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4 vs 10 Speed Memory Cards for Photos Only

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by tjdean01, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I have some 2s, 4s, and some 10s (the speed rating, whatever MB/S it correlates to). I also have some 2, 4, 8, and 16 GBs.

    1) Do the smaller GB work faster because of less access time?

    2) Does the speed really matter on 16MP JPEGS that I'm taking?

    3) When does the speed really start to become noticable?

    The reason I ask is because I actually prefer older 2GB cards because my computer can only read up to 2GB without the USB adapter. But I'm debating if I should buy some older 2GB used (you can't find them in stores) or if I should get some newer cards. I've never had a speed problem before, well, I've never noticed but I've never really looked for it either. I only take one shot at a time and usually zoom it to look at it after.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    * Memory cards are not like hard drives that have a time associated with seeking to a sector.... What is the biggest concern when it comes to memory cards is write speed.

    #2 and #3 depends on the write speed of the camera itself. I see no reason you shoudn't use the cards you already have. If you find that the camera can't keep up with you as you shoot frames, ten its time to revisit the concern.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    No, though on some systems smaller cards mount faster due to formatting differences and the size and complexity of the directory structure found on larger cards. Once mounted, there is no directly size related speed differences.

    Yes and no. It makes no significant difference when taking a single picture except that the abiliity to access a preview (aka Chimping) can be very slightly delayed on a slower card. This is usually only seen when shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG as it takes a little time to move your finger to the Preview button.

    It can make a significant difference when shooting a burst of several pictures, though you are less likely to encounter it with JPEGs than with RAW or RAW+JPEG. On my "antique" Pany G-1 a Class 4 card will allow a burst of only 4 shots before there is a slow down when shooting RAW. A Class 10 card will allow a longer burst before the writing to the card slows down the shooting rate. Cameras with larger buffers will shoot more pix before they "hit the wall", but will eventually become limited by the card's write speed.
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010

    I tested 8GB Class 4 and Class 10 cards in my GX7s and the Class 10 cards were much faster. I don't remember the actual numbers, but I think the camera was able to save a JPG + RAW maybe twice as fast with the Class 10 cards. That said, you should test with your camera as some older cameras (like my former G1s) cannot take advantage of the faster cards.

    A quick eBay search yielded a number of sellers with 2GB Class 10 cards at around $5. Most seemed to be in China, but if you haven't bought from China I can tell you that it is no problem. The only thing to watch is to make sure they are shipping via "ePacket" which gets you a tracking number and about a week and a half transit to the US. The cheaper alternative, plain air mail, is about three weeks.
  6. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    The class numbers of cards are a very poor guide to their speed. Much better to go by the read and write times, which are given in MB/sec (megabytes per second). On some cards a single speed is quoted, which is probably the faster of the two (usually the read time) so if in doubt check the manufacturer's website for the full spec.
  7. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    All my 2 GB card class 4 cards are much slower than any of my 16 or 8 GB class 4’s. The 16's are almost 4x faster when transferring files.
  8. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    I went from a 32 mbs card in my EP5 to the 80 mbs cards (both SanDisc) and I "feel" the camera flushes the buffer quicker and it actually seems to make a difference in video (less artifacts, I know this makes no sense at all but that is what it seems).
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