Choosing an SD card

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Josh_LSTV, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Josh_LSTV

    Josh_LSTV Mu-43 Rookie

    May 30, 2012
    I've just purchased an E-PL1 body, and a Panasonic 14-45mm lens which should arrive next week, but the only SD cards I have are all class 4. I'm looking to shoot a fair amount of video with this camera, and have been told I should get a class 10 SD card for that purpose. I'm looking at the San Disk Extreme 16 GB card. Is this a good card, or are there any better options for the same price or possibly less?
  2. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Hi Josh,

    I would be happy with SanDisk class 10. No worries

  3. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    Any known brand class 10 will do. I've had good luck with Transcend cards which are very affordable.

    I have the card you mention Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s, but it's way faster than regular class 10, but it's also way beyond the speed you need. Prices always come down, so I would't buy that now.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Sandisk Extreme Class 10 cards are excellent. My favorite of all. :) Sandisk build quality is great. Their cards are the most durable I've used.
  5. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Lynne Ezzell
    Very timely question for me. I am using a pny 8 gb 10. It is SLOW to write. I find it very frustrating since the veiwfinder freezes with each shot till the image is written ( if anyone knows of a way to correct that please let me know) I am assuming it is due to slow writing to the card. Since I am use to using DSLRs aim not used to actually seeing writing lag.
  6. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2012
    The manual for my PM1 recommends Class 6 cards for video, so Class 10 is almost certainly overkill for video on a PL1. Anything over class 6 is only going to improve your shot to shot time in burst mode.
    Your Class 4 cards may already be fast enough - the class rating refers to a minimum speed, all card of the same class rating are not created equal, some go faster than others. Try some (free) card speed benchmarking software like Atto or Crystalmark.
    I'm 99.9% certain your PL1 doesn't support the new UHS-1 spec, so it would treat a UHS-1 card as a class 10 card.
  7. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    The best and most dependable cards I've used are Sandisk Extremes, either 30MB or 45MB/s. You can buy either card with a 32GB capacity for under $40 US.

    I've never lost data, never had a failure and never had a problem with either of either of these cards, both in CF or SCHC.

    You can buy cheaper cards and save $10 or so, but it's just not worth it as far as I'm concerned. Spend a few extra dollars and buy a quality card. You will never regret it.

    The faster cards, 60MB and 95MB/s are overkill. Don't bother.
  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    From the limited description and assuming your camera is an E-PL1, what you are describing is normal (perhaps limiting) behavior. A faster card will just mean that a full buffer will empty itself quicker but the viewfinder behavior you describe remains the same. The number of frames taken before the buffer is full is also the same. Once the buffer is dumped, the camera will return to the fastest continuous rate it is allowed. Unfortunately on the E-PL1, the slow AF and the viewfinder blankout/freeze renders continuous mode practically useless (IMO). So I rarely use it.

    This is comparison with on an E-PL1 with PNY 8GB class 4, Sandisk 16GB 45mb/s and a 95mb/s.

    I have no problems for video or stills using the PNY 8GB class 4 cards in my E-PL1. The E-PL1 is not capable of full 1080p and is limited to (IIRC) 7mins anyways. I definitely had to go buy faster cards once the OMD was brought into the picture.
  9. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Real Name:
    Brian Ronald
    I was using 4GB class 6 cards on my E-P1. The manual said that class 6 was required to keep up with video at full resolution, and I couldn't afford better back when my camera was new.

    I recently found a really good deal on a 32GB 45MB/s class 10 by Sandisk (class 10 is 30MB/s or faster). The change has been incredible. Aside from filling up a 4GB card with raw files in no time, the extra speed means that I don't have to wait long between saves. If I switch to JPEG-only mode, there's basically no lag at all between shots.

  10. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    Sandisk HCSD cards have been on substantially discounted recently. This is probably the time to get better pricing.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    A class 10 would be overkill. The video bitrate of the E-PL1 tops out at about 35mb/s, about 4.4MB/s. So it's just a little higher than the min write speed of a class 4 card. Many class 4 cards will be able to do that rate regardless. A class 6 card will be more than enough.

    Many manufacturers underrate their cards. The class rating is just the minimum. The fastest card I have is a Target cheapie that's rated at class 6. It benches at 19MB/s, class 19 if it went that high.
  12. class 6 vs. 10

    I only shoot still images. Use SanDisk sdhc Extremes both class 6 & 10. Don't notice any differences. Bodies are GF-1 & G2. 8gb class 10 Sandisk cards are relatively inexpensive. Last couple purchased from BH Photo were ~$14 each and no shipping fee. For that price if you plan to shoot video I would go for the class 10. ~300 RAW images/8gb. No idea how many minutes of HD video.

    . don't forget to use the mu43 site BH link.
  13. Shade

    Shade Mu-43 Regular

    May 30, 2012
    I always go for sandisk and never go above 16 GB size. I just feel better that way...
  14. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2012
    I'm using Sony 16GB SDHC 94MB/s on my OM-D. Same speed but much cheeper than SanDisk!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using OM-D E-M5 + Leica 25/f1.4 + T*
  15. ryansinibaldi

    ryansinibaldi Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2012
    I use multiple PNY Professional 8GB Class 10 (20mb/s) SDHC cards and have gotten great results. I like to use multiple 8GB cards over one bigger card incase I lose data or I happen to lose a card.
  16. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    Many of my photos and videos are too important to risk losing (or risk camera shutting down when shooting video) due to a cut rate brand of card or marginal speed rating. So I use SanDisk class 10 @ 30 or 45 MB/s.
  17. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Lynne Ezzell
    Sorry should have specified am shooting a Panny G 3
    So is the slow to write and thus access the viewfinder a camera issue or card issue?

  18. Josh_LSTV

    Josh_LSTV Mu-43 Rookie

    May 30, 2012
    I ordered the San Disk Extreme 16GB Class 10 today from B&H through the affiliates link. I figure even if it's overkill it can't hurt to have it, and all the San Disk SD cards I own now haven't failed me yet so reliability seems impressive. Thanks for all of your insights. I'm relatively new to the manual settings world of photography, and this is my first m4/3 camera.
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    The Sandisk is a good card. Make sure to buy from a reputable seller though - there a lot of fakes floating around, particularly on eBay. On the whole, Sandisk cards do cost more, but they also do perform consistently, unlike budget brands. One ancillary benefit I've found on my E-PM1 is that the camera starts up nearly 2x faster with the Sandisk card than with my old Transcend.

  20. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    We've had similar discussion before in other threads, but I agree with you...overkill is better. Just because a camera isn't capable of reaching the speeds to match the card, doesn't mean your computer/card-reader isn't.

    I don't use my camera to transfer my photos to my computer, I use a decent card reader, and that can save time.

    BTW, anyone in Canada - Best Buy has the new Sandisk Pro 95mb/s 1/2 off this week. 8gb for $30, 16gb for $60, etc.