What is the OMD E-M10's write speed? Looking at fast SD cards.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by agnieszka, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. agnieszka

    agnieszka Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2015
    Central Coast, NSW Australia

    I have two OMD E-M10s and am thinking of getting some fast SD cards for when i do burst stills (I don't really do video).

    I am a bit overwhelmed at the options and vast differences in prices between SD card brands/speeds. Which leads me to wonder if the EM10 benefits from ultra high speed cards? I mean, why bother getting a card that can write 80 MB/s if the camera can't write that fast itself?

    SO i was wondering if anyone knows how fast the EM10 can actually write - surely there's a spec somewhere? - certainly not in the EM10 manual.

    Thanks again.
  2. agnieszka

    agnieszka Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2015
    Central Coast, NSW Australia
    Another search at the manual shows the Recording Memory is UHS-I compatible. Which should work with UHS-II cards but only at UHS-I speeds (Secure Digital - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    But then wikipedia goes on about "Speed', mentions UHS class 1 and UHS class 3.... where did class 2 go? and how are these 'UHS classes' different from the 'UHS speeds'? will UHS class 3 work in a UHS-I device (at UHS class 3 speeds)?

    That wikipedia page also talks about "Bus" speeds - is that read speed? or write speed? or a combination?

  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I wouldn't worry - just get a higher end card and be done with it. In any case, if longer, faster bursts are important, then you'll need an E-M1!
  4. Moula

    Moula Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2016
  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Keep in mind that card write speed is only a significant factor for high bit rate video and RAW stills. The camera's processor, bus and memory buffer hardware also come into play. For stills I've never had issues with decent 45 - 94 mb/sec cards with the E-M10.
  6. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have the Sandisk Extreme Class 10, UHS-3 cards. And based on a quick price shopping on Amazon, they appear to be a medium priced and upper middle tier performance grade card. (compared to what's available and assuming the vendor's performance claims are true! :) )

    I have had no performance problems shooting a 5 shot raw HDR burst using them in an E-M10 (1st gen).

    BTW, while the camera is not perfect, it is still one fine camera!
  7. bomo

    bomo Mu-43 Regular

    May 7, 2014
    Hudson Valley, New York
    While not doing any actual testing, my E-M10.1 does appear to write faster with a new PNY card rated at 95MBS as opposed to the 30MBS Sandisk card I was using previously. The PNY was purchased for ~$13USD so certainly not what I would call 'high end'.

    Oh - and +1 on GBarrington's E-M10 comment :)
  8. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Bus speed refers to the maximum speed data can be transferred from the camera internal memory buffer to the memory card. The bus is the connection between these components, and presents the true upper limit to data transfer. It's the limiting factor with your PC data transfer as well.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM Subscribing Member

    While I don't own the E-M10, I own an E-M5 (mark I) and an E-M1. All of my current cards are the Lexar Professional 633x and I always shoot jpeg + RAW. The 633s fully keeps up with E-M5's buffering and writing at its maximum, max burst which then slows down to 1/sec, and keeps going, no waiting required. With E-M1's slightly greater resolution it can run at max burst but will not let me continue indefinitely, but just about - a 1000x should do it no problem.

    Good quality cards are getting cheaper and cheaper so get a top end card like Lexar Pro or Sandisk Extreme with a reasonable capacity and 633x (95 MB/s) or 1000x (150 MB/s) and you should be done for a while. When the time comes to upgrade your (camera :D) body, the whatever speed new cards will cost the same or less. As to sizes, while say 128GB may be tempting, get two 64GB instead, or get two 32GB, these will be cheap nowadays. Two cards are always better than one, and unless you shoot in thousands, 32 GB should do you fine for casual photography, or, well, careful photography. You obviously only asked for speeds, you may have other requirements for capacity. The classes and x multipliers are just like CDROM speeds - the speeds have increased so much that these ratings have become somewhat meaningless if you ask me. This comment may be redundant, but - do not get cheap cards. They will be slow despite the class on the label, and they will fail, taking your pictures with them. They may do as last resort backup though.

  10. agnieszka

    agnieszka Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2015
    Central Coast, NSW Australia
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    @owczi@owczi, yes, i tend to stick with 32gb max for capacity. This capacity is (SDHC) is compatible with all my SD devices (all cameras, dash cam, etc), and reduces loss in case of theft, damage, or corruption.

    @ everyone:

    I found this particular review helpful for E-M10:
    Olympus E-M10 Card Speed Tests - Fastest memory cards for EM10 - Camera Memory Speed Comparison & Performance tests for SD and CF cards

    It states "As seen in our write speed test, the E-M10 is limited to about 32MB/s maximum write speed. The difference between the faster cards is only a few frames in 30 seconds.", which says to me that any card with > 30MB/s (ish) would be a bit of overkill for the E-M10. That said, a U3 rated card has a minimum 30Mb/s write speed, so any rated U3 would be hitting the maximum for this camera, and be quite sufficient. By the same token, "Class 10" will be only guaranteeing 1/3rd the capability of the E-M10, so best to upgrade my SD set.

    I haven't looked at what speeds my computer is capable of, nor my adapters, but they're more for downloading and backing up rather than capture, so not quite as important speed-wise.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  11. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM Subscribing Member

    I got an USB 3.0 Lexar external x-in-1 card reader a couple years back and it absolutely flies - if you care for that. The link you quoted does not list the faster Lexars. I use Lexar because I tend to stick to the same brands (I'm biased that way) and they have had a good track record in the CompactFlash game. That, and I like their looks ;)
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  12. agnieszka

    agnieszka Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2015
    Central Coast, NSW Australia
    Also, i found this image helpful, even though i don't plan on 4K video, it does give a visual summary of card classifications. I've not seen the "V" class anywhere other than this sdcard.org site, but i presume it's synonymous with UHS-II. For anyone who is interested, UHS-II requires different hardware (uses more pins on the card and on the I/O device) than UHS-I but is backwards compatible.

    https://www.sdcard.org/consumers/choices/speed_class/img/video_speed class_01.jpg

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