Needing a way to test the speed of memory cards, Jaroslav of Crazy Lab realized that camera shutter sounds can do the trick. By recording the sound of his Canon 600D snapping away in continuous burst mode and then viewing them audio file, he was able to visualize the card’s speed and compare them against each other. He also learned some things about burst speed and ISO/format:
As you can see, the burst length is getting shorter with rising ISO. The time camera needs to write the buffer to the card is also significantly grown. The reason is the noise. On higher ISO settings we getting more noise in picture and noisy pictures are not good for compression. The RAW-File size (black picture shouted with closed lens cap) varies from 19MB @ ISO100 to 32MB @ ISO12800.
Also interesting is the comparsion of burst speed shooting in RAW versus JPEG. While the burst length with JPEG files is virtually infinite (with fast sd-card), the burst speed is slightly lower.
You don’t need anything fancy to do this experiement: Jaroslav used a webcam mic and the free audio program Audacity.
Nikon D4 owners looking to speed up their transfer rates may take well to the news that Sony has just announced its new S-Series XQD cards — although their wallets probably won’t react in kind. The new cards, which will be available in Japan on July 11th, can hit transfer speeds of up to 168MB/s, and will come in both 32 and 64 gigabyte sizes. Read more…
Here’s a great little-known tip coming at you via photographer Dan Carr that has the potential to make using Lightroom just that much easier. If you didn’t already know — and it seems most people didn’t — assuming you have enough card readers, you can actually import multiple memory cards into Lightroom all at once.
Many amateurs and most enthusiasts never shoot more than one card at a time, but professionals often fill up several over the course of a photo shoot. For them, this tip should help get the process of importing all of those cards into Lightroom closer to that ideal “set it and forget it” scenario.
Samsung has released a new line of SD and microSD memory cards that focus not only on speed and durability but appearance as well. They come with a brushed metal look in silver or black, and are able pretty dang tough as well:
In order to ensure their reliability, Samsung has designed both lines of memory products to be waterproof, shockproof, and magnet proof, allowing them to withstand some of the harshest conditions. All models are guaranteed to survive up to 24 hours in water, withstand the force of a 1.6 ton vehicle (3,200 lbs), and resist up to 10,000 gauss (slightly less than the power of a medical imaging magnet).
Prices range from $10 to $90 for 2GB to 32GB cards.
Perhaps lost amidst the excitement over new cameras at CES 2012 earlier this month was the SD Association’s unveiling of a new Wi-Fi data transfer standard. This new specification should make it easier for other memory card manufacturers to jump into the Wi-Fi-capable memory card game — an arena currently dominated by Eye-Fi (and more recently Toshiba).
Eye-Fi is, predictably, not happy with this latest development. The company is itself part of the SD Association, but has chosen not to back the standard. In a blog post published last week, CEO Yuval Koren argues that any company implementing the new standard would violate Eye-Fi’s patents for technology that took “tens of millions of dollars and several years” to create.
At the end of last year a new format called XQD was unveiled as the eventual replacement for CompactFlash. About a month later at CES 2012, Sony announced the first XQD cards. If you’re not sold on the new format, here’s some good news for you: Lexar and SanDisk have both announced that they have no plans to release XQD cards in the near future and that they’re both committed to the CompactFlash format (a bit strange though, given that SanDisk was one of the companies that announced XQD in November 2010). Lexar’s actions certainly back up its words: at CES it unveiled its largest (256GB) and fastest (1000x) CompactFlash cards ever.
Well, well, well, look who’s first to the XQD game. It’s not Sandisk or Lexar, but Sony. On the same day Nikon announced its new D4 with XQD compatibility, Sony has announced the first line of XQD memory cards (intended to eventually replace CF cards). They offer 125MB/s transfer speeds, and can quickly store up to 100 RAW images in continuous shooting mode. A 16GB card will cost $129, while a 32GB one will be priced at $229. They’ll hit store shelves sometime in February.
In other news, Lexar has announced new 1000x CompactFlash cards, which can read at 150MB/s. A 128GB one is priced at a staggering $900. They’ve also announced the industry’s first 256GB card, which has read speeds of 60MB/s.
Wanting a cheap and compact way to carry, protect, and manage his SD cards, Instructables member FrankenPaper discovered that the plastic cases that come with Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks are the perfect size for holding 2 cards. To keep the cards from jostling around and to track whether they’re full or empty, he created an insert that you can print, cut, and fold yourself (download the PDF here).
Update: The deal prices seem to be fluctuating. They might not be what our screenshot shows.
In the market for memory cards? B&H is currently offering SanDisk Compact Flash cards at crazy prices. They’re listing Extreme Pro cards at less than 50% of the price offered at other retailers. For example, a 16GB Extreme Pro card currently costs $60 (with free shipping in the US) from B&H but $130+ at most other places.
Instead of labeling their memory cards in MB/s, some manufacturers choose to use “Times” ratings (e.g. 8x, 12x, 20x, etc…). While it’s pretty clear that a higher number indicates faster speed, what exactly is the number a multiple of? Read more…