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Has anyone done memory card speed comparisons?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by rhunt, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. rhunt

    rhunt New to Mu-43

    Jan 20, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    I was wondering if anyone has done speed comparisons of writing raw images to SD memory cards of different :43: manufacturers? I am especially interested in statistics from a G1 but would also like know about users experiences on a GH-1 (which I may upgrade to in the future) or the GF-1

    I am in the market for a couple of 16 or 32Gb cards for my G1 and wondering if the more pricey cards that claim higher read/write speeds will actually improve the shot to shot recording times or instead if we are limited by the speed of the G1's IO hardware. In the latter case there is no advantage to spending more dollars on "faster" cards.

    Thanks in advance for any information you may have on this.

    Ron Hunt
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I might get bashed here and I will contradict my self also.
    I use the Lexar Pro cards. They are 100% dependable. That being said...Delkin Devices makes a card that is great also...it's called..Film Pro.
    My cards are class 6. I just ordered Sandisk class 10 4 gig cards. This is unusual for me as I hate Sandisk due to many issues in the past. I will do a speed check for you and post the results between class 6 & class 10 this weekend...
  3. dneyhard

    dneyhard New to Mu-43

    Apr 11, 2009
    Hello all--

    There is a decent article in the February Shutterbug magazine (page 146) that offers some explanation regarding Speed and Class Ratings of SD cards. Hope that this will answer some of your questions--it did for me.

  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I love my Lexar Cards.
    That being said...the new Sandisk Class 10, 4 gig guys arrived today.
    Anyone want to buy some Class 4 Lexars?

    Yes, that's right. With a few test, the new Class 10 cards are at least 2 xs faster on a raw file. I was shocked so I tested it with the B&W Art filter and Raw....It's faster there also, not 2 xs but maybe 50% faster.

    I don't care what's on other forums, I don't care what the critic's say, I'm saying at least 2 xs faster with the Pen 1. I'll try the G1 later after I stop having fun with Penny...
    shooter out
  6. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I knew it!

    Thanks Don, my order will go in tomorrow :yahoo:


  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Been playing more Brian....
    It's better than last posted. It writes a raw file sometimes under 1/2 sec, the average.
    It deletes a file much faster too.
    I got them at Amazon for around $34.95 per...
    Sorry Brian.... That's USD$
  8. F1L1P

    F1L1P Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2010
    wow. My G1 needs around 3sec to write RAW with Class6.

    how about we make some kind of a standard so each of us can test ours memory cards and post results which can be compared. Words "considerably", "much better and faster" doesn't mean anything unless we have real and objective data to compare.

    Fo example:

    1.) no card readers (using different card readers might mean that we are measuring card readers' speed,not memory card)
    2.) using camera in USB mode + original USB cable
    2.) using USB 2.0 port on your PC
    3.) writing mem card manufacturer name, memory card class and capacity + on which camera was the mem card tested
    3.) some additional features or opinions about the card (if your last broke, and you got it replaced or similar, price maybe...)
    4.) we all should test with same software
    5.) test only freshly formated card

    I recommend using 2 tests:
    1.)using benchmarking software, such as ATTO Disk Benchmark: (freeware)
    It will perform write/read tests using several different file size and it will display it in grafical interface:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    It appears maximum write speed is 5,8 MB/s...class 6 would mean that MINIMUM write speed is at least 6MB. :eek: :confused: 
    I have Kingston 8GB SDHC Class 6

    2.) real life test:
    select cca 100MB (use somethin between 98 and 103MB) of JPEGs and copy them to memory card
    use stopwatch (on your cell phone, wrist watch) to measure transfer time
    -mine took about 23 seconds (from "copying..." dialoge to viewing the copied content on destination drive)

    any suggestions on how to organize this? :drinks:
  9. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Wow! just ordered my 4GB card from here... for folks in the UK, that's £20.99 including P&P.


  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Nah, I just put it in my cameras and it's faster....
    It's not very scientific I must admit but it's very photographic....

  11. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    I was doing my best to not by any accessories for my e-p1 for a year... and I was succeeding until yesterday my friend wanted me to try taking some videos with my e-p1. As a result I went out and bought a new a-data 16gb class 10 sdhc card ($50 CAD). (But I'm still not going to by any other accessories for a year.)

    My old card is a 2gb microsd card + adapter, that had no classification, so it's probably the 6x or 10x speed prior to class 2. It was from my mobile phone... I was even trying not to buy any card at all :rolleyes: 

    (All tests were run multiple times)

    2gb kingston classless :
    • raw = 4 seconds (between shutter press and orange light stops flashing)
    • super fine = 3 seconds
    • 110 mb file from my computer = 20.5 seconds

    16gb adata class10 :
    • raw = 3 seconds
    • super fine = 2 seconds
    • 110 mb file from my computer = 14.3 seconds

    Honestly, I don't think it really matters unless you happen to be on continuous shutter or bracketing or something like that. Personally it takes me more than 3 or 4 seconds to figure out what I want to do anyways so even it if were 4 seconds v.s. 1 second - it's not the bottle neck, I am.

    P.S. the computer is an older laptop 1.6ghz core 2 duo, built in sd card reader.
    P.S.S. I didn't bother with read speed testing because it didn't seem that important to me.
  12. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    lots of good info class 6 is what i try to buy ,
  13. rhunt

    rhunt New to Mu-43

    Jan 20, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Hello All
    Thank you for all the good information. I guess I fall more into the category of "squeegee" in that I suspect I will most likely be the bottleneck, not the card.

    I noticed in the "BBW"'s link to another thread on this issue that one potential area of concern is with the GH-1 and full HD video recording. Have any of you noticed the GH-1 (or other cameras) dropping into a lesser quality video rate because of the memory card not beiong able to keep up?

  14. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    Two months since the last message here. As a month in the world of m4/3 is about a decade elsewhere, I wonder if there are any new opinions on these matters.

    I've been happy with a "SanDisk Ultra II 15MB/s" "4"-in-a-circle card in my little Ricoh. Perhaps unwisely, I got a a "SanDisk Ultra 15MB/s" "4"-in-a-circle (i.e the same but no "II", and with a grey rather than a black label) card for my G1.

    I believe that the "4"-in-a-circle means SD Class 4. I don't know what it is that flows at 15 megabytes per second. (For what it's worth, the Wikipedia article says that Class 4 has a write speed of 32 megabits per second, which translates to 4 MB/s. Maybe 4 MB/s is continuous, for video, and 15 MB/s is for short intervals, e.g. discrete photographs. But this is mere guesswork.)

    I'd guessed that extra speed would only be an issue with really big files (for which other cameras would anyway use CompactFlash) or video (of no concern to me). Well, while I don't care about the time it takes to download to a computer, the G1 can be irritatingly slow between exposures. And that's just with Jpegs.

    I don't need 8GB capacity; 4GB would be more than enough (at least until the next long vacation, by which time prices might have dropped again). Is "Class 10" likely to make me happier?
  15. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    lol it took me a while to sort this out...

    No class "10" won't make you happier because it'll be slower than your current card because it's only 10MB/s instead of your current 15MB/s.

    There's another link about this https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=369

    The summary is as follows :

    Ignore the class rating, go with the MB/s, an example is already as I've mentioned with your card above. There are class 2 and class 4 cards runnning faster than class 10 cards.

    From the MB/s ratings... the fastest cards is by sandisk at 30MB/s. The runner ups are around 20MB/s which are actually a lot cheaper (I bought an Adata 22MB/s 16gb card for $44).

    As for sandisk themselves... the speed / card labels are a nightmare. I've been told (and from reading the specs it seems to concur) the following 3 cards are all the same
    - sandisk extreme III, class 6, 30MB/s
    - sandisk extreme III, class 10, 30MB/s
    - sandisk extreme, class 10, 30MB/s

    now don't get it mixed up with the one notch slower card
    - sandisk extreme III, class 6, 20MB/s, which is identically labeled except in the fine print specs

    Also, if you look at Kingston, according to their own web site, their class 6 card is 20MB/s, where as their class 10 card slows down to 18MB/s...

    confused yet?

    oh it gets better too, if you buy the micro SDHC cards, even by the same companies, you need to look at the speed ratings again. There's a bunch of micro sd class 10 cards out now that run at awful slow speeds even compared to their identically labelled regular sd cards.

    • Like Like x 1
  16. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    Well, as I've said, I don't know what "15 MB/s" on my cards refers to. But presumably it's the same as what "30 MB/s" (both as quoted by you and as appears here) refers to. I don't rush to infer that anything is going to work at twice the speed but I also don't see any danger signs that anything might slow down.
  17. relic

    relic Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    North Carolina, USA
    I once downloaded a little useful utility called h2testw (version 1.4). If you run it with the card connected to the computer via a card reader, which itself might cause incorrect speed readings-- nonetheless the program records a test file on the card (which you can later erase, of course) and gives you writing speed and reading speed. I tried it on a few of my cards. I have two 2 GB Kingston cards (no speed designation, so presumably class 2?); one gave a writing speed of over 6 MB/s (presumably it could be rated as class 6), the other would be class 10. I tried a few class 2, 4, and 6 Sandisk cards, and those were closer to their ratings, but all were faster than their designated speeds, some significantly so.

    So, if the program (which is freely downloadable) gives correct speeds, then it would seem that the class rating may be a minimum rating that seems to be often exceeded.
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