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Archive 2013 · Speed test with CF cards
  
 
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #1 · Speed test with CF cards


I did a test with my 1DX body. Every setting exactly like the older test with my 1D4. And the same 30 second burst. Some surprising results compared to the other body.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1202766/0#11465667
ISO 100
1/4000 sec
f/5,6
lens EF 24L
Gitzo tripod RRS head

Camera 1DX


Lexar 128 GB UDMA 7 1000x ------------160 shots in a 30 sec burst
Transcend 64 GB UDMA 7 1000x---------156
Transcend 64 GB UDMA 7 600x ----------155
Transcend 128 GB UDMA 7 1000x ------142
Lexar 128 GB UDMA 7 400x ---------------130
Sandisk 32 GB Extreme Pro ---------------124
Transcend 64 GB UDMA 7 400x -----------123
Transcend 32 GB UDMA 7 400x ----------103
Transcend 64 GB UDMA 6 400x ------------93
Duracell Pro Photo 32 GB 600x ------------86
Sandisk Extreme III 16 GB -------------------85
A-Data 32 GB 533x ------- -----------------66
Ridata Pro 8 GB 150x ----- -----------------59
Transcend 32 GB 133x ----------------------58
Trandscend 16 GB 133x --------------------58
Transcend 8 GB 120x ------------------------56
Kingston Ultimate 4GB 100x --------------46



Camera 1D4

Transcend 128GB UDMA 7 1000x----- 143 shots in a 30 sec burst
Transcend 64GB UDMA 7 600x------ 133
Lexar 128GB UDMA 7 400x ---------- 118
Transcend 64GB UDMA 7 400x ---- 113
Sandisk 32GB Extreme Pro --------- 113
Transcend 32GB UDMA 7 400x----- 112
Transcend 64GB UDMA 6 400x ------ 82
Duracell Pro photo 32GB 600x -----79
Sandisk Extreme III 16GB--------- 75
A-Data 32 GB 533x ----------------- 60
Transcend 32GB 133x ------------ 52
Transcend 16GB 133x------------- 46

Edited on May 20, 2013 at 07:21 AM · View previous versions



May 08, 2013 at 03:50 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · Speed test with CF cards


Thanks Lars.

You don't seem to gain much between 600x and 1000x for the Transcend 64GB. OTOH, they perform pretty good compared to the Transcend 128GB 1000x.



May 08, 2013 at 04:27 PM
scalesusa
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p.1 #3 · Speed test with CF cards


The difference between the slowest10 X and fastest 1000X in a 1D X is 3.5 times more images before the buffer fills.

I guess that makes sense, but its not intuitive.



May 08, 2013 at 05:21 PM
EyeBrock
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p.1 #4 · Speed test with CF cards


Where my Transcend's lost out on speed to the Lexar is on download to my laptop. USB 3 card reader with the Lexar 1000x card just flies.

Interesting specs though Lars!



May 09, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #5 · Speed test with CF cards


jcolwell wrote:
Thanks Lars.

You don't seem to gain much between 600x and 1000x for the Transcend 64GB. OTOH, they perform pretty good compared to the Transcend 128GB 1000x.


Thanks Jim, no I don't gain that much going to 1000x from 600x cards. But at least in Europe the price is the same for those cards



May 09, 2013 at 06:00 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #6 · Speed test with CF cards


scalesusa wrote:
The difference between the slowest10 X and fastest 1000X in a 1D X is 3.5 times more images before the buffer fills.

I guess that makes sense, but its not intuitive.


Hi Ed, to be honest I don't understand your post (maybe my bad English) The buffer got full in this test with every card. And before the buffer fills every card has the same speed. The big difference is when the buffer is full and the camera start to write those pics on the cards. Then the difference is huge between the fast and slow cards.



May 09, 2013 at 06:04 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #7 · Speed test with CF cards


EyeBrock wrote:
Where my Transcend's lost out on speed to the Lexar is on download to my laptop. USB 3 card reader with the Lexar 1000x card just flies.

Interesting specs though Lars!


Hi, I don't know what Transcend card you have. But the difference when downloading with a USB 3 reader between the Transcend 1000x and Lexar 1000x is so small that I don't even notice it.



May 09, 2013 at 06:07 AM
Tim Kuhn
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p.1 #8 · Speed test with CF cards


Thank you Lars, this is wonderful information

Tim



May 10, 2013 at 12:39 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #9 · Speed test with CF cards


What if one shoots a more typical shorter burst? I can imagine some outlier situations where one might burst for that long, but most burst shooting is for much shorter intervals.

And would I be correct in guessing that the difference is not in the maximum burst rate before the buffer fills but rather in how the camera behaves once it is initially saturated?



May 10, 2013 at 01:42 AM
stanj
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p.1 #10 · Speed test with CF cards


gdanmitchell wrote:
And would I be correct in guessing that the difference is not in the maximum burst rate before the buffer fills but rather in how the camera behaves once it is initially saturated?


Correct.



May 10, 2013 at 02:29 AM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #11 · Speed test with CF cards


stanj wrote:
Correct.


So, again, there is no evidence that a faster card makes the camera's burst mode operation any faster, though in the event that you go way past filling the buffer your speed may be reduced less at that point with a faster card and this camera...

Those who have a very fast and capable camera and regularly exceed buffer capacity by significant amounts might be interested in the faster cards.

Others will not be.



May 10, 2013 at 02:41 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #12 · Speed test with CF cards


gdanmitchell wrote:
So, again, there is no evidence that a faster card makes the camera's burst mode operation any faster, though in the event that you go way past filling the buffer your speed may be reduced less at that point with a faster card and this camera...


Well of course not. In that case the data is buffered in the RAM. However, the max burst length may increase since files are being written as the buffer files, albeit normally at a slower rate.

Those who have a very fast and capable camera and regularly exceed buffer capacity by significant amounts might be interested in the faster cards.

Others will not be.


If you shoot more than 2-3 seconds continuously in RAW mode the buffer on most cameras will fill. Of course different users have different needs, but I've never had a card that was too fast.

EBH



May 10, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Cicopo
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p.1 #13 · Speed test with CF cards


Thanks Lars. Have you tried a similar test using both card slots? Based on my less than scientific real world use it has a big influence on when the camera will take the next shot.


May 10, 2013 at 03:28 AM
stanj
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p.1 #14 · Speed test with CF cards


Cicopo wrote:
Thanks Lars. Have you tried a similar test using both card slots? Based on my less than scientific real world use it has a big influence on when the camera will take the next shot.


I have tried it myself in both 1DX slots, with no difference between the slots. On the 1D4 of course you'll see a huge difference as one of the slots is crippled by being an SD slot.



May 10, 2013 at 03:36 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #15 · Speed test with CF cards


gdanmitchell wrote:
So, again, there is no evidence that a faster card makes the camera's burst mode operation any faster, though in the event that you go way past filling the buffer your speed may be reduced less at that point with a faster card and this camera...

Those who have a very fast and capable camera and regularly exceed buffer capacity by significant amounts might be interested in the faster cards.

Others will not be.


On the 5DIII in raw only, the buffer is much more usable with the Lexar 32 1000X than it is with my old Sandisk Extreme 16. The buffer is bigger on the 1DX for sure, so 5DIII may be a special case.



May 10, 2013 at 03:46 AM
OntheRez
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p.1 #16 · Speed test with CF cards


One thing I've never understood is why does a card of higher denomination (say 128GB) have a higher burst rate than a smaller card (say 64GB) even though the cards are the same specification and speed?
Example from Lars data:

Transcend 64 GB UDMA 7 400x -----------123
Transcend 32 GB UDMA 7 400x ----------89

I don't understand how the capacity of the card can make such a difference in thru put. Certainly neither card approaches full on the test.

Anyone have insight on this?

Robert




May 10, 2013 at 03:52 AM
saneproduction
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p.1 #17 · Speed test with CF cards


It probably has to do with how the larger cards write to blocks on the flash media. You see this same thing with SSDs.


May 10, 2013 at 04:01 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · Speed test with CF cards


You may have uncovered the problem with failing to understand what Lars' test does and does not tell us.

It does not actually test what people (and camera companies) usually refer to as burst rate. In that context, "burst rate" refers to the number of images that the camera can capture per second before the buffer fills. What his test tells us is not that single thing. It is a sort of combination of a couple of things and a special case.

When you shoot in burst mode and shoot so many frames that the camera's memory buffer fills, the camera has to slow down and may now be limited in its speed by several other factors including the camera's write speed and the speed of the card.

I don't have actual numbers to quote, so I'll make some up that are useful for explaining the concept - think of them as illustrative rather than accurate specifications.

Let's say that the camera manufacturer quotes specs that describe a 8fps burst rate for up to 16 frames in some specific conditions - e.g. jpg or raw. If you press the shutter and hold it down, the camera can then record 16 frames in two seconds. This 8fps speed is pretty much (though perhaps not quite totally?) independent of card write speed. (Some other factors can make small differences in the actual burst rate, but I'll leave them out of this.)

What happens if you continue to hold down the shutter button in burst mode, past the point where the specified maximum number of frames has been captured at the 8fps rate? At this point the typical camera can no longer maintain that 8fps burst rate. It will continue to "burst," but often at a much slower speed that depends quite a bit on the camera's ability to write quickly to a card, which is a function of its own internal write speed and, if that is very fast, potentially of the card as well.

So the "30 second test" lumps together the very fast initial burst rate - which is not particularly affected by card write speed - and the post full buffer slower speed, which can be affected by factors including card speed.

If you are among the very small percentage of photographers who regularly continue to shoot in burst mode well beyond the buffer capacity of your camera, you might be interested in how many images the camera can capture in total during a long period of time. If that describes you, then I'll bet that the faster card - if you have a very fast camera, too - might be worth the extra cost.

If you are among the majority of photographers who don't shoot that way - e.g. don't generally "spray and pray" in 30 second "bursts" - then the value of the more expensive and faster cards may well be limited or even inconsequential - and the normal burst rate is going to be what it is as long as your card meets camera specs.

In the interest of clarity, I hope that helps.

Dan

OntheRez wrote:
One thing I've never understood is why does a card of higher denomination (say 128GB) have a higher burst rate than a smaller card (say 64GB) even though the cards are the same specification and speed?
Example from Lars data:

Transcend 64 GB UDMA 7 400x -----------123
Transcend 32 GB UDMA 7 400x ----------89

I don't understand how the capacity of the card can make such a difference in thru put. Certainly neither card approaches full on the test.

Anyone have insight on this?

Robert





May 10, 2013 at 05:04 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #19 · Speed test with CF cards


gdanmitchell wrote:
What if one shoots a more typical shorter burst? I can imagine some outlier situations where one might burst for that long, but most burst shooting is for much shorter intervals.

And would I be correct in guessing that the difference is not in the maximum burst rate before the buffer fills but rather in how the camera behaves once it is initially saturated?


In a short burst (15-20 pics), all theses cards would have about the same number. It would of course take longer time for the camera to write those pics to a slower card



May 10, 2013 at 06:15 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #20 · Speed test with CF cards


Tim Kuhn wrote:
Thank you Lars, this is wonderful information

Tim


Thanks Tim

Lars



May 10, 2013 at 06:16 AM
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