Memory Cards - Which one do I use?

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Let's talk about memory cards today.


LEXAR Professional 1000x 32GB Compact Flash Card

Recently I had some issues with reading and copying files out from the card.

Decided to send a request to Lexar for warranty claims, as their professional line of cards carry limited Lifetime Warranty.


This card has served me for 9 years. Bought it from B&H back in New York, for about $140. It was top of the line back then, and it has lived up to its glorious name.

Never failed me once, survived through tons of physical and memory abuse.

Lexar was very responsive with this. The technician immediately helped me with some trouble shooting. However, the card was deemed not fit for professional use anymore. After some discussion with the service personnel, they are kind enough to refund me with $28 for the card, as long as I can provide them an evidence of the card being destroyed and disposed of.

Well, cards are getting cheaper these days because flash memory price is having some deflation over the years.

Today, I finally put my long serving card to rest. Hammered it quite hard!

Thank you Lexar, will continue to support the brand and professional line of memory cards for many years to come. Your customer service has always been excellent!


Anyways, I had also conducted an unscientific tests on the cards I have been shooting with. Just thought that it would be helpful to photographers out there looking to purchase your next memory card. There are many brands in the market, but I typically go for 2 reliable brands only, Lexar and Sandisk.


This simple test was done to measure the time taken for buffer to clear, and the maximum amount of RAW files can be shot at 1 go (with fastest burst mode) before the camera stops shooting.


The test was done with Canon EOS R6 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

For the EOS R6, the burst mode tops at 20 FPS with electronic shutter. As for the 5DIII, burst mode tops at 6fps with mechanical shutter.

Both cameras are mounted with their native 85mm prime lens.

All the photos are shot in uncompressed RAW mode. Both cameras RAW file size output are approximately the same, at about 20-24mb.


Cards tested:

1. Prograde UHS II SD 64gb - 200mbps

2. Sandisk Extreme pro Compact Flash 32gb - 60mbps

3. Sandisk UHS I SD 64gb - 170mbps

4. Sandisk UHS I SD 64gb - 95mbps


Results (Buffer Clearance Time / Maximum RAW files):

EOS R6

Prograde - 14 sec / 135 RAW

Sandisk 170mbps - 17 sec / 153 RAW

Sandisk 95mbps - 20 sec / 153 RAW

Dual cards (Prograde + Sandisk 170mbps) - 18 sec / 130 RAW


5D III

Sandisk CF - 5 sec / 23 RAW

Prograde - 18 sec / 14 RAW

Sandisk 170mpbs - 14 sec / 16 RAW

Sandisk 95mbps - 13 sec / 13 RAW

Dual cards (Sandisk CF + Sandisk 170mbps) - 13 sec / 16 RAW


Findings & Final Verdict:

There's one major issue I found with Prograde UHS II card on R6.

When scrolling through photos on the camera, I experienced random stutters as if the card was too slow with its read speed. The stutters happen randomly especially when you are scrolling through quickly, and it will take about 2-3 seconds for the camera to clear the 'buffer'.

No such issue with all the Sandisk UHS I cards.

Prograde UHSII vs Sandisk UHSI speed only differ by 3-5 seconds when clearing buffer despite the class different. BUT, Sandisk can shoot more RAW files (consistently 18-20 more vs Prograde) before the camera (EOS R6) stops recording.

Hence, I do not recommend the Prograde UHS II for R6. Go for Lexar Professional, and Sandisk Extreme Pro cards.


Update:

I just recently purchased the Lexar 1667x UHS-II SD 64GB SD card for about RM75, and this is the fastest card among the other 3 that I owned.

With R6, it can burst up to 277 RAW files at 20fps before the camera stops shooting, and it takes about 12 seconds for the buffer to clear completely.

When scrolling through files quickly, there was no lag or stutter (as compared to the Prograde UHS-II card).

I have swapped out my ProGrade UHS-II for this Lexar 1667x, and it will definitely stay in my camera for a long time.


208 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All