive go South. That's a pain, and the spindle failed, so I have to go to Salvage Data for $2K or thereabouts to retrieve the data. Luckily I have multiple backups and don't need to spend the money.
I totally agree. In the beginning, I went for the biggest (then 16g) cards, but I have gradually reduced the size of my cards, until settling on my next batch being 4g. In addition to cards going bad, it occurred to me that when traveling (which may include traveling without a computer) a stolen camera can be replaced much more easily than a few thousand photos.
02-24-2010, 01:35 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
K-7 with firmware 1.02, all SDHC cards:

Does NOT Pass:

Transcend Class 6
Kingston Class 6
Patriot Class 6
Panasonic Class 10
A-Data Class 6

Pass:

Lexar Pro 133X (Class 4?)
Panasonic Class 6

K-7 with firmware 1.03, same cards:
ALL PASS except Kingston Class 6 and A-Data class 6 still do not pass.

Definitions:
Pass => camera will burst rate and record video per Pentax performance specifications
Does NOT pass => burst rate below spec and video recording buffer fills-up after 2-3 minutes.

I am glad to share that with you guys, I spent HOURS testing this as I thought my camera was at first defective. I agree with what someone said above, STAY AWAY from discount cards, you get what you pay for. As you can see above some Class 6 cards were out-performing Class 10 before firmware update, still issues with some Class 6, but to be honest, I cannot see any diff between the working Class 6 and 10 as the former now perform per spec. Class 10 will not improve perfomrance if your Class 6 already perform per spec, at least on the K-7

1.03 firmware improved things significantly on my Camera. Nothing beats empirical research...

Hope this helps

xGene
I use both the cheapies and the Sandisk. I very seldom need the capacity to pass that test, but when I do, I have a couple of the Sandisk 30mb edition cards around.
02-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
EDIT to ADD -

Just out of interest -

Class 10 is NOT yet an official SD standard -

from the Wikipedia entry on Secure Digital on Speed Class Ratings -

" On 21 May 2009, Panasonic announced new "class 10" SDHC cards, claiming that this new class is "part of SD Card Specification Ver.3.0". Toshiba also announced cards based on the new 3.0 spec As of December 2009, the SD Association's Web site does not include information on this new class or new specification. "

SD Association page on Speed Class
currently only shows speeds up to class 6 - no class 10
Class 10 is not an official standard, but it is based on the official SD 3.0 standard. The SD 3.0 standard is meant for early SDXC cards, and it specifies a 104 mbyte/s transfer rate (which is possible using current SDHC hardware). The only part where Class 10 cards differ is in the use of FAT32 as a file system instead of exFAT. This retains backwards compatibility with existing SDHC cards.

For me, I get the following results;

Firmware before 1.03:
Class 6 JPG - 14 shots at 5.2 fps (before buffer full)
Class 10 JPG - 14 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 6 RAW - 13 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 10 RAW - 13 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 6 RAW+ - 8 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 10 RAW+ - 8 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 6 video - 45 seconds of video (probably due to the card used)
Class 10 video - limitless up to 4GB file size limit (about 9:30 minutes at highest quality/resolution)

Firmware 1.03:
Class 6 JPG - 15 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 10 JPG - 18 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 6 RAW - 13 shots at 5.2 fps (same as before firmware update)
Class 10 RAW - 14 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 6 RAW+ - 8 shots at 5.2 fps (same as before firmware update)
Class 10 RAW+ - 9 shots at 5.2 fps
Class 6 video - limitless up to 4GB file size limit
Class 10 video - limitless up to 4GB file size limit

The JPG shots assume 14MP and highest quality. If I reduce to 2MP and lowest quality, I can double the number of shots before the buffer gets full.

More importantly for the OP, the write-out speed with the Class 10 card has always been way faster. For example, if I fill the buffer with 18 JPG shots, I only have to wait a few seconds before the buffer has been flushed to the card. I've timed it to about 8 seconds. With the Class 6 card, the write-out can take 20 seconds or more. I can still shoot during this time, but the buffer fills up again that much faster.

Also, the more full the card is, the slower it gets. When I was shooting an auto show recently, the closer I got to my Class 10 card's capacity (8 GB), the slower the buffer write-out was. It was getting painfully slow near the end there. Even deleting all the pictures didn't help, I didn't regain my speed until I formatted the card.

edit: I just misplaced my Class 10 SDHC card while testing to write this post Why do they have to be so damn small?

re-edit: found it! It was under... my mouse?!? weird...

02-24-2010, 06:24 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Isn't that Sandisk a Class 10?
Class 6

Class 6 is the highest official speed rating.
SDHC (High-Capacity) - SD Card Association
02-24-2010, 10:06 PM   #25
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I have the same card (I think) but different labelling and labelled class 10 - must be a later version of the same card
02-26-2010, 06:11 PM   #26
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Further Experiences

I had a chance to use my new 16 gig class 10 SanDisk card the other evening in a nightclub environment. I had also updated my K7 firmware to version 1.03. I did a lot of single-shot shooting very quickly and the camera never once missed a beat, unlike my experience with a class 6 card. Unfortunately I was unable to use the class 6 card after filling the class 10 card, so I can only say that this particular time the class 10 card improved my peformance but without a parallel test to confirm.

I agree with Canada Rockies, and others, that the optimum sd card size is probalby 4 0r 8 gigs. I went for 16 gigs so that I would never have to change a card during a show.

Thanks again for all your helpful responses.
02-26-2010, 08:03 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpk Quote
I agree with Canada Rockies, and others, that the optimum sd card size is probalby 4 0r 8 gigs. I went for 16 gigs so that I would never have to change a card during a show.

Thanks again for all your helpful responses.
From my experience, 16 GB cards are much less reliable than 8 GB cards. I wouldn't look at it from a performance perspective, but rather an insurance one. Sure, you might miss out on a few shots while you change cards, but if the 16 GB card fails, you lose all the shots. The reliability of 16 GB cards gets worse as you go up in speed (ie. Class 4 vs Class 6). Just look at reviews from places like Newegg. The number of failed cards goes up dramatically between 8 GB and 16 GB cards.

32 GB cards are notoriously worse than 16 GB ones. I wouldn't touch those until they've been in production for a lot longer.
02-26-2010, 08:30 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpk Quote
Why 16 gigs? I do not wish to have to change cards in the middle of a show. That happened last time and I had problems getting the card out. (The K7 is not meant for big fingers in this area of the camera body.) I lost some very good pictures as a result. For anyone having this problem I recomment the purchase of an SD card extraction device.
Before I got my K-7, I'd read about the SD card extraction problem. I thought, how hard can it be? Well, compared to my old Lumix FZ15, it's a pain.

But I came up with a couple of techniques.

1. keep a decently-wide rubber band in the camera bag to grab the SD card with once it's ejected; and, more simply,

2. place the top of my thumb on the camera body and my thumbnail on the ridge at the exposed edge of the card, using the camera body as a fulcrum. Doing that lets me get the card most of the way out, and from there it's easy to grab.

I know, this is goofy and boring compared to the cards themselves. But it seemed the time to mention it, especially since cpk brought it up. Plus, either method is way cheaper than an extraction device (which I had no idea even existed).

Let us know what you think of that Extreme class 10 16GB card!
02-26-2010, 11:03 PM   #29
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Extraction Device

Finally someone wondered about my SD card extraction device! A pair of tweezers for about $3-4 at the drug store. Although I do like the rubber band idea.

In respect to reliability of the larger cards, I'll watch out for that. Hopefully the SanDisk ones will prove reliable. I was certainly happy with its peformance the other night. The time previously when I had trouble getting the card out of the camera I lost a lot more than a few shots, more like twenty or thirty or even more in the middle of a very beautiful performance.
02-27-2010, 08:42 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpk Quote
Finally someone wondered about my SD card extraction device! A pair of tweezers for about $3-4 at the drug store. Although I do like the rubber band idea.
You could probably superglue a bit of wide rubber band to the tweezers to make an even more grippy extraction too. (Broccoli bands are, along with gaffer tape, among the great inventions.)

But the thumbnail / fulcrum idea works great, too.

Enjoy that new SD card!
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