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SD card speed.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by PaulGiz, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    I always assumed fast (Class 10) cards were most useful for video, not so much for still photos.

    When I got my camera, I just threw in an 8Gb Class 4 card I had lying around.

    Yesterday, I was in Staples for other reasons and saw they had a 32Gb Class 10 for what seemed a quite reasonable $30, so I threw that in my basket too.

    What a difference in file saving time!!! Saving RAW is nearly instantaneous.

    Worth every penny. I'll keep my old cards for spares, but I heartily recommend spending a few bucks on the fastest card you can. Makes a big difference for not very much money. I remember when 2Gb SDs were near a hundred bucks. At today's prices there's no reason to skimp.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    And also think that with less time writing you're saving battery power!
  3. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    I recently upgraded from a 20mb/s card to a 45mb/s card, and it does indeed make a noticeable difference in write times with my PM1. Downloading from the card through my Mac's card reader is also a lot faster.
  4. ice_man

    ice_man Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 19, 2012
    Pair that with a Usb 3.0 card reader from Sandisk and you will be more delighted...

  5. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    It depends on the camera, many of the older m43 cameras didn't benefit much at all from faster cards.

    These days a fast SD card will make the RAW buffer fly like you discovered. The E-M5 for certain can make use of cards at least up to 45MB/s.
  6. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I agree that class 10 cards are faster in use than class 4. However, I think I read that the classification system relates solely to read speeds, and even if that isn't the case, there are big differences in write times between different class 10 cards.

    So it may be that the joy the OP felt in shooting with a class 10 card for the first time could be replicated by trying a premium branded card. The slowest class 10 card I've seen has a write speed of 25MB/sec; the fastest (Sandisk Extreme Pro) 95MB/sec.
  7. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    Cards have gotten so much more reasonable now, I remember back in the old days a CF card when they would release a higher capacity/faster card. The prices were so high I think some photographers were thinking of selling their kidneys just to afford them ;) 
  8. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
  9. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    Will Crockett has a video on his site, discovermirrorless, explaining the cards and speed classes.
    Don't quote me on this, but I think he mentions to go with a MINIMUM of 6.
    I usually buy 10's, and have not had any issues.
  10. David

    David Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2011
    I purchase the sandisk class 10 with 45mbs transfer rate and it was pretty quick shooting with RAW and jpeg. probably the better value for money .
  11. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    It still frosts my rear end that CF cards are SO much more. It's not like they are THAT much more expensive to make. :mad: 
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2012
    I'm using Sony 94M/s and happy with it. Far better Sandisk extreme video 45M/s and much cheaper than Sandisk 95M/s

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 App
  13. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Lee Osenton
    SD cards are rated by a class number that indicates the minimum sequential data transfer rate for both read and write operations. Class numbers (2, 4, 6, and 10) correspond to 2MB, 4MB, 6MB, and 10MB per second.

    They originally used an "x" rating with 1x being CD-ROM speed (150KB per second). A few companies still use that system (Lexar?).

    Now there is a new family of cards defined as Ultra-High Speed (UHS). They can use higher clock rates and double-data rate strategies to support speeds exceeding 300MB per second. There are several specs of these and my understanding is that real-world results vary depending on the camera, computer, and card involved. I think these cards are usually backwards compatible for class 10 operation in older devices, but I have no experience.

    I just ordered my first UHS-1 cards from B&H. I got a pair of Panasonic 8GB cards rated for Read 90MB and Write 25MB and should also work with non UHS-1 devices. I intend to do some controlled testing with these out of curiosity.

    My experience in the past is that cards seem to vary wildly from manufacturers claims, but I have never purposely tested them to confirm. I have just had a few high speed cards that didn't seem that great and a few cheap cards that felt faster than expected. My other cards are a SanDisk 32GB Class 10 (30MB per second) and the Toshiba Wireless 8GB freebie that I got with my Olympus.

    Has anyone tested SD cards and have a recommendation for testing methods? I am probably too lazy in my off hours to write a test harness for this (although I might actually learn something if I did) .

  14. oto02

    oto02 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    Melbourne, VICTORIA, AU
    Today I upgraded from Sandisk Class 6 to Class 10. On my PM-2 it's a huge difference in speed. Happy with the purchase of AU$12 for a 8GB, it's a steal.

    With Class 6 continuous shooting was slowing down after 6 pics, now at least 10-12 pics before it getting busy.
  15. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I use Sandisk cards - going up to the 95/95mbps cards from a 45/45mbps card made a difference in the OM-D (but not in my former GX-1 or G5).
  16. badastronaut

    badastronaut New to Mu-43

    Aug 4, 2013
    bumping this thread as I'm curious if there's any point going even faster beyond UHS-1

    I have Sandisk Extreme SD's, wondering any point going further.
  17. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I must have been multi-tasking when I wrote the reply above. I've edited it to read correctly.

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