Compact Flash Card Question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dk_hopper, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. dk_hopper

    dk_hopper TPF Noob!

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    I am planning on purchasing the Canon EOS 30D. Do I need a high speed compact card? I have gotten mixed signals from different sources and am confused. Please Help.....
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes and no. What will you be doing? How high quality will you be shooting?

    If you will be shooting time lapse photos 1 per second in RAW then yes you will need the fastest card you can get. But cameras typically have a high speed buffer to cover burst shots.

    If you shoot in jpeg mode I'm sure you should be able to get 15-25 photos at full speed before the camera drops to the writing speed of the chip. In RAW you may only be able to fire off 8-15, although I'm not sure on these numbers.

    I have a slow cheap card myself and I have never overrun the buffer, not at a sporting event, or shooting timelapse footage (where i take photos in the smallest size anyway).
     
  3. dk_hopper

    dk_hopper TPF Noob!

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    I will primarily be snapping shots of my son and some portrait work later on of him. So it sounds like all I need is a standard compact flash card and not the high speed. Thanks so much! Love to save money where I can.
     
  4. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    sandisk ultra II's are good cards. They aren't the fastest in the business, but they are also priced very affordably. I enjoy faster cards because of the unload speeds onto the computer as well as scrolling through pictures on the LCD, not just for write speeds.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Not quite true.
    A faster card will enable the camera to write faster but buying the fastest card you can get is not necessary. The camera can only write at a certain speed so buying a card that can be written to, way faster than the camera can write, is a sure fire way of wasting money.

    Any card that allows you to shoot at the limit of the camera is fast enough. I'd suggest a Sandisk Ultra II or Exreme III. I believe the speeds of these cards are around 60-80x. This is more than enough. I think Lexar (and no doubt others) sell cards advertising at 133x. This is overkill for the camera you have. I use both the above on my Canon 5D and previously on my 20D with no problems so I'd imagine your 30D will be the same.
    On my 20D, if i set the quality to jpg and 1 level below maximum quality, i could shoot 5fps continuously until the battery died or the card filled - the SanDisk cards mentioned above were fast enough that the camera could write the 5images per second and the buffer never filled up hence the shooting until dead battery or filled card

    Some Lexar cards have a feature called "Write Acceleration" which allows really fast transfers but it only works if the camera can use it. I know that Canons don't, so it's not worth paying for it.

    The quality of the image isn't a factor - the file size is. I know they're directly linked ie higher quality image is a larger file size but don't think that using a slower card will mean poorer quality image.

    And the numbers quoted by for shots in the buffer - check the manual or on the internet. Whatever card allows you to operate at these speeds is sufficient. I'd definitely recommend a known brand, eg Lexar, SanDisk etc.
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    the Extreme IV's from sandisk (I think they are called extremes right?) do 133X I believe.

    I use SD cards in my K10D, and with the 2GB SanDisk Ultra II I can shoot at 3fps until the card fills, so it is plenty fast enough.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True sorry. I haven't been keeping up with the times. I am still assuming the fastest cards on the market were the Ultra IIs which were slower than the write speed of modern cameras ;)
     
  8. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    The limiting factor will be the camera, not the card.

    Any half-way decent card will work just fine.
     
  9. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I have a normal sandisk and a lexar pro that writes at the ungodly high 133x which my rebel xt could never match. The only thing I really like about the lexar is reviewing pics they load pretty much instantly the normal sandisk you had to wait a second. The ultra II is going to be my next purchase.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a few Ultra IIs, a couple of Extreme IIIs, and some regular cards from Sandisk, Kingston etc.

    If you don't plan on extended shooting at high speed, just about any card will do. The camera's buffer is great and will allow you to shoot in bursts when you want to.

    However, when comparing a fast card to a slower one...the slower ones drive me crazy when I'm trying to review them (chimping). The slower cards are slower to bring up the image...maybe only by a second or less...but if you are used to the faster cards...that second seems excruciatingly long.

    I also suggest the Ultra II cards, great speed and great price. Beware of buying them on E-bay etc., there are plenty of fakes going around. Google 'Ultra II fake' to find out how to tell the difference.

    I saw the Ultra II cards for a great price at Costco.
     
  11. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I would just avoid ebay all together but thats just me. Prices on cards these days are getting so cheap i rather pay a little bit more to know its real.

    Watch the sunday ads. I keep seeing great deals circulating around the different stores (staples, circuit city, best buy etc)
     
  12. dk_hopper

    dk_hopper TPF Noob!

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    You guys are awesome.....Thank you so much for the information.
     

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