Are we stuck with SDHC cards?

Chris7

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 8, 2008
396
0
Lost in Thought
The Rebel XT I'm using takes CF cards, but all the present Rebels use only SDHC. And no Nikon under the 300S takes CF, and even it takes both CF and SDHC.

I'm leaning toward the Rebel X2i. Just seems like such a waste to invest in the SDHC cards when CF cards are so much cheaper per size/speed, and so much faster at the high end (e.g. 90MB/sec).

Before I buy, I'd want a second opinion: Is this a permanent shift from CF to SDHD for consumer DSLR's (until the next format card comes out), or does anyone suspect Canon or Nikon will start using CF again?

Do the people here suspect the next EOS D50 will be SDHC only?

Thanks.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
SDHC only goes up to 32 GB. SDXC goes up to 2 TB.

But CF 5.0 goes up to 144 PB. And transfer was upgraded.
 

runlsd

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2009
281
30
I think the form factor of the SD/SDHC cards is what greatly increases their utility. When constructing a camera, a SD card slot takes up less room, leaving room for other components. Same thing with a memory card slot in computers and especially laptops. Much easier to build a little SD card slot into it than a CF card.

Using a CF card on P&S would adversely increase its form factor. And portability is important for many people. Less room for everything else when the memory card takes up more space..
 

bobdard

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2008
205
0
The Rebel XT I'm using takes CF cards, but all the present Rebels use only SDHC. And no Nikon under the 300S takes CF, and even it takes both CF and SDHC.

I'm leaning toward the Rebel X2i. Just seems like such a waste to invest in the SDHC cards when CF cards are so much cheaper per size/speed, and so much faster at the high end (e.g. 90MB/sec).

Before I buy, I'd want a second opinion: Is this a permanent shift from CF to SDHD for consumer DSLR's (until the next format card comes out), or does anyone suspect Canon or Nikon will start using CF again?

Do the people here suspect the next EOS D50 will be SDHC only?

Thanks.
I don't think CF is coming back. There's no reason to go into one technology with the expectation of switching back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but has there not been more advancement in SD cards lately compared to CF? I understand CF is currently more valuable, but what about the growth. SanDisk was boasting about a 2TB SD card a while back, and with capacities increasing everyday and prices dropping, I really don't think companies are going to invest in CF anymore.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
In 10 years, SDXC capacity should be maxed out. Not so with CF 5.0
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I honestly thought CF had died years ago. It wasn't until I got back into high-end photography did I realize it's still clinging to life in this particular vertical. It seems the entire rest of the industry has shifted to SD.

At least around here, CF is more expensive than SDHC... A name-brand class 6 (suitable for 30fps 1080p video) 8GB card goes for around $20-$30... a 16GB card for $40-$50. A 16GB CF card at a decent speed costs at least double.

The max capacity of CF is not really relevant... no one could afford a CF card stuffed to capacity due to the cost of the flash memory. And, as the demand for more capacity grows, SD finds a way to meet it.

So, OP, I don't get where you are coming from at all.

In fact, I was considering a 50D vs the T1i but the fact I had to go CF for storage was a big deterrent... it's an extra unwanted investment in what seems like niche, dead-end storage. I imagine other folks moving up from Rebel's to more pro camera's would find this an issue as well.
 

tersono

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2005
1,999
1
UK
The problem with CF is that it's mechanically fragile - ask Canon/Nikon owners that have had to have their card slots replaced. That is why the industry seems to be switching to SD.

Personally, I don't care which format they choose - just so long as everything uses the same!
 

witness

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2005
435
0
Austria
Does it really matter?

Just because the spec allows 2TB, nobody has any at that size and probably very very few would need it yet.

When you do need it in the future you can buy whatever is current, will you care if it's SD, CF of something else?
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
It matters because SDHC was made to go above the 2GB barrier, and it was given a limit of only 32GB (because of FAT32), quickly making your SDHC equipment outdated.
 

Ruahrc

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2009
1,344
0
Yeah I think SD is here to stay, and although I recognize some of the technical merits of CF (for example a higher transfer speed at the top end), I don't really see any practical advantage in those implementations where SD was favored over CF. The higher speeds of CF are useful when you have the corresponding high end body that shoots at 9 or 10fps in full 14-bit RAW. There is no advantage to the higher CF speed on an entry level body that only manages 3fps.

I hear arguments both ways regarding physical durability. Some say that CF are more robust and that SD cards get lost too easily because they're too small. Others say that CF cards are more fragile because the connector relies on exposed pins that can get bent. I think there's a possibility to damage a CF card by dropping it (if it's a long way onto a hard surface) whereas an SD card is too light and is not likely to get damaged in any fall. I guess it goes both ways.

As someone else mentioned, however, IIRC CF is more expensive per gig than SD, so that is not really an advantage as the OP says.

The one thing I am glad to see though is that SD is becoming the standard amongst various devices, even Sony are starting to leak SD card slots into their cameras.

Ruahrc
 

Phrasikleia

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2008
4,074
397
Over there------->
Well, the cost of flash memory keeps decreasing, so I think we can expect that trend to continue with CF. The capacities will go up, along with speeds. For that reason, the higher-end cameras will probably continue to utilize CF for a while, especially now that video is becoming so popular. The consumer models will probably continue with SD, since the demands on the storage cards at those levels are lower.

So unless you want to move up to more pro camera models, you'll have to accept that SD cards are in your future.
 

toxic

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,664
1
it's unlikely that the camera manufacturers would go CF - SD - CF. they've made the switch, so they're sticking to it. probably makes sense since P&S's all use SD, and the majority of DSLR owners have a consumer model and won't ever buy a camera from a more advanced line.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,170
2,031
Regarding SDXC, doesn't newer 4.0 spec require exFAT file system? Perhaps Apple would license it, but as it stands, exFAT isn't supported by Mac OS X. Older 3.0 spec uses FAT32, but I think it's limited to 32 GB.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
Yes, SDXC requires exFAT.

CF 5.0 I haven't seen anything (which is normal, as it is not used just for consumer electronics)
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,383
2,207
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
But CF 5.0 goes up to 144 PB. And transfer was upgraded.
Yeah, but it still takes a dickens of a long time for the 130PB of images from my last photo shoot to transfer to my computer. :D

Regarding SDXC, doesn't newer 4.0 spec require exFAT file system? Perhaps Apple would license it, but as it stands, exFAT isn't supported by Mac OS X. Older 3.0 spec uses FAT32, but I think it's limited to 32 GB.
The 32GB limit is an artificial restriction built into Windows - other OSes, including OS X, support FAT32 volumes larger than that.

Performance isn't great, though, and you still have that 4GB single file size limit.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
It's really annoying that the vendors specify such proprietary filesystems, instead of ext3 or ZFS, for example.
 

jerryrock

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
429
0
Amsterdam, NY
I don't think CF is coming back. There's no reason to go into one technology with the expectation of switching back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but has there not been more advancement in SD cards lately compared to CF? I understand CF is currently more valuable, but what about the growth. SanDisk was boasting about a 2TB SD card a while back, and with capacities increasing everyday and prices dropping, I really don't think companies are going to invest in CF anymore.
Compact Flash never left. It is the storage media of choice for professional cameras. I stared using Compact Flash cards in my Canon EOS 1Ds back in 2003 and it's still going strong. I just purchased a Canon EOS 7D two months ago along with a 32 gig Sandisk Extreme Pro CF card with a 90mb/sec transfer rate (needed for video capture). These cards are physically stronger than other forms of storage media.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I just purchased a Canon EOS 7D two months ago along with a 32 gig Sandisk Extreme Pro CF card with a 90mb/sec transfer rate (needed for video capture).
The price on those cards is simply ludicrous. $300+ for a memory card?! :eek: :rolleyes:

A class 6 32GB SDHC card costs about $100 in comparison.

Is CF that much more expensive, or is this a case of pricing geared towards those that can afford to pay a premium?
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
The price on those cards is simply ludicrous. $300+ for a memory card?! :eek: :rolleyes:

A class 6 32GB SDHC card costs about $100 in comparison.

Is CF that much more expensive, or is this a case of pricing geared towards those that can afford to pay a premium?
A slow 20 MB/s 32GB CF costs less than $80.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,432
4,438
I know, but the comparison was for cards capable of video capture... for which Canon suggests Class 6 SDHC for 1080p recording.
That means the minimum sustained speed is 6 MB/s.

CF does not have a guaranteed speed designation. So 133x will be the maximum speed. One needs to investigate a bit before buying. It was the same with SD.
 

jerryrock

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
429
0
Amsterdam, NY
That means the minimum sustained speed is 6 MB/s.

CF does not have a guaranteed speed designation. So 133x will be the maximum speed. One needs to investigate a bit before buying. It was the same with SD.

Your statement is just incorrect. The Sandisk Extreme Pro card has a maximum write speed of 90mb/sec or 600X.

Of course you have to have a camera capable of utilizing the speed of the card.

http://www.testfreaks.com/blog/review/sandisk-extreme-pro-32gb-compact-flash-card/

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10043-10255
 

jerryrock

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
429
0
Amsterdam, NY
The price on those cards is simply ludicrous. $300+ for a memory card?! :eek: :rolleyes:

A class 6 32GB SDHC card costs about $100 in comparison.

Is CF that much more expensive, or is this a case of pricing geared towards those that can afford to pay a premium?
SDHC class 6 card uses a different rating method. SDHC class 6 represents a minimal sustained transfer rate of 6mb/sec.

The Sandisk Extreme Pro CF is rated UDMA 6 with a transfer rate of 90mb/sec.
That is the reason for the price difference. Higher sustained rate for 1080p HD video at 30 frames/sec.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
SDHC class 6 card uses a different rating method. SDHC class 6 represents a minimal sustained transfer rate of 6mb/sec.

The Sandisk Extreme Pro CF is rated UDMA 6 with a transfer rate of 90mb/sec.
That is the reason for the price difference. Higher sustained rate for 1080p HD video at 30 frames/sec.
On Canon's consumer 1080p camcorders and the T1i/T2i all you need for sustained 1080p video is a Class 6 SDHC card.

For the 7D, I see the Canon manual recommends a CF card capable of 8MB/s or better. I don't think you need a $300 90MB/s card.