Does a faster CF card speed up chimping with the 20D?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by steve_dunn|2, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. I'm about to get a 20D (my first DSLR). I've read lots of threads about CF card speed. Most essentially say that if you don't shoot big bursts (i.e. enough to fill the buffer), any speed CF card will be fine. I don't shoot big bursts with my film body, and I don't expect to shoot big bursts with my 20D, so this is irrelevant to me. I also don't mind if it takes a few seconds longer for the camera to finish writing to the card, or if it takes a few seconds longer to download the images to my PC (I'm accustomed to scanning in slides/negs, and even the world's slowest CF card will be waaaaaaaaay faster than scanning).
    But I've also seen a handful of comments that a faster CF card speeds up the viewing of images on the LCD. Should I be concerned about this?
     
  2. Faster cards do speed up viewing images on the CD.

    Should you be concerned about it? Probably not.
     
  3. This page may help

    http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digital/compact_flash_memory_cards.html
     
  4. hey Steve

    now I can actually speak out of experience (Rebel XT) - Sandisk Extreme (I have the 256) vs plain Sandisk (again 256) speed difference is completely irrelevant with my shooting style (similar to yours probably) using the XT. You are likely to notice the difference in viewing and downloading images however - I do. In the 256MB-1GB range the price difference is small enough to justify purchasing the Extreme (Henry's - Toronto has got some seriously low prices - I did not look into online options). If you want a 2GB card however (which is my intention, two of them for holiday shooting convenience), the difference is still significant. I fully expect the prices on plain Sandisk 2GB cards to come down towards mid-summer. Unfortunately, I am going to need one for July...Cheers.
     
  5. Thanks, folks. I'd read Bob's page before and it says there's a difference in reviewing speed but doesn't suggest whether this is a major difference or not.
    Bob, thanks for your "probably not." That's kinda what I figured but it's good to hear it from someone who has plenty of experience. I guess I'll start with a lower-speed card and see how it goes. I'll need a couple of gigs, at least, for a holiday this summer and I was planning on getting two cards by then anyway ...
    A., thanks for the suggestion. I'd had a quick look at Henry's online prices for CF cards earlier and they were as high as I'd expected they'd be. Their cheapest 1 GB card is about $150; I've found name-brand cards elsewhere for $100 and 40x cards for under $150. I'll keep an eye out for sale prices at a whole bunch of places.
     
  6. Steve, I would try to find out about the extreme low-temperature functionality of any no-name card before buying; think December-March, and -20C weather in toronto. And perhaps, look into the spare battery prices while you are at it? I know I am going to need one (day hikes at Algonquin in Winter....brrrr.)
     
  7. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not looking at any no-name cards; the $100 1 GB card I mentioned is a Lexar 4x, and the price for a SanDisk is about $110. As for cold weather, that's not a priority for me.
     
  8. yy

    yy

    I've recently asked Sandisk directly about the operating temperature of their UltraII 1GB CF card. Their answer? Minus 13?F to 185?F -- exactly the same as the Extreme III specs. Thus, the temperature rating stated on the Extreme cards is just a marketing hype, since it's exactly the same as on the Ultra II line. The only difference, it seems, is the speed.

    Yuri
     
  9. Now, the part I don't get... the price difference between the 80x and the 40x cards is about ten bucks. If it were twenty or thirty I could understand, but ten is within my "heck, why not" threshold. Granted yours may be lower than mine. :)
     
  10. the $100 1 GB card I mentioned is a Lexar 4x, and the price for a SanDisk is about $110​
    I picked up my SanDisk 80x 2GB card for under $200. B&H has them for $195. I just tried an experiment with my 20D and two cards. First was the above-mentioned SanDisk. Second was a several-years-old Viking 128MB card, which is probably a 1x, if I had to guess. Write time for the 128 was at least 10x that of the SanDisk. I was surprised to see, though, that the time it took to view a photo was nearly identical. I wonder if the 20D is loading a buffer or some such thing.
     
  11. Lance, sorry if I confused you; since A. mentioned a camera store here in Toronto (Canada), the prices I'm listing are Canadian. CAD100 is about USD83 at current exchange rates, and B&H currently lists that particular card at USD80. It's actually surprising that the prices are that close; the difference between Canadian and American prices for almost anything photo-related are usually farther apart than can be accounted for by the exchange rate alone.
    Thanks for your observation about how little, if any, performance difference there is for chimping. As for write times, the 20D has to write between 0.6 MB and 12.3 MB (typical values, according to Canon's specs), from small/normal JPEG to RAW plus large/fine JPEG, so a 1x card (150 kBps) should take 4-82 seconds (yikes! almost a minute and a half!) to write out an image. 4x (600 kBps): 1-20s; 40x (which, according to Galbraith's database, is about the fastest the 20D can actually write; 6 MBps), 0.1-2s. Those are theoretical values, assuming that the communication between the camera and the card is running at full efficiency; in reality, Galbraith's database shows that some cards in the 20D run as slowly as half their rated speed.
     
  12. You're welcome, Steve. I wasn't reading closely enough to see where Toronto was mentioned, or it didn't click or something.

    I bought the 80x because it was what the shop had in stock when I bought the 20D. I've been absolutely amazed at the write speeds. My only comparison was with a 5-year old 2MP Olympus and SmartMedia cards, but damn. The camera is usually done writing the image by the time I look down to view it.
     
  13. I recently bought a SanDisk Ultra II 1.0GB at Costco for $70. I can't tell any diff in my 10D
    but it certainly is much faster than my old cards (SanDisk standard) uploading to my Mac
    via Firewire reader.
     
  14. I wouldn't worry to much. After all, I have not heard of one case where high speed chimping caused whiplash.
     

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