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Speed test with CF cards
  
 
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #1 · 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.


My test is a 30 sec test. I wrote all the facts here. And there is evidence that a faster card will make the cameras burst mode operation faster when shooting 30 sec. If only shooting two sec it's a different thing. But that's not what I tested.
Already after a very short time 2-3 sec a very slow card will nearly stop and only allow you to shoot 1-2 shots every second. The slowest card gave me less than one shot every sec after the initiall two second burst. Probably about 2 shots every fifth second



May 10, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #2 · Speed test with CF cards


EB-1 wrote:
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.

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



Yes you are right. It only takes 2-3 seconds to fill the buffer. After those 2-3 seconds a slow card will nearly stop the shooting. You will get less than one shot every second after that.



May 10, 2013 at 06:30 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #3 · 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.


That's when using the bodies with one CF and one SD slot. The 1DX have two CF slots. And the same speed with both slots.



May 10, 2013 at 06:33 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #4 · Speed test with CF cards


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



The difference you pointed out is very big. I'm also surprised by that. But you could actually talk about good and bad copies of the cards , just like lenses here. Those cards that I have many copies of will also give me a little bit different result depending on what copy I used.
Most times the larger card will be a little bit faster than the smaller card when shooting with the same kind of cards.
With these two cards and such a large difference. I belive some of it is has to do with the fact that the 32GB card is a older card than the 64GB card. Many brands make some changes in their cards when producing it for a couple of years. See how different the Sandisk Extreme Pro cards are today, compared to when they first where released.

Edited on May 10, 2013 at 07:05 AM · View previous versions



May 10, 2013 at 06:38 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #5 · Speed test with CF cards


gdanmitchell wrote:
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
...Show more

I openly and clearly described what I tested. And still you make a lot of posts complaining that I didn't test something else. If you are interested in 2 second bursts, then YOU should make a 2 second burst test. I'm interested in a 30 second test which I also wrote.
And the different numbers on those two cards have nothing to do with this.

I can't see what the point would be to do a very short burst with all these cards either Let's say I did a very short burst. Then the result would be 20 shots on every card. And it would more likely be a test if I could press the shutter button exactly the same length every time. So I didn't press it 1/100 longer with one card. What interest would this have to people that like to find a fast card. Or people shooting 30 seconds which all this was about?
And the most well known card tester must be Rob Gailbraith. He have done these tests for many years with all bodies. He also shoot those 30 second burst. Not two or five second bursts. But 30 seconds bursts.



May 10, 2013 at 06:45 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #6 · Speed test with CF cards


saneproduction wrote:
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.


Yes a faster card makes the buffer more usable. Because the camera is writing to the card when you are shooting. And a faster card will let the camera write to the card in a much faster speed. So with a very slow card the buffer will be full after 2-3 seconds. But with a very fast card it will maybe take 10-15 seconds until it's full.



May 10, 2013 at 08:45 AM
Stoffer
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p.2 #7 · Speed test with CF cards


Thanks for the test, Lars.

I personally find it more interesting how many raw photos you take before the fps takes a dive and how soon the buffer is cleared again, but each to his own.

I recently tried 1D X with the Lexar x1000 32GB and the combination could take around 50 shots in raw @ 12 fps before the speed was slowed down. Good enough for me.



May 10, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.2 #8 · Speed test with CF cards


Thanks for testing the different CF cards Lars.
I like the 30 seconds test of them. Because that's what I have been reading at Rob Gailbraiths site when he was testing cards for many years. Personally I can't see the point in making a test where you would shoot only few seconds. Then all cards would show nearly the same result !!



May 10, 2013 at 09:18 AM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.2 #9 · Speed test with CF cards


gdanmitchell wrote:
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
...Show more

It's rather obvious that the test is for people that shoot long bursts. Or needs very fast cards. Like sport or bird shooters.
If you don't shoot long bursts or don't need fast cards, the test is not for you. Like a landscape shooter.
So I can't see why you complain so much about it. The test is probably not for the majority of photographers. But the majority of photographers don't buy the super fast 1DX body either.



May 10, 2013 at 09:34 AM
andre03
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p.2 #10 · Speed test with CF cards


Thank you, Lars!


May 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM
 

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KiboOst
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p.2 #11 · Speed test with CF cards


Is there a mode where 1Dx will write, in a burst, img1 to slot1, img2 to slot2, img3 to slot1, img4 to slot2, etc ? With two fast cards this would be lot longer burst, no ?


May 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #12 · Speed test with CF cards


Thanks Lars! It's nice to have some practical yardstick to gauge these newer cards. It would be nice if we had a summary for which CF/SD cards are most appropriate to which camera bodies, from say 1Ds2 on up through 1DX/5D3/T5i models. I gave you a like on your last post, but it applies to the whole thread.

Dan -- I'm surprised you don't "get" the reason for the testing procedure (30 sec) to reduce time variables that would crop up in tabulating exposures in shorter bursts. While the 30 sec does have some application for action shooters, it is being used to quantify test results, not as propaganda encouraging "spray and pray" technique. Once again, you've turned this into a treatise against gear acquisition and individual testing.




May 10, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Gunzorro
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p.2 #13 · Speed test with CF cards


Following up on my comment regarding cards vs. models: I've got a 1Ds3 and 5D2 as my two top MP cameras. Not anything fancy by today's standards. I use Transcend 32GB 400X in both (based on Lars recommendation some while back). They seem fine to me for in-camera and uploading via my USB 3.0 cardreader.

Is there anything to be gained by moving to faster cards for a "methodical" shooter like myself, who doesn't shoot in long bursts? I never fill the cards, and could get by with 16GB in about 95% of my use (8GB about 90% of the time). Is there anything practical to be gained for someone in my position by going to a larger or faster card?

I know this is opening up onto a huge subject, and many of us just bumble along in our ruts of knowledge.



May 10, 2013 at 02:28 PM
twistedlim
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p.2 #14 · Speed test with CF cards


Great tests, thanks for the effort. Sad think is for me I have become lazy and been using the slow sd cards since there is a handy little slot in my macbook. For paid events it will be only CF cards on the 5d3 so this really helps.
I have aways used the sandisk extreme cf cards. Trying others that are supposed to be much faster and always coming back to them. Good to see they are solid on both cameras.



May 10, 2013 at 02:55 PM
stanj
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p.2 #15 · Speed test with CF cards


KiboOst wrote:
Is there a mode where 1Dx will write, in a burst, img1 to slot1, img2 to slot2, img3 to slot1, img4 to slot2, etc ?


No.



May 10, 2013 at 03:28 PM
stanj
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p.2 #16 · Speed test with CF cards


Thanks Lars for all the testing and explaining. I did something similar last July when the 1DX came out and also "didn't do it right"

One thing that deserves a mention is that the faster cards (in my case, Lexar 32GB 1000x) will make the camera shoot forever at 4fps or so. For some uses, 12fps is overkill, but something like 4fps is perfectly fine and you simply never run out of buffer. I understand that some people say that if you keep running out of buffer you don't know what you're doing, and they are entitled to their opinion (and who knows maybe they're even right). But different people have different needs and thus the different tests. So again, thanks for yours

Edit: found my original post.



May 10, 2013 at 03:31 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #17 · Speed test with CF cards


Lars Johnsson wrote:
I openly and clearly described what I tested.


I never wrote otherwise. It seemed to me that some, though not all, who perhaps didn't read your description carefully did not understand though, so I was essentially clarifying what you did - not suggesting that you misled anyone. (Though a superficial reader might mislead him/herself by only looking at the numeric data you list and not thinking through what it does and does not mean.)

And still you make a lot of posts complaining that I didn't test something else. If you are interested in 2 second bursts, then YOU should make a 2 second burst test. I'm interested in a 30 second test which I also wrote.

Again, I simply clarified that this is what you wrote, and I also pointed out that people who share your interest in using cameras in burst mode over very long time periods might well be very interested in the faster cards you extol, while (as you confirm in this follow-up message) those who are using burst mode in more typical short bursts won't seen any speed-up from faster cards.

As to "lots of posts complaining...," a) I didn't "complain" about anything and b) while I have made some posts, the number I have made on this subject is far smaller than that made by various others.

I can't see what the point would be to do a very short burst with all these cards...

Absolutely correct, and it sounds like you pretty much agree with my observation that those who don't shoot extremely long burst sequences probably will see little or no improvement from super-fast and expensive cards compared to cards with a slower rating that nonetheless meet or exceed the specifications for the camera.

I fail to see where the disagreement is. Aren't we both saying the same thing?

Take care,

Dan



May 10, 2013 at 04:12 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #18 · Speed test with CF cards


Sven Jeppesen wrote:
It's rather obvious that the test is for people that shoot long bursts. Or needs very fast cards. Like sport or bird shooters.
If you don't shoot long bursts or don't need fast cards, the test is not for you. Like a landscape shooter.
So I can't see why you complain so much about it. The test is probably not for the majority of photographers. But the majority of photographers don't buy the super fast 1DX body either.


Again, little disagreement here. Though I don't use super-fast cards but I do shoot things besides landscape, so not everyone shooting in burst mode - as I did in these shots - will necessarily find the ability to burst beyond a few seconds to be as compelling as some seem to for these subjects. Again, I'm not disagreeing with the idea that a some relatively small percentage of photographers with special needs might really need to rely on the faster post-filled-buffer speed.

One more small thing. It is odd and a bit confusing that some want to turn what I've written into some sort of anti-fast card rant. Given that I did not write that anywhere in all of this - instead just looking to clarify what the 30 second test tells us and who might/might not find this relevant, it sometimes seems that in some forum "discussions" that trying to offer an alternative perspective in a rational way is mistaken for an attack... ;-)

Dan
































May 10, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #19 · Speed test with CF cards


Dan, I did explain every setting in my original first post. I even wrote what lens, body, tripod, head, shutterspeed, aperture and so on I used in my test.


May 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.2 #20 · Speed test with CF cards


andre03 wrote:
Thank you, Lars!


Thanks for looking Andre

Lars



May 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM
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