D300 - Which Compact Flash Card??

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kpataky, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Most of my cards that I own are made by SanDisk. I want to get an 8GB card and
    the new SanDisk Extreme IV is priced around the same as Lexar's Professional
    UDMA 300X CompactFlash 8 GB. I wondered which card people prefer to use with
    their new D300 and whether or not anyone bought either company's FireWire card
    reader to use with either of these cards and what sort of experience you've been
    having with those. Thanks.
  2. I bought the card but and 8GB and a 2 GB Sandisk IV but so far I'm just learning how to use the camera. The real test comes in 9 days when I go to Hawaii. I bought the firewire card reader before I realized that my laptop has the 4 pin variety instead of the 6 pin type. I bought a card for my laptop with the right connectors before I realized that the do not supply power to the reader (as required). Short answer, unless your PC or laptop have a builtin firewire reader I would not buy one. I could plug in an AC adapter to power the reader but I can't find one. I have been using an old USB reader that I already had. I guess I'll hate that when I have to transfer 8 GB worth of pictures when I get back.
  3. Kevin, this is just a FWIW.......

    I have the 8Gb Sandisk Extreme IV for the D300. I thought it would be more efficient for 6 fps action shots. Maybe it is, maybe not. Nikon recommends both the Extreme III and Extreme IV. I am not a memory card expert and I have nothing against Lexar or any other company.

    As for card readers, I have one but never use it. I just got in the habit of downloading directly from my camera into my computer. It really doesn't take that long to me but I know other prefer using a card reader. To each their own.
  4. I use a Lexar 1gb 40x WA card for most of my casual day to day JPG shooting with my D300,
    works great too. For the more serious long day shoots I picked up a couple 4gb Sandisk
    Ultra II CF cards, and they work great too. No need to buy a faster card, I'm not fast enough
    to need it!!
  5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the "speed of the card" really comes into play when you are downloading off of the card. In my case, i don't really care how long it takes to get the data off the cards...

    I spoke with someone at the local Calumet shop and that was her impression too. The camera-buffer will cover your "bursts" enough to compensate for the slower cards in most cases...

    Anyone have better info?
  6. Keith is correct. The D300 buffer will be used until it is full so the card speed is not a factor. (About 18-27 frames if shooting raw, up to 100 if shooting jpeg)

    If you do manage to fill the buffer, a faster card will clear space in the buffer more quickly. If you shoot a long burst, you must also wait for the buffer to clear before removing the card. But in most situations, speed of the card will not impact your shooting.

    I use the Sandisk 8gb Extreme III and it works fine with USB card readers. I notice little difference between my Firewire reader and my USB reader unless I'm downloading lots of small files.
  7. I have a Firewire 800 reader for my MacBook Pro, which has a built-in 800 port (so no
    power supply is needed). It reads very very fast from my 266x 4g card. (NOTE: Even though
    the listed speed of USB 2 is 480, and standard Firewire is listed as 400, Firewire is always
    about 50 to 100% faster, because the transfer mechanism is very different in Firewire, and
    that much faster with Firewire 800.)
  8. Another topic to consider is the image recovery software provided with the card. Does anybody knows what`s the best here? Mine doesn`t work so good.
  9. A couple of key things to focus on here. The "speed of the card" being only important when d/l off the card to the PC and the firewire card readers inability to connect to most laptops due to the laptops 4 pin only connection.<p>
    With SanDisk's cards, the IVs are running about 20% more for that extra speed. So, the question is, "do I need that?" With the Firewire readers, an adapter can be purchased to make their 6 pin connector fit into the 4 pin input that most laptops have - but you will still need to provide external power to that reader (the extra 2 pins missing are the ones that carry the power to the external device).
  10. I am a bit confused regarding the comments about card speed. It is my understanding that
    the faster card speed allows the buffer to clear faster as pointed out by Tom. That is the
    whole point of having a faster card. If you are shooting 6-8 fps (or 9 fps on the D3) you want
    the buffer to clear as fast as possible to maintain the fps rate for as long as possible. If fps is
    not an issue in your style of shooting, then Extreme III or IV it doesn't matter. But if
    maintaining fps is important then get the IV.
  11. I am using the Extreme IV 2 GB cards on my D 300. No problems at all. I am risk adverse so I do not plan to ever use an 8 GB card--why take that risk of losing so many images on one card?

    Rob Galbraith's web site explains all the tecky stuff about these speed/write issues. Joe Smith
  12. lwg


    Douglas is right about the time to clear the buffer. If you take just a few at time there is no reason to buy a fast card besides download times. If you shoot long bursts that fill the buffer, a fast card is very helpful. I have a Kingston 8GB 266X and it is very fast on the D300. The older 40x card and microdrives I have feel very slow in comparison when the buffer gets full.
  13. Douglas - Even with the fastest cards, the frame rate is going to drop once the buffer fills. If fps is an issue, shooting jpeg will probably be more effective than getting a faster card.
    Joseph - Though I couldn't find them, I know the issue of larger cards vs. smaller cards has been discussed in other threads. Advantages of the larger cards include <p>
    1) RAW files are getting large so it's not that many images<br>
    2) Fewer card insertions = less risk of misalignment<br>
    3) Fewer cards to juggle = less risk of loss
    Like Mark Twain said "Put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket!"
  14. I shoot in RAW on my D 300. In round numbers you get 98 raw images per 2 GB card, more if you compress them which is the standard setting, or about 128-138 per 2GB card. I do not know many shooters who want 400-500 images on one card vs 100-125 images each on 4 separate cards. I think is is easier to misplace one small CF card than one larger card holder with foru cards in it, but that is me. If one of my four cards goes bad I still have 75% of my images vs 0% if I had one card that went bad. Joe Smith
  15. I prefer to use a fast 8GB CF card with the D300. The card speed does make a difference with continuous frames.

    Currently there is a very good deal for a Kingston 266x at Adorama and B&H, aftter a $65 rebate:


    Have fun with your camera,
  16. Joe, I understand your logic. That's why I also carry additional cards. But the 8Gb card is very helpful when shooting 6-8 fps because a 2Gb card fills too quickly. If you are shooting action, you can miss a lot while changing cards.

    Obviously if you are photographing more casually and have time to change cards, your system works fine.
  17. hey thanks for the tip on the kingston cards, definitely a competitive price -- i just paid $99 for a 4gb extreme IV CF, with no rebate.

    after reading galbraith's chart and some internet threads, i'm guessing that an extreme III or 133x card will do 6fps on a d300; for 8 fps, an extreme IV or lexar 300x should do the trick. realistically, few folks other than pro sports shooters will need 8fps all the time, so it might make sense to have a few high-capacity 133x cards and one or two 266x or 300x card for those times when you need speed.

    just curious, has anyone used transcend's 150x CF cards on a d200 or d300?
  18. 'just curious, has anyone used transcend's 150x CF cards on a d200 or d300?'
    I have no experience with the 150x, but the 8GB 266x Transcends performed very well on the D300 tracking flying snow geese and sandhill cranes, in my recent trip to Bosque del Apache -- blew the Kingston 133x away! I bought them based on the excellent user reviews.
    Btw, re Lexar cards: I know people who had experienced problems with them. So, be aware. Hwvr, it is possible that the issues have been resolved.
  19. This is the most bizarre thread I've seen in a while. :cool:

    Three thoughts:

    First off, with a D300, the BUFFER will allow you to do 6fps. The card won't really slow your capture rate at all. With smaller cards, you'll probably fill the card before you exhaust the 100 shot JPG buffer anyway.

    Second, the "faster" cards will help you download faster to a PC. If you have enough cards, you won't do that until you finish and go home anyway. So I'm not sure many people will mind a few extra minutes. I guess one risk is that you'll fill the buffer, want to swap in a new card, and have to wait for the camera to write to the card. I haven't seen anyone post data on how often this happens. Anyone? Anyone?

    Finally (said with big grin) - If you need to shoot 8 FPS for more than 100 shots, you should probably just go buy an HD Camcorder and capture frames on your PC :cool:
  20. I shoot 500 frames easily in one football game - 3 games in one day can provide upwards of 1500-2000 images. The 4 GB card was ok for 1 game with my D200, but the D300 eats up more space. I want to get three 8s so I can continue to keep all the images from 1 game on a single card.

    As far as speed, many professionals need to upload to their client during a game or immediately following, so speed of removal from the card is essential.
  21. 'the BUFFER will allow you to do 6fps. The card won't really slow your capture rate at all.'
    However, if the card's speed is slow, it takes longer for the data in the camera buffer to write to the card. This difference can be significant in action photography shooting in RAW.
    'I guess one risk is that you'll fill the buffer, want to swap in a new card, and have to wait for the camera to write to the card. I haven't seen anyone post data on how often this happens. Anyone? Anyone?
    Oh yea, it happens quite often. What do you shoot by the way?
    'Finally (said with big grin) - If you need to shoot 8 FPS for more than 100 shots, you should probably just go buy an HD Camcorder and capture frames on your PC'
    Nah, I think people who use the D300 want to shoot high resolution RAW. I gather you probably don't need a D300.
    Have fun with your equipment -- whatever that may be, ;))))

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