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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hi-Tech Studio: Memory Requirements

CompactFlash remains the mainstay memory card for professional DSLRs. We look at speed ratings, HD video requirements and some of the current generation of pro cards.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Lexar’s 32 GB Professional UDMA 600x CF card offers a 600x (90 MB/s) guaranteed minimum sustained write speed and provides support for UDMA-enabled DSLR cameras. If you need the high capacity but don’t need the speed, Lexar offers the same card in a 300x (45 MB/s) version that’s about one-half the price and still plenty fast enough for nearly every imaginable application. With either card, you’ll get best transfer rates when paired with a UDMA-enabled card reader like the Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader. Also included is the latest version of Lexar’s Image Rescue 4 software. This powerful image-recovery engine allows you to restore most types of photo and video files, even if they have been deleted or if the card has been formatted or corrupted.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro 64 GB CF card delivers a 90 MB/s read/write speed and uses UDMA-6, Enhanced Super-Parallel Processing (ESP) and proprietary Power Core Controller technology to achieve maximum performance. The newly redesigned Power Core Controller is SanDisk’s advancement in firmware algorithms that enhance sustained throughput. The error-correcting engine has been improved with every generation to enhance stability and performance. SanDisk Extreme Pro cards are protected from moisture and humidity by a unique RTV silicone coating and are said to perform down to minus-13 degrees F. Add one of SanDisk’s Extreme Pro card readers, and you have a speed team that’s hard to beat.

The Transcend 64 GB CF card is rated 400x and features up to a 90 MB/s read and 60 MB/s write speed. An up-and-coming name in memory cards, Transcend uses only the highest-quality MLC NAND Flash chips during the manufacturing process and utilizes built-in hardware ECC technology for detecting and correcting errors.

If you’re one of the many pros who pack a compact DSLR as a backup for still shooting and as a primary for HD video, you’re a two-format family—CF in your professional DSLRs and SDHC in the others. SDHC performance is easier to decipher because of the speed-class rating system. Speed class 6 cards deliver 6 MB/s sustained data transfer both upstream and downstream. The minimum recommendation for video is speed class 4 (this applies to SD camcorders, as well). SDHC is available in capacities up to 32 GB and speed class 10. A 32 GB capacity card can store approximately eight hours of 1440x1080i HD video and more than five hours of 1920x1080i full HD video.

Delkin Devices

Kingston Technology

Lexar Media



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