Do your E-P1/2 a big favour...

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Brian Mosley, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Get yourself the fastest possible SDHC card! I've just bought an 8GB MyMemory SDHC - Class 6 and it is noticeably slower than the 4GB SanDisk Extreme III SDHC - Class 6 card!

    Does anyone have any experience with alternative cards? any faster than the SanDisk card?

    It really makes a difference to the responsiveness of the E-P1.


  2. oldmandon

    oldmandon Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 25, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Card Speed

    Shouldn't the 8GB card be faster than the 4GB or am I missing something?

  3. Ranger9

    Ranger9 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 16, 2009
    The way SDHC cards are marked, the 4GB and 8GB figures are the capacities -- the amount of data the card can hold. To help visualize this, just assume that "4GB" stands for "4-gallon bucket" and "8GB" stands for "8-gallon bucket."

    What Brian's talking about are "class" ratings, which are speed ratings that, basically, tell you "how fast you can fill the bucket." A Class 6 card is supposed to have a minimum sustained transfer rate of 6 megabytes per second, which makes it "faster" than a Class 4 (4 mb/sec) or Class 2 (2 mb/sec) card.

    However, these are minimum rates, so it's possible for one Class 6 card to be faster than another. Also, since they're based on sustained transfer, they're mostly relevant to video recording, where the camera is continuously sending a basically constant volume of data to the card. Still cameras send their data in bursts, so a card with a higher sustained rate but a lower maximum rate may perform more slowly than one that's vice-versa.
  4. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi Brian,
    When I first got the EP1, I was advised by the saleman that I like at Adorama to get Delkin eFilm Pro SDHC cards that are rated at 6. Picked up 2 8GB cards and been very happy. I also picked up a 16GB Lexar that is rated at 4 for vacations.
    Have not really noticed a big difference in either the overall performance of the EP1 (now and EP2) with either card, but never really paid a great deal of attention. The faster card certainly seems to write faster - especially videos - but the shot to shot performance does not vary significantly. (Sometimes during a long burst, but generally not.)
  5. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    The difference I notice is in clearing of multi-shot buffer... the length of time over which the write LED flashes, also the review responsiveness.

    My next card purchase will definitely be the 4GB SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s card. It's not really worth buying the 8GB card for me... I very rarely fill a 4GB card between downloads.


  6. mmjx83

    mmjx83 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    Hong Kong
    Try the new Scandisk Extreme class 10 30MB/S. If you use GH1 then class 10 SDHC is the only card that can ensure you make 1080i HD video.
  7. oldmandon

    oldmandon Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 25, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Wow! I didn't know that. You learn something everyday (hopefully). Thanks
  8. Elliot

    Elliot Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2010

    Having been in the business for too many years to count, and having worked for Nikon, I have found over time that the Sandisk technology always continues to advance. I make it a point to use the fastest cards they come out with. The class 10 cards from Sandisk have been performing extremely well in my EP cameras from Olympus and the G1 and G1h from Panasonic. Worth the extra money for the extra writing speed.
  9. rmazzi

    rmazzi New to Mu-43

    Jan 23, 2010
    SD Card Speed Ratings

    I was just reading about SD card ratings and learned there the minimum transfer rating that is defined by the Class designation. As i understand it, this rating is important for video transfer. Higher number better for HD movies. There is also a peak transfer rate (such as 30 Mb per second) that Would be more relavant for photo files writing to the card.

    CF cards do not have class designations as far as i know, only transfer speeds.
  10. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Real Name:
    I have a 8GB SanDisk Extreme III Class 6 card as my normal card in my E-P1. In addition I have a 2GB SanDisk MicroSD card with adapter which I believe is Class 2 and did have a Transcend 2GB Class 2 card (which I sold with a old camera).

    I certainly had no problems with either card on normal shooting, continuous or movie mode. Naturally the write time when finishing after continuous shooting or movie mode was considerably reduced with the Class 6 card but that's about it. Olympus recommend a Class 6 card for movie mode, but it isn't essential.

    If you shoot a lot of RAW in continuous mode or a lot of movie mode, I would go with the Class 6 but if on a budget or you want to recycle old cards, you are not going to have a problem. I wouldn't think that newer (overpriced) cards faster than Class 6 are in any way necessary or even deliver a worthwhile bang for buck improvement.
  11. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi Peter, that's interesting - I felt a definite improvement in responsiveness between the MyMemory SDHC Class 6 card and my 4GB SanDisk Extreme III when I made this post.

    I'll have to go back now, and check my perception! I may have been wrong.


  12. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    I know that when I went from a cheapy class 2 to an 8mb Sandisk Ultra class 4, I noticed a significant difference. Right now, I can't justify the price for the sandisk class 6

  13. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    I know the original post was a while ago... but I'm a little slow. I *finally* figured out this speed mess.

    I originally bought a class 10 card thinking it was the fastest (after reading this original post).

    I was wrong in so many ways... I figured I'd post the conclusion so other people could read some of the things I've learned.

    1) Many manufacturers have cards that go faster than class 10 and have had them for a few years. As an example, Kingston, sandisk, and even my cheap-o AData. As a result... a lot of the class 10 cards from those manufacturers are actually the EXACT same card as the class 6 cards - with a different sticker on it.

    2) what really matters isn't the class number but the transfer rate in MB/s, So as an example, a SanDisk extreme III class 6 card has a transfer rate of 30mb/s, My AData class 10 card has a transfer rate of 23mb/s. This mean the SanDisk class 6 card is roughly 30% faster than my class 10 card.

    The result.... look at the MB/s, if they don't give that number, then use the class rating as the mb/s.

    Here's a table copied from wikipedia which makes sense if you look at the sandisk 200x , 30mb/s speed rating and compare it to class 10 speed ratings... The sandisk class 6 is a hypothetical class 30, and my adata class 10 is a hypothetical class 22.

    <table border="1"><tr><td>Rating</td><td>Write Speed (MByte/s)</td><td><a href="/wiki/Secure_Digital_card#SD_Speed_Class_Ratings" title="SecureDigital card" class="mw-redirect">SD Class</a></td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;&nbsp;6x</td><td align="center">&nbsp;0.9</td><td align="center">&nbsp;n/a</td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;&nbsp;10x</td><td align="center">&nbsp;1.5</td><td align="center">&nbsp;n/a</td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b>13x</b></td><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>2.0</b></td><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>2</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b>26x</b></td><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>4.0</b></td><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>4</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;32x</td><td align="center">&nbsp;4.8</td><td align="center">&nbsp;5</td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>40x</b></td><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>6.0</b></td><td align="center">&nbsp;<b>6</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center">&nbsp;66x</td><td align="center">10.0</td><td align="center">&nbsp;10</td></tr><tr><td align="center">100x</td><td align="center">15.0</td><td align="center">&nbsp;15</td></tr><tr><td align="center">133x</td><td align="center">20.0</td><td align="center">&nbsp;20</td></tr><tr><td align="center">150x</td><td align="center">22.5</td><td align="center">&nbsp;22</td></tr><tr><td align="center">200x</td><td align="center">30.0</td><td align="center">&nbsp;30</td></tr><tr><td align="center">266x</td><td align="center">40.0</td><td align="center">&nbsp;40</td></tr><tr><td align="center">300x</td><td align="center">45.0</td><td align="center">&nbsp;45</td></tr></table>

    Reference :

    Must admit I'm a little embarrassed it took me so long to figure this out... my excuse is this is my first sd card, my previous cameras used xD and CF cards.
  14. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    So squeegee, have you come across anything faster than the 4GB SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s I recommended above (and now have) which is even faster than the SanDisk Extreme III class 6 card in the E-P1?


  15. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    No, the fastest I think I've seen is that 30MB/s one.

    The confusion for me was the class rating and sandisks numbering, sandisk has a new card... just plain "extreme" no iii or iv but class 10. It turns out it's a relabeled extreme iii.

    In the end, my card at 23MB/s isn't bad but some one buying a real cheap class 10 and finding out it's truely 10MB/s could be pisssed... that's slower than some of sandisks' class 2 cards (15MB/s).

    Actually, now there's more confusion, some sandisks extreme iii class 6's are allegedly only 20MB/s, where as some are 30MB/s...

    The a-data I have caused similar confusion at retailers when boxes arrived mixed class6 and 10 and they couldn't figure out why...

    Oh and kingston takes the cake, their class 6 is 20MB/s, their new class 10 cards are slower at 18MB/s
  16. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    I have a 32GB Sandisk Extreme SDHC card (class 10). Pictures D/L pretty fast via USB 2.0.

    Photofast SDHC class 10 cards are a bit cheaper and just as fast, I bet (I have the Photofast CF versions and they are actually faster than the Sandisk and Lexar versions in most cases):
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Real Name:
    I bought a Panasonic class 10 8 gig SDHC from Adorama about a month ago. It's definitely faster than my PNY class 4 8 gig SDHC. The write times after taking a shot on my EP2 are much faster.
  18. Pushbutton

    Pushbutton New to Mu-43

    This is exactly where I noticed my gains going from a 2gb class 4 to a 8gb ScanDisk Extreme III SDHC. Normal shooting felt the same, but there was a big difference when I multi-shot. (which I do a ton for exposure bracketing) From my limited experience with other cards it seems to me that ScanDisk is always the safe bet when looking for maximum speed. There very well may be faster out there, but I don't think it would be by much.
  19. bashar

    bashar Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 3, 2010
    ONLY SANDISK, dont look for anything else
  20. woodmancy

    woodmancy New to Mu-43

    Jan 30, 2010