Compact Flash vs SD?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sinsinnati, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #1
    While researching info about cameras, I came across several comments about the Nikon D80 using SD memory like it was a knock. Some reviews noted that the D80 uses cosumer memory and not professional compact flash.

    Any reason why the photo word views SD as a negative or sub-pro? I know for the most part DSLR cameras have always been Compact Flash but I have always prefered SD. The speeds are generally the same and SD is compatible with more products in the market.

    Upgrading from a Panasonic Lumix FZ-20, I already had SD memory and my old PDA had SD memory so I view it as a plus.

    Feel free to give your opinion.
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    As long as the speed is equivalent, it's all the same to me. I do have a couple of thoughts about the cards, though.

    I've shot in near complete darkness and having used SmartMedia cards, which are just as flat as SD cards, I can tell you that it's really difficult to find flat memory cards and CompactFlash cards are easier to find when you can't see them. Besides that, CF cards would be harder to bend.
     
  3. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

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    #3
    That's probably why Nikon chose to use SD. A lot of people who come from point and shoots use SD's cards so it's more tempting for them to buy a Nikon DSLR since they've already got the memory. Clever!

    I don't see any difference between them. The only downside I see to CF is that if you're a dumbass and ram the card into the compartment, you'll probably bend some pins inside. Has never happened to me though.
     
  4. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #4
    I'd say it's probably capacity more than anything else. CF is physically larger than SD, so it's possible to cram more chips into the CF form factor - so CF will always be able to store more data than SD. As camera sensors record more and more data, this becomes of increasing importance.

    eg: an EOS 1Ds Mk2 needs over 5 MB for a single, high quality JPEG image. It's probably over 20 MB for a RAW image from that same body. You do the maths ...
     
  5. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #6
    Having used both, I am MUCH more comfortable with CF cards. They just feel more substantial and less fragile, they have larger memory capacity, and they're just easier to handle when you're in a hurry and have to change the card quickly.

    Through the years I have built up quite a collection of CF cards -- first using them in various Coolpixes and later using them in the D70, D70s and D200.... the SD card is just not the same to me, and, yes, it's something that I associate with P&S cameras rather than "professional" or semi-professional cameras. I think that extraextra hits the nail on the head with the point that Nikon chose to put the SD in the D50 and now the D80 not so much for the weight/size-reduction aspect but more for the potential appeal to people using P&S cameras who were ready to "graduate" to their first DSLR.

    Then there are those horrendously tiny xD cards, too....:eek:
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    To me, the amount of memory you get for the price is around the same. However, CF capacity is much much higher than SD capacity right now. How much you care about this is another issue. I don't. ;) A 2 GB card is plenty, whether you have a 6 MP or 12 MP camera. Also, 16 GB CF cards will be making their way into the market soon, but the cost is so high that the masses aren't going to be rushing out to buy them, so really, the market is full of mostly 1 and 2 GB SD cards, and CF cards right now, and for approximately the same price. :)

    It's also better (usually) to have multiple cards because you have others if one breaks down, or at least it is from an amateur's point of view (except in some instances, of course).
     
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #8
    Yes, Abstract brings up an excellent point here: it is much better to have multiple cards of lower capacity than one card of larger capacity, because any number of things can happen.... I much prefer using several 2 GB or 4 GB cards as opposed to using an 8 GB card. I'd rather have the opportunity of ensuring that at least SOME of my images will make it to the computer rather than risk losing all. I also like the versatility of different card sizes for different situations. If I've just bought a new lens, for instance, and want to just fire off a few shots to test it out, I'd just as soon use a 1 GB card as have a card with larger capacity.... If I'm going out on an all-day shoot, well, yes, then I want to have my 2 GBs and 4 GBs with me.....since I am now shooting RAW I am buying 4 GB cards as I need and can afford to do so, but it's nice to have other cards with me as well. I'd rather put my photographic "eggs" into many baskets than just one or two!
     
  8. cube macrumors G4

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    #9
    512MB is the optimal size when traveling because burn kiosks normally only support CD, not DVD.
     
  9. Sinsinnati thread starter macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #10

    Burn Kiosks? Is that a European thing?
     
  10. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #11
    One thing that CF has over SD, is firewire card readers. I've haven't seen any for SD cards.
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #12
    So true, when I'm unloading my 4 and 8GB cards, USB2 takes forever!!
     
  12. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    #13
    but would you say that SD makes D80 an unfavorable choice than D70 with CF?
     
  13. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #14
    I have both Cf and Sd cards for my digital cameras. I really like the SC cards that "fold" so they can be directly connected to a USB port (without the use of a card reader) for loading photos. THe SanDisk Ultra 11 SD card does this. Thats one less thing to carry in my travel bag.

    There is no such thing as "consumer" memory.
     
  14. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #15
    It would be really cool if CF cards did the USB thing as well, but Sandisk has a patent on it or something don't they?
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    Didn't Lexar have a port on the backside of some of their CF cards and you could connect a cable that had a USB connector on the other end? The latest cards don't seem to have it but remember seeing such a thing.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #17
    It used to be a big deal to buy a camera that could not use your existing memory cards because buying new cards was so expensive. Now they are cheap. It also used to be that you could not get SD cards with large amounts of memory inside. Now you can.

    Inside the card the little flash chips are the same. However the CF card comes in a begger package so in theory it could hold more chips.

    Why prefer CF cards? Maybe you have big fingers or bad eyes and don't want to drop or loose the smaller SD cards.
     
  17. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #18
    I cannot say I've seen them but it sounds cool nonetheless.
     
  18. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #19
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    ^^Your camera won't recognise 4 GB cards unless it supports High Capacity SD, so don't bother.

    That's the knock on SD cards. However, if you have a camera that supports HC SD, then there really is no negative aspect of getting a camera that uses SD.

    And besides, who cares about not being able to use old memory that you bought 17 months ago anyway? What did you buy that many months ago......maybe 1 GB cards?
     
  20. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #21
    Right. I got 1MB last winter for same $$$ that 4GB is now... but then my camera was a 5mp Kodak and the memory could hold 250 highest res pics. But now I use a 10 mp DZ 50 and 1 gb gives me room for only 40 RAW files! At least the 4's aren't $400 anymore! And, my old 1GB SD works in the new camera. It's a win / win situation!:D
     
  21. cube macrumors G4

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    #22
    Note that some cameras accept 4GB SDHC cards, but not 4GB SD cards.

    And there are some devices which accept 4GB SD cards, but are SDHC incompatible.
     
  22. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #23
    I haven't tried this, but I read somewhere that the D50 can use a 4 gb SD card, but just can't format it. So... you can format it in FAT32 with your computer, and then it will use it... Someone can correct me if this is wrong.
     
  23. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #24
    Oh yeah, one other thing... speaking of the CF being "pro" and the SD being "consumer," my Canon A95 p/s takes CF, and my Nikon D50 takes SD. I guess they're both "consumer" but certainly I see no distinction in "pro" vs. "consumer" as far as the form factor goes. As long as it's got enough capacity, and speed, it will be "pro" in my book. Especially if I earn money using it... ;)
     
  24. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #25
    Are the pro CF cards such as the Sandisk Extream IV or the Lexae 133x a good idea for DSLR's or will normal CF cards work just as well. I'm asuming these pro cards are faster, is this of real value or just a marketing gimic
     

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