High speed card Vs. Low Speed Card

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Regular Card Vs. Ultra High Speed Card

I have written a review for my review site but still so many EBay customers are asking me the same question.  Therefore, I will try to explain it a little.  First of all, a standard memory card regardless if it is compact flash or memory stick, standard speed is somewhere about 30x.  Dane Elec is somewhere about 20x.  When a digital camera stores information onto memory cards, it uses its (digital camera) the best ability to store the data at memory’s full data rate.   Typically, a 1x speed equals to 150KB/sec in benchmark testing.  However, this varies from cameras to cameras.  Some digital camera can store up to 300KB/sec of course that makes the speed double.  However, there are slow cameras that can only store up to 90KB/sec, that will make it a slower than the card claiming speed. 

Let us put it this way.  Sandisk ultra II card can be used at 60X for write and 66X for read.  So how fast is 60X?  60X is about 9MB/sec.  So question is how big of an image you are trying to take?  9MB? Or simply 1MB?  We have many different kinds of digital camera.  Our SLR takes about 24MB(8.1Mega Pixel) per picture in RAW(not a usual format) format.  Our simpler digital camera takes about 1.3MB(5.0Mega pixel) per picture.  Therefore, you can see unless you take a very large picture, there is really no need to buy a high speed card because 1.3MB in a 30x card will be the same as in a 60x card, they both 1 sec.  There is no way an human eye can catch the difference.  However, sometimes this might not be the case.  In cheap cameras, speed is really slow.   It is waiting very long to store an image.  Therefore you can try to get a faster card to improve the speed if you are using a low speed card.  Is there any even lower speed than 20x?  We haven’t seen it.  But it won’t be surprised if there is.  The less  the brand name, the less speed it is. 

What about Sandisk’s Extreme III? 

Extreme III is different story.  Its speed is 120X.  It is quality is superb that is almost impossible to be defective.  Think about if you are taking an image with 12Mega Pixel and you want it stored into RAW format, it is going to be around 60MB per image.  It is then very good idea to buy a Extreme III because you want to continues shoot pictures without having to wait.  This is also suggested for all SLR cameras or professionals takes more than 5 shoots per second with large format.         

Is Lexar memory card faster than Sandisk Memory Card?

There are a lot tests done on these cards.  Some say Lexar is faster and some say Sandisk is faster.  We simple favor into Sandisk.  Although Lexar claims their card is 40X, we test most of Lexar cards, maximum speed is right around 25x.  So what happened here?  Our guess is when Lexar test the card they used different method than we are.   

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