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02-23-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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Class 10 SD Cards

I'm shooting a nightclub show using a K7 at 3200. I'm shooting raw PEFs, not continuously, but very quickly (2 individual shots/second). The camera stops shooting while the buffer unloads after about 20+ shots. I am currently using Class 6 SD cards. Will the new Class 10 cards improve my performance, or is the buffer-unload speed a limitation of the camera? In other words, will there be any difference between using the Class 6 and Class 10 cards?

02-23-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpk Quote
I'm shooting a nightclub show using a K7 at 3200. I'm shooting raw PEFs, not continuously, but very quickly (2 individual shots/second). The camera stops shooting while the buffer unloads after about 20+ shots. I am currently using Class 6 SD cards. Will the new Class 10 cards improve my performance, or is the buffer-unload speed a limitation of the camera? In other words, will there be any difference between using the Class 6 and Class 10 cards?
Caveat: I don't have a K7.

However if one reads the dpReview of the K7 page: 14 Performance -

" Burst of RAW images Continuous Slow
Number of frames 19

Buffer full rate 1.4 fps
Write complete 9.7 sec
The K-7 delivers exactly the specified continuous shooting rate with the High setting shooting at 5.2 frames per second and the low setting at 3.3 respectively. After the buffer has run full (23 frames in High/JPEG or 15 frames in High/RAW) the camera slows down to 2.0 fps in JPEG mode and 1.4 fps in RAW. While this is not quite as fast or the same buffer performance as either the Canon 50D or Nikon D300, it is a big improvement on the 2.9 fps of K20D.
"

I believe they used a Sandisk Extreme III (30MB/s edition) 8Gb SDHC - which is one of the fastest SD cards out there (specifically for write rate) - if your timings are no slower than theirs then it would seem that a faster card probably would not improve things....
02-23-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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Because I shoot with a K200D and not a K7, the relevance of my comments to your situation is unclear.

However, moving from a Class 6 (15mb/s) to a Class 10 (30mb/s) card has altered the number of shots I can take in burst mode. Before I would take 2-3 shots before the buffer shut down, now I can shot 4-5 shots in burst.

Honest answer, its probably worth the price of a 4G card (~ $35-45) to find out. For me it was worth it.....

C. Durfor
02-23-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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Newegg.com has the Transcend Class 10, 8GB SDHC card for $24.99 or the 4 GB for $11.99 plus shipping $2.99.

02-23-2010, 11:56 AM   #5
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My 16GB Sandisk Extreme III 30mb/sec Class 6 SDHC card is faster than any Transcend Class 10 SDHC card. You get what you pay for.
02-23-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
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I just got my K-7 three weeks ago, and I picked up two SanDisk Extreme class 10 4GB cards with it.

I haven't shot quite like you're shooting, but I have shot very quickly at an indoor music event and have had no problems at all. From what I've heard, these are the cards to go with for video, though I've done very with that function on the K-7.

The only other SD card I've had experience with, however, has been a SanDisk Ultra II 1GB that I bought over five years ago for over three times what I paid for the SanDisk Extreme class 10 4 GB (assuming the rebate comes through!). Times sure have changed.

Anyway, I'd recommened it. The cost difference is negligable, and with the rebate, it cost less than its class 6 counterpart.
02-23-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
My 16GB Sandisk Extreme III 30mb/sec Class 6 SDHC card is faster than any Transcend Class 10 SDHC card. You get what you pay for.
No doubts that the SanDisk Extreme III (30Mb/s edition) is one of the fastest SD cards available.

However for the part that is more relevant for shooting speed is the Write rate.

The SanDisk Extreme III is spec'd for 30Mb/s -
but it is not clear whether this is for Read speed (likely) and write speeds.

Not meaning to cast any aspersions -
there are very, very fast flash drives that are rated at 30Mb/s -
but this is for Read -
the fastest I have seen tested for write speeds is closer to 10-15Mb/s
- ie: less than half of the advertised Read speed.

The official SDHC ratings are:
Class 6 - 6Mb/s Write
Class 10 - 10Mb/s Write.

So it really depends on whether the camera can actually take advantage of the faster write speed.

If money were no object - then there is no harm is using the fastest card one can get -
however don't be too surprised if the camera is not noticeably faster than on a good/properly rated Class 6 card -
but at least this way one would remove any doubts of the camera being hampered by the SD card.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-23-2010 at 12:47 PM. Reason: typos/grammar
02-23-2010, 12:52 PM   #8
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Hi cpk,
I recently upgraded from Adata class 6 cards to a Sandisk Extreme III class 10 for exactly the same reason - buffer speed.

I am shooting RAW with K10D.

My Adata 8GB would take about 25 seconds to clear the buffer on 8-9 RAW frames. my Adata 16GB would take 30 seconds +.
The Sandisk class 10 takes 7 seconds. I also find images come up to view faster, and all processes with the card, e.g. file protection is much faster.

02-23-2010, 12:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
My 16GB Sandisk Extreme III 30mb/sec Class 6 SDHC card is faster than any Transcend Class 10 SDHC card.
Based on what evidence, or research? Or, just your opinion?
02-23-2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
My 16GB Sandisk Extreme III 30mb/sec Class 6 SDHC card is faster than any Transcend Class 10 SDHC card. You get what you pay for.
Isn't that Sandisk a Class 10?
02-23-2010, 01:22 PM - 1 Like   #11
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From recent experience

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
02-23-2010, 01:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
Does NOT Pass:

Transcend 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.

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

Hope this helps

xGene
I noticed that for video the Transcend class 6 went from about 60 seconds max to nearly 3 minutes before choking up with the 1.3 firmware update. While better it still didn't get me the full time usage.
02-23-2010, 02:02 PM   #13
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Interesting. Is yours an SDHC or simple SD? I made my tests only with SDHC as I only use 8GB and 16GB cards. I guess there can be variations between same models (or is it between cameras? Mmm... another can-o-worms..?)
Anyway, my Transcend cards (I have many) now perform per Pentax spec. I am disappointed though about the Kingston cards, Kingston is a high end memory manufacturer, I paid a premium for these cards and they would still not perform per spec. In a future K-7 firmware release perhaps...
02-23-2010, 02:14 PM   #14
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So, from what I read from the posts above, as an owner of the K7, I should:

1. Get the SanDisk SDHC Extreme III 8Gb (30mb/s) -- Class 6
2. Update to Pentax firmware v.1.03

and possibly not bother with the newer Sandisk Extreme 32Gb Class 10?

As an additional note, I use very frequently the K7 "High" continuous shooting of 5.2 fps and I do not use the video feature at all.

Any further suggestions on this particular case?

Thanks.

JP
02-23-2010, 04:28 PM   #15
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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.
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