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Old 04-13-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
John Fladung
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Post Interesting information on memory cards from Canon

I did some searching for a question I had and came across this e-mail posted for people to view. I thought others would find it interesting as well. I'm wondering if this is true for the Canon DSLRs as well?

e-mail:

Thank you for contacting Canon product support. We value you as a
Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you with the speed rating of the PowerShot S3 IS.

Canon does not speed rate digital cameras. The write speed of the
camera is limited by the drive inside the camera. Using a faster rated
card may not perform any faster than a slower rated card. If you use a
card reader capable of reading at the faster speeds, then you may experience faster downloads from the card reader.

The only features on our cameras that can utilize the high speed rated
memory cards are the Continuous Shooting and video recording features.

The exact performance increases are not published. Unless these two feature are of extreme importance to you, you will honestly be wasting your money on a high speed rated memory card. The memory cards that come packaged with our cameras do not have a speed rating.

Your camera will accept both MMC (MultiMedia Cards) and SD (Secure Digital) cards. This includes newer SDHC memory cards that are over 2GB. Utilizing the newer SDHC or High Capacity cards, your camera should be able to accept any size cards available on the market today as well as into the future, up to 2TB. Even though memory cards do not come in capacities as high as a terabyte, the camera is capable of accessing that amount of memory.

Unfortunately, due to the ever-increasing number of companies
manufacturing and selling these cards, we cannot test and evaluate all the different brands, sizes, and speeds of cards available in the
retail market. As such, we are unable to speculate as to the performance of the camera with a particular card installed, or to recommend a specific type of card.

When it comes to memory cards, bigger is not always better. Please
keep in mind that if you choose to purchase a very large card, and that card is subsequently lost, corrupted, or damaged, you will have lost a great deal of memory and many, many images. Extremely high-capacity cards are most often used by professional photographers who shoot several hundred (or even several thousand) images in a single session. They are not
necessarily the best choice for the average digital camera owner. You
may wish to consider investing in several smaller cards. If one of the
cards is lost or damaged, you will have other cards to use. Another
fact to consider is that as larger cards are introduced, the cost of
smaller cards usually decreases. Of course, you may use whatever card you wish; the above information is provided so that you can make an informed decision.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if we
can be of any further assistance with your PowerShot S3 IS.

Thank you for choosing Canon.

Sincerely,

Technical Support Representative
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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It's an interesting response and proves a theory I've had for a while:

Write speeds on cards are pretty much a gimmick.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
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It's an interesting response and proves a theory I've had for a while:

Write speeds on cards are pretty much a gimmick.
For taking pictures with digital cameras, probably, but I also do audio recording, and with devices that write 24bit/96kHz wav files to compact flash drives, it definitely is important to know your card is fast enough. I don't know if the video capabilities of the D90 and other future video-capable DSLRs will have similar requirements, but it's possible.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween View Post
It's an interesting response and proves a theory I've had for a while:

Write speeds on cards are pretty much a gimmick.
Faster write speed is evident with bursts. I get 15 with a 20mb/sec card and 18 with a 30mb/sec on a Nikon D300. That is shots before the buffer is filled.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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Faster write speed is evident with bursts. I get 15 with a 20mb/sec card and 18 with a 30mb/sec on a Nikon D300. That is shots before the buffer is filled.
Still gimmicky, IMO. 15 shots vs. 18 shots for railfanning purposes is a wash, at least the way I'm guessing the majority of folks shoot. Will I ever miss the 'sweet' shot that would have been shot 16, 17, or 18 in a string? Doubtful...
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lock4244 View Post
Faster write speed is evident with bursts. I get 15 with a 20mb/sec card and 18 with a 30mb/sec on a Nikon D300. That is shots before the buffer is filled.
Use a UDMA enabled card once and it will blow your socks off with speed.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween View Post
Still gimmicky, IMO. 15 shots vs. 18 shots for railfanning purposes is a wash, at least the way I'm guessing the majority of folks shoot. Will I ever miss the 'sweet' shot that would have been shot 16, 17, or 18 in a string? Doubtful...

I agree with you in the railfanning stuation. However, you think it is gimmicky? Try a Microsoft Microdrive once! Total slug compared to a fast CF card. You will wonder if the writing light will ever go out.....
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:54 PM   #8
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I think this is the authority on the topic

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/cf-sd.htm
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #9
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I think this is the authority on the topic

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/cf-sd.htm
Are you serious?! For the most part, he is a loon!! IMHO.....
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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Are you serious?! For the most part, he is a loon!! IMHO.....
he is, shall I say, "controversial" on some or many things, but he has actually sat down and run the tests on various cards. I've never heard anyone contesting his opinions on cards.

Now, other things ...

IIRC at one time he actually had an entire card database. I presume that is now gone because it does not matter anymore.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:47 PM   #11
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I am told by various sources that write speeds for cards don't matter so much for DSLRs as they do for point and shoot because of the memory buffers. You would only really notice the speed differences when uploading/transferring the photos to your computer.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
he is, shall I say, "controversial" on some or many things, but he has actually sat down and run the tests on various cards. I've never heard anyone contesting his opinions on cards.

Now, other things ...

IIRC at one time he actually had an entire card database. I presume that is now gone because it does not matter anymore.

Bjorn Rosslett keeps a current one, I'll try to find the link for you guys.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween View Post
Still gimmicky, IMO. 15 shots vs. 18 shots for railfanning purposes is a wash, at least the way I'm guessing the majority of folks shoot. Will I ever miss the 'sweet' shot that would have been shot 16, 17, or 18 in a string? Doubtful...
I didn't say it is of any benefit to the railfan, just that there are instances where it would make a difference... like if you feel the need to see if there is a difference. Fast write time would come in handy if you felt the need to shoot every car on a moving freight.

Only reason I have one 30mb/sec is that the camera store was out of the 20mb/sec that I usually buy and gave me the faster CF at the price of the slower one. I personally don't see the point in paying for for a faster card either.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween View Post
It's an interesting response and proves a theory I've had for a while:

Write speeds on cards are pretty much a gimmick.
Thank you. I thought I was imagining things. The second card I bought was supposed to be much "faster" than the first one I had which was about a year older. I noticed no increase in speed when taking shots. The camera buffer seemed to work at the same speed. As far as with the card reader, I really haven't taken the time to notice if there is a difference between the "slower" card and the faster one.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:19 PM   #15
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Thank you. I thought I was imagining things. The second card I bought was supposed to be much "faster" than the first one I had which was about a year older. I noticed no increase in speed when taking shots. The camera buffer seemed to work at the same speed. As far as with the card reader, I really haven't taken the time to notice if there is a difference between the "slower" card and the faster one.
Once again, if your camera and card are both UDMA enabled, you will see a big difference. If you use a UDMA enabled card with a non-UDMA camera, you will still see your buffer clear faster and download to PC times will be reduced (with the proper card reader that is). That has been my observation........
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:21 AM   #16
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Once again, if your camera and card are both UDMA enabled, you will see a big difference. If you use a UDMA enabled card with a non-UDMA camera, you will still see your buffer clear faster and download to PC times will be reduced (with the proper card reader that is). That has been my observation........
UDMA translation:

Something I'll never need to know or understand in order to take a quality train photo. Ever.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:57 AM   #17
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UDMA translation:

Something I'll never need to know or understand in order to take a quality train photo. Ever.
No but if you have 60 shots in RAW at 25MB a pop, UDMA's down lode about two times faster or more, Time madders?
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:15 PM   #18
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Once again, if your camera and card are both UDMA enabled, you will see a big difference. If you use a UDMA enabled card with a non-UDMA camera, you will still see your buffer clear faster....
Uhhh...what?

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No, but if you have 60 shots in RAW at 25MB a pop, UDMAs download about two times faster or more. Time matters?
Are we talking about downloading to the computer or write times on the camera? I couldn't really care less how long files take to download to my computer from the card. Who's really in THAT big of a hurry? Just go make a sandwich, or browse some forums, or take a dump, or....
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #19
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Uhhh...what?



Are we talking about downloading to the computer or write times on the camera? I couldn't really care less how long files take to download to my computer from the card. Who's really in THAT big of a hurry? Just go make a sandwich, or browse some forums, or take a dump, or....
Get a faster card?

j/k
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:03 PM   #20
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or take a dump, or....
I guess Jim can't multi-task. Nothing like doing a Curves Adjustment layer while sitting atop the porcelain throne!
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:07 PM   #21
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On the Rob Galbraith website, there is an the most exhaustive database available of performance testing to cards with various cameras. There is indeed a difference according to his research, which has also been my personal experience.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

Newer cameras with high data acquisition rates, or that now shoot video will need cards with fast write speeds- I have some 2nd gen professional Leaxar cards purchased in 2004 (1GB for $249, a deal at the time!), that are total dogs in my 40D, compared with my 8GB Sandisk Extreme III cards.

As well, there are a lot of counter fit CF cards out there, which will really give you bad performance. There is a lot info on this at the above mentioned site. This could a possible reason why a supposed good card is not a hot performer.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:53 PM   #22
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On the Rob Galbraith website, there is an the most exhaustive database available of performance testing to cards with various cameras. There is indeed a difference according to his research, which has also been my personal experience.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

Newer cameras with high data acquisition rates, or that now shoot video will need cards with fast write speeds- I have some 2nd gen professional Leaxar cards purchased in 2004 (1GB for $249, a deal at the time!), that are total dogs in my 40D, compared with my 8GB Sandisk Extreme III cards.

As well, there are a lot of counter fit CF cards out there, which will really give you bad performance. There is a lot info on this at the above mentioned site. This could a possible reason why a supposed good card is not a hot performer.
Well put!!
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:58 PM   #23
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UDMA translation:

Something I'll never need to know or understand in order to take a quality train photo. Ever.

This may be true for your individual situation. However, your idea that camera/card write speeds are "gimmicky" is very untrue for the people that can take advantage of the increase in speed.

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Old 04-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #24
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On the Rob Galbraith website,
That's the one I was thinking of, it wasn't Ken Rockwell after all.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
However, your idea that camera/card write speeds are "gimmicky" is very untrue for the people that can take advantage of the increase in speed.
I'm more thinking along the lines of the salesperson taking advantage of the dolt who doesn't know any better. In other words, using the "speed" as a sales gimmick...
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