CF memory cards for 20D series

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by steve_harrop, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Now that the newer and bigger CF flash cards are out - up to 16gb at present with a limit to 64gb in the future - I was wondering about the capacity of a 20D to handle these cards. Canon do not have a recommendation at present, so I am looking for anecdotal evidence anyone?
     
  2. The 20D will handle any capacity CF card.
     
  3. I've always used the regular speed Sandisk's in 2.0GB size, with no problems. As I recollect, you get around 150~160 raws per. Depends on your shooting style what capacity you need, but that worked well for me, having atleast 2 cards on hand at all times.
     
  4. My 2GB Lexar takes around 216 RAWs (on 20D).
     
  5. woops: 2gb sandisks yield around 250 20d raws (confused with my 5D). There shouldn't be any really diff., 2gig is 2gig.
     
  6. If I had enough benjamins for a 16GB CF burnin' 'o hole in ma pocket, I'd buy a 30D or 400D and a couple 2GB CF cards instead.
     
  7. "The 20D will handle any capacity CF card" Have Canon ever said this? It certainly supports the FAT32 version of the file allocation table, which can theoretically address 8 Terabytes (8000 GB), but whether the camera itself can address all 8 TB which FAT32 theoretically allows I don't know. For example Windows (XP) can only format drives up to 32GB, even though it uses FAT32 and Scandisk can only address 124GB, so software clearly can be a limitation. Fat32 has a 4GB filesize limit, though that's unlikley to be a limitation for digital images for quite some time! I think the 20D will address and format any CF card yet made (up to maybe 16GB), but I suspect there probably is some limit less than the theoretical 8 TB.
     
  8. So far the 20D has no limits as far as I have experienced. I've used an 8GB Cf card with no problems but was scared of the risk of putting all the eggs into one basket. What if you got the 16GB card and filled it up with pictures and then it crashed....You loose 16GB worth of pictures. If you had 8 - 2GB cards and 1 crashes, you only loose 2 GB worth and not all 16. It's safer to stick with 2GB or maybe 4GB cards than a whopping 16GB card.
     
  9. I agree with Delwyn on the use of very large CF cards. I see no advantage in them other than not having to change cards as often. The increase in the risk of losing a lot of pictures due to card failure or loss just wouldn't be worth it to me. Good luck.
     
  10. Yesterday, I almost bought another 2GB Ultra II thinking pretty much the same thing as most of you above. 2GB is big enough for my 20D to be not annoyed with changing memory cards often and Ultra II is definitely fast enough. Then right before purchase, I thought to myself, if I was to upgrade my camera in a year and a half, is 2GB big enough or will I most likely want something bigger and faster? Thinking about future limitations made me not buy the 2GB Ultra II and want get the 4GB Extreme IV. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the 20D can take advantage of the faster transfer speeds possible with the extreme IV.
     
  11. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the 20D can take advantage of the faster transfer speeds possible with the extreme IV.
    OK; you're wrong. ;-) Although it can't reach the theoretical speeds capable by using the Extreme IV, that version is faster on the 20D, as indicated in tests by Rob Galbraith. FWIW, I use an 8 GB Sandisk Ultra II. Based on that, I would fully expect it capable of utilizing a 16 GB CF card.
     
  12. "if I was to upgrade my camera in a year and a half, is 2GB big enough or will I most likely want something bigger and faster? Thinking about future limitations made me not buy the 2GB Ultra II and want get the 4GB Extreme IV" I would think 1). generally (in the absence of sale, ridiculous deal, etc), the price/gig ratio is going to be better for the 2GB than the 4GB; 2). prices drops significantly for memory in time; 3). you're welling to burn some cash by the time you're ready to buy your next camera. Why not buy something sufficient for now, and just get the then-cheaper and possibly faster 4gb when you need that capacity in a year and a half? I don't think buying memory to "stock up" for the future a good idea. However, if you really need the 4gb now, that's a different story...
     
  13. Barbu >> thx for that link David >> Ya, that's something to think about too. In 1.5 years, the 4GB Extreme IV will probably cost just a bit more than the 2GB Ultra II's cost now. Right now, the price is more than double.
     
  14. Costco has the 2GB Ultra II on sale this weekend for $57.99. No rebate hassle but you need a coupon which they hand out on the way in the entrance...
     
  15. > No, they haven't. Because 8TB cards don't exist, they obviously can't say if it would work or not. But I have no problem reaffirming what I already stated. By the time card sizes are so large that the 20D can no longer address them, there will be no 20D's around. And if there are, there would be no reason for anyone to use a card that large in a 20D in the first place.
     
  16. No, they haven't. Because 8TB cards don't exist, they obviously can't say if it would work or not.
    While they cannot definitively say whether or not it can work, they can definitely say whether or not there is an inherent limitation to such a thing due to their design of the product (such as the chips in the camera, etc.). For example, some computers can only accept memory modules up to a certain capacity, even though larger capacities exist, and the manufacturers sometimes indicate whether or not this is the case.
     
  17. M Barbu, Canon's responses from queries of this nature have been decidedly short on real information. It's usually a lot of hand-waving and "the camera hasn't been tested with X." So, even if they know something specific about the limitations of addressing memory size, they're not likely to come out and say it for a hypothetical product like a TB-sized memory card.
     
  18. There is no reason to really get a CF card that writes real fast since the EOS 20D will only write just so fast to the card and that means we are wasting money bying faster cards!
     
  19. I'd imagine there is an address bus limitation of some sort, but where it is I have no idea and Canon don't appear to want to say. 4GB is good. 8GB is good and as far as I know 16GB is good. However I suspect that at some point (32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB?) there is a bit address limit in the 20D firmware. I'm pretty sure the engineers would not have wasted the firmware and hardware resources needed to make it address 8TB of memory! The same applies to all DSLRs, not just the 20D. It's probably pretty safe to say that the 20D will likely address and CF card made in the next 10 years though, and certainly any card that anyone is ever likely to use. The bigger limit of FAT32 is the 4GB file size. Not likely to be a problem for 20D users, but it could be for those shooting video to a CF card. Hi-res video can gobble up enormous amounts of memory so the use of FAT32 might be a problem there.
     
  20. Bob, I imagine the hard-drive based video camera manufacturers have the solution already :)
     
  21. There is no reason to really get a CF card that writes real fast since the EOS 20D will only write just so fast to the card and that means we are wasting money bying faster cards!
    This has already been scientifically disproven, but go on believing your FUD.
     
  22. FWIW, it does not appear that the 20D can support 16 GB -- at least not by formatting it in-camera. This is using the 2.0.3 firmware (most recent as of this post).
     
  23. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    > By the time card sizes are so large that the 20D can no longer address them, there will be no 20D's around. And if there are, there would be no reason for anyone to use a card that large in a 20D in the first place. < . . . > et al < History is wonderful, I cannot resist. For anyone who has read this thread thus far please see: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00LBBQ WW
     
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    This has already been scientifically disproven
    That's not true. The common references to Galbraith's speed tests are irrelevant for most shooting. It's a bit like talking about the transfer characteristics of a car engine - it's meaningless until the system is taken into account.
    Galbraith doesn't bother to do the more relevant testing, the total system throughput, which is what matters to a photographer rather than a technician. The technician's view is that the Galbraith speeds mean something, the photographer's view is that what matters is how one deals with speed in everyday shooting.
    Most cameras buffer far ahead of what the shooter needs. Only professional sports shooters and pjs actually fill the buffer with meaningful photographs. Even when shooting sports professionally, I have only once run up against a camera's buffer limitation.
    The primary value of most purchases of high speed cards is to enrich the memory manufacturers. A lack of realistic information, as opposed to technician's information such as the Galbraith data, has helped the memory manufacturers maintain their profits. I highly recommend buying their stock to those people willing to spend for high speed memory, unless they have an agency deal or are shooting for the papers or some other organization.
     
  25. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    Someone still is reading this thread, WOW. An intersting point articulated and noted, the labrats and the field workers. Mr Spirer, RE: > Most cameras buffer far ahead of what the shooter needs. Only professional sports shooters and pjs actually fill the buffer with meaningful photographs. Even when shooting sports professionally, I have only once run up against a camera's buffer limitation. < Point taken. Noted the use of `meaningful`; however still shooting some sport, (self indulgence and not for profit) myself, [but no more journalism], I cannot help take advantage of the buffer`s limitation, (sometimes). Taken as a given: timing is crucial. On the more relaxed days all the training and experience just sometimes goes out the window and the throttle just goes full bore following the action outside the goal mouth, or down the pool until the buffer is full: Hell I`ll pick and choose later, and as implied, chuck most of them. Sloppy and filled with meaningless images? Yes. I am the first to agree and defend the inference of your post, but hey, one day I might swap my stick shift for an automatic just so my left foot can have a rest. If technology is there it will be used, it does not however intinsically mean a better product. WW
     
  26. I'd like to retract my statement of May 16, 2007; 11:41 PM and offer this update (search for "May 18, 2007; 08:02 a.m.").
    Jeff, I'm not sure I understand your argument with reference to "total system throughput". The times that are recorded in Rob's tests are matched to a specific body. Would you please clarify? With respect to buffering, my 20D can only shoot 6 RAW frames at 5 fps, and then slows down considerably for 3 more shots. When it reaches that 9 total, it slows down even further (I would say completely stops) until it's written at least one frame to card. I don't consider myself a pro, and certainly don't consider the 20D to be a "pro" body, given it's limited buffer size, amongst other limitations.
    If I had a 1D Mark III, I could see not necessarily needing a faster card, because the in-camera buffer is so much larger. However, I would most definitely want a faster card in that instance, because of the sheer volume of data that I would be transferring to my computer.
     
  27. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    The issue is that it's a lot like publishing horsepower specs rather than 0-60, which isn't really meaningful to drivers, but at least takes into account other factors that influence the acutal usage. In the memory card case, the buffer size isn't taken into account. An analogous comparison for cards would be either number of files written in some number of seconds for a certain number of images, in a way that allows for at least one buffer fill/flush/fill cycle, or amount of time to write a certain number of files that exceeds the buffer a few times over. Even then, most people don't shoot this way. It's more of a psychological "need for speed" rather than something that serves any purpose - a five shot RAW buffer meets the needs of 99% of the shooting public, despite being convinced they need the fastest card at a significant premium.
     
  28. I think this is where I'm not getting it what you're saying. Here's Rob's test method for the 20D:

    • The data in the table below was derived by timing how long it took the Canon EOS 20D to write out 20 Large Fine JPEG and 6 RAW .CR2 photos to the CompactFlash card. Timing commenced when the camera's card status light illuminated, and stopped when the light went out. Each test cycle was performed 3 times (if the card's capacity allowed for that) to ensure accurate results. All cards were first secure erased, then formatted in the camera, prior to testing. The same test scene was photographed, under the same illumination, for all tests. The identical camera settings and lens were also used for all tests.
    Isn't he doing what you suggest? He's not just parroting the manufacturer's specs of 9MB/s, 20MB/s, or 40MB/s. He's actually using them in a specific body, and maxing the buffer.
     
  29. I just bought a 12GB Sandisk Extreme III CF and discovered that the 20D can only format it to 8 GB. I found this on Sandisk's website: " Maximum capacity for this device: May support up to 8GB Please check with your device manufacturer for details." Rich
     
  30. Right. The Xti is currently the only Canon to support 16GB, according to Sandisk.
     
  31. Richard & Emre, the built-in format utility does not. However, see my post of "May 18, 2007; 08:14 a.m.", above.
     
  32. Any update on whether the 20d can use the 16GB card once properly formatted?
     
  33. I have a Sandisk 16GB card that I formatted in camera (EOS 20D with 2.0.3 firmware) which created an 7.8GB partition. I then used gparted on linux to resize the partition to fill the whole card (something like 15.2GB) and the card seems to work fine in the camera. The remaining image counter shows 999 even after I shot a number of images. I have not exceeded the 8GB limit yet, nor have I shot enough images for the remaining image counter to go down.
     

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