Memory Cards – Professional or Standard

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    Looking at different memory cards today. I see two sticks that will do, but trying to understand the reason for the price difference:

    Dane-Elec 4GB SD High Capacity (SDHC) Card – $29.00
    Dane-Elec 4GB Professional High Speed 133x SD Memory Card – $89.99

    Over $61 price difference. Is the professional speed card that much faster and would it be worth it for someone taking pictures at weddings, etc?


    I have found that on my Canon XTI and 30D the speed difference is very noticeable if you ever shoot more than 2 or 3 shots a second. I’ve found that it just bogs down after a handful of shots if you’re using a slow memory card.

    One other thing is that I would recommend that you consider the big name (SanDisk, Kingston, Lexar, ect.) manufacturers if you’re going to be doing this even semi-professionally because I have read many stories of people loosing pictures on the discount brand cards.*

    *Of course, any card can fail, I just haven’t heard that many stories of the big name brands failing. …should I get out more?


    since i don’t shoot weddings take this with a grain of salt. the “high speed” cards write to the card faster thereby allowing for shots being grouped closer in real time. think continuous mode. from what i’ve read (and my personal DSLR) the continuous mode has a pretty big buffer. mine is 9 shots. so if one is shooting weddings how often do you need to shot that many that close together.

    if you’d said you were doing fast action sports shooting … well there you might need the faster write speed. YMMV

    and just FWIW i’m using slow speed CF cards and can get three frames a second for that 9 frame total. shot 9, pause slightly to partially empty the buffer and shot some more.


    The write speed of the card doesn’t matter all that much. I’ve done tests with faster and slower cards and the major limiting factor is the camera’s ability to shove data on to the card, not the write speed of the card. I think I tested my 30D at about 9 MB/sec.

    The only real benefit of a faster card is that you get pictures off the card and onto your computer faster.


    Is the professional speed card that much faster and would it be worth it for someone taking pictures at weddings, etc?


    One other thing is that I would recommend that you consider the big name (SanDisk, Kingston, Lexar)


    /My $0.02


    I’m with FutherMucker. I don’t have any “high speed” cards, but then I don’t tend to shoot fast subjects on continuous mode to the point where I’m really running up against my buffer or anything. But all the cards I have are good brands (SanDisk and Kingston here), because I’ve just heard too many horror stories about off-brands.

    But one thing I do want to point out is that you mention SD cards, but the Canon DSLR’s take CF cards. If you’re still planning to get a 40D, be sure you get CF, not SD cards–there’s a big difference!


    One thing I noticed on my Pentax K100D is that smaller, faster cards let it power up or come out of sleep faster.
    I have an 8GB SDHC card that is kind of slow, and it take my camera about a second to wake up, but with my SanDisk Ultra II 2GB SD cards my camera wakes up significantly faster. I hardly ever use bursts or take a ton of pictures really quickly, but I still would recommend a faster card to anyone who uses a Pentax camera.

    Phil Askey‘s testing doesn’t show much difference between the timings for the different cards, but he is using some faster cards there, so a slower card might be different.

    Other brands might be different, such as letting you have a shot in the buffer before the card is fully read when you turn it on.


    I picked up a 2gb 133x SD card in Hong Kong for $15, and the difference is quite noticeable on my Nikon D50… photo reviews, continuous shooting, deleting/formatting… it’s all much faster. The ‘photo review’ speed difference is VERY noticeable.

    If you can get a great deal, go high speed.


    Thanks for all the opinions folks. As someone mentioned above I will be wanting the CF cards for the Canon EOS 40D. Other than that, for the shots she’ll be taking, it sounds like the standard speed will be fast enough. Well, unless a fight breaks out at the wedding… :mrgreen:


    What about something like this:

    (I get all of my cards from newegg, SD, SDHC, XD, MemoryStick, CF, …)


    That’s a good price. Thanks for the link.

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