Which SD card (write speed) is better for EM5 Mark II?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by matteo, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. matteo

    matteo New to Mu-43

    Apr 8, 2015
    Is UHS-I class 10 enough for shot photo only?
    Is UHS-II U3 the better choice to shot photos and video too (in ALL-I Intraframe-77Mbsrequired)?
    I dont understand...
  2. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
  3. matteo

    matteo New to Mu-43

    Apr 8, 2015
  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    You're really only going to notice significant differences between memory card speeds when you fill the buffer shooting in burst mode. The Sandisk Extreme Pro cards are the fastest available, but as you pointed out, that distinction doesn't come cheap. Here's a recent test that shows what sort of difference you might expect with these cards.

    In terms of classification, I would recommend sticking with at least UHS-1 or Class 10 which have a minimum write speed of 10MB/s. The choice to pay for future performance beyond that really comes down to how much speed you really need. If you find yourself filling your camera's buffer on a regular basis, then you may want to spend more. If not, you probably won't notice much difference in using a cheaper, slower card.
  5. matteo

    matteo New to Mu-43

    Apr 8, 2015
    Yeah, you are right DeeJayK, really thanks!
  6. w0den

    w0den Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2015
    New Jersey
    Reviving an old thread....
    So I have the following card:

    It is U3 and can write at 60 MB/s. If I shoot RAW in slow burst mode (5fps) it drops to about 2 -3 FPS after about 10 shots. I read somewhere that I should be able to shoot at this speed until my card is full. Do I need a faster card to achieve this? How fast a card do I actually need?

  7. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    It is not helpful to look at the class number, because the speeds of cards within a class vary so much. Even the speeds written on cards can be misleading, as it may be unclear whether they relate to write or read speeds, or both. For most people, it's the former that matters most, and sometimes you need to look at the specs on Amazon or the manufacturer's website to get the correct figure.

    For continuous shooting, the higher speeds are better. Sandisc's Extreme Pro, which has a write speed of 95MB/sec, is about the best. The company's Extreme Plus, which writes at 60MB/sec and reads at, from memory, 85, is fast enough for most people, but considerably cheaper. Transcend has a similar-speed card that is about half the price, through not guaranteed to be water-resistant.
  8. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I've got some UHS-1 40mbps write cards from Samsung in my E-M1, and if I shoot RAW ONLY it seems to have no problem in continuous high (20+ shots with no pause).
    IIRC, RAW+SHF JPEG will pause.

  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I use the Sandisc Extreme Pro with my EM1 and shoot RAW only. I can hold down the shutter button for a long time before it starts to slow. Have no complaints with them so far.
  10. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm using 32gb and 16gb PNY cards, the 32gb are 60mb/s and the 16gb are 90mb/s write (tested at very close to that using a USB3.0 card reader). Having just testing the buffer the 'slower' 60mb/s card was 33 and the 'faster' 90mb/s was 36 (fast shutter speed @ 10fps, LN+RAW - pretty standard settings, I need a JPEG as without the JPEG you can't do WiFi transfers to your phone...), so the speed wouldn't make a difference in real world usage for me and I doubt the camera can write at the maximum speed anyhow. There was a real downside to using much larger cards in that the camera would take longer to boot up when you turn it on(I guess it checks the card for capacity etc?) which is why I've stuck to smaller cards (not sure if that's fixed or not, I don't have any larger cards to test with).

    Olympus cameras are almost always hugely generous with their buffer sizes and I've only rarely run into problems (off the top of my head... shooting motorsports with an E-5 was the last time, I can't remember it having happened after switching to an E-M1). I'm happy on the whole because compared to other various other brands equivalent equipment (cost wise purely for a body) I found that most seem to have very modest buffer sizes which would cause problems despite their slower shooting speeds (for the low cost the E-M1 having 10 fps and being able to sustain it for so long in such a cheap body is practically witchcraft, just think that filling the buffer is an *entire* roll of 36 exposure film).

    The main problem was back when it locked menus and settings while writing to card causing long bursts to disable the camera, they seem to have fixed that though (Testing now I can't get it to happen at all using an E-M1 and (I think) current firmware).
  11. rChaz

    rChaz Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 19, 2012
    NYC Region
    The following link is for a review which shows the performance of various SD cards used in the E-M5 II. The UHS-II cards stand out. The "Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II" took top honors (for a price), the "Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II" still performing very well @ less than half the price, and the "SanDisk Extreme Pro" obtaining the best non-UHS-II speed, but far below any of the UHS-II cards tested.

    (Edit: Oops! I see Matteo had already posted this link, above. Oh well, I'll leave my post here for the above quick summary.)

    "Olympus E-M5 II SD Card Comparison"
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 2
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