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Thread: How memory card speed affects burst rate on 7D.

  1. #1
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    Default How memory card speed affects burst rate on 7D.

    Gday all, I wanted a new memory card and a 32GB 60MB/sec and a 16GB 90MB/sec Compact Flash Sandisk are the same price so I wanted to know how much of a difference the faster card would make when using burst mode for BIF on my 7D and if the extra speed was worth the lost 16GB storage.

    I did lots of internet searching and the conclusion seems to be the 7D when shooting in RAW only can do a single burst mode of around 16 shots before the buffer on the camera is full. The camera then writes this data to the CF card. This is were a faster card becomes beneficial, the 90MB/sec card takes 9.12 seconds to empty the buffer and the 60MB/sec takes 11.25 seconds. In the tests the person undertook the 90MB card took 72.7 shots in 30 seconds and the 60MB card 63.

    So basically with current card speeds you will always be limited to 16 burst shots due to the camera buffer. The major difference for us birders is the time between long bursts is shorter with the faster card. In the end I purchased the 32GB card as the extra storage holds better value for me than the few seconds difference.

    Here is the forum post with the tests explained.
    http://photo.net/canon-eos-digital-c...0ZP5c?start=10

    Hope this helps others out there with the same question I had.

    Duade.
    Last edited by Duade Paton; 11-05-2012 at 08:59 AM.
    View my latest review of the Canon EF400 5.6L View my trip report to Auckland Islands, NZ
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  2. #2
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    Default

    I had a similar dilemma when trying to get a CF card for my 50D, except I was tossing up between a 16gb 30mb/s and an 8gb 60mb/s. I went with the bigger storage for the same reasons, and have not once found myself losing shots due to waiting for the buffer to clear.

    The 50D isn't too different in specs to the 7D, with 15MP and 6.3fps, vs the 7D's 18MP at 8fps.
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    This is generally regarded as the best resource to check when choosing memory cards:

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007

    Just select your camera from the drop down menu. Looks like some older cameras have been removed from the database recently though.

    The other thing to consider is speed when getting the images off the card, this link gives download speeds:

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/rea...?cid=6007-9392
    Last edited by ChrisRoss; 11-05-2012 at 10:03 AM.
    Chris Ross
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    Thanks for that Chris, great resource.
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    Unsurprising, but thanks for doing the research and posting the info.
    Margaret Leggoe
    Never too old to learn.

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    Chris Ross has given probably the best resource currently on various CF cards on various camera bodies. I did use this when I purchased my CF sometime back and was glad to have done so. Just to remember that not all 32GB fast cards are made the same, and sometimes the 16GBs might be faster, depending on the specific camera. I got both Transcend 600X 32GB and 16GBs. Both are great, but the 16GB is faster (esp Read speed), as also reflected on Rob Galbrarth's site.

    Another good resource is Sport Photo Guy: http://sportsphotoguy.com/all-about-cf/
    He had a new review on USB3.0 card readers too.

    E
    Eric SJ Tan
    Mountains & Beyond

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