CF Cards for Dummies?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LtCarter47, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. LtCarter47 macrumors regular

    LtCarter47

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Roseville, CA
    #1
    Hi All,

    Up till now all the gadgets I've owned have used SD/SDHC cards so I'm very familiar with them. I know what to look for when I want a nice, fast card. I'm planning on purchasing a 7D next month, and it occurred to me I'm clueless about CF cards. I'd like to get one that's fast enough to capture 720p, maybe 1080p, but more importantly fast enough to suck up all those 8fps continuous shots. :D

    Anyone know of a good primer/guide that will tell me what UDMA vs 60MB/s vs 300x means?

    Thanks!
     
  2. wilhelmreems macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #2
    i believe lexar pro 300x = 45mb/s. those are the cards i use, never had an issue with them, fast enough for what i do.
     
  3. Eaton Photos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #4
    These are Approximates, but should give you a fairly definitive baseline

    *133X = 15MB = Ultra II
    *266X = 30MB = Extreme III/ Ducati Edition
    300X = 45MB = Extreme IV/ Early UDMA
    400X = 60MB = SD Extreme/ UDMA
    600X = 90MB = SD Extreme Pro/ UDMA

    * Denotes Old Standard. Speeds & Ratings have changed a slight bit over the past few years, so the lower speed cards have been slightly re-rated.

    For what you are doing, the Original Extreme III's would be sufficient. I use EIII's in my 5DII shooting video, and they are quite sufficient. I also use them in my MKIIN's, which shoot 8 FPS (Raw or Jpeg), and they are sufficient for that too. What will be more important, is dumping them to your computer. For that, I use a FW800 Reader, and it is at least 3X faster dumping a full card, than USB 2.0....

    Ex. a Full 8GB card has roughly 700 Raw Images on it. Via USB it takes roughly 20 mins. Via FW800 it takes about 6 minutes. :D

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. btbrossard, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    My wife and I use "SanDisk Ultra 30 MB/s" 8 gb cards with our 7d and haven't had any problems and they are fast enough for raw burst shooting.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/541391-REG/SanDisk_SDCFH_008G_A11_8GB_Ultra_CompactFlash.html

    For HD video, I've seen people who are using slower cards without any problems at all, so anything higher than 30 MB/s would be fine.

    After spending $1,700 on the camera, I really didn't want to spend $200 on a compact flash card, so we picked up 2 of these from Walmart for $40/each. They have worked fine so far (about 2000 shots since we got the camera).

    The 7d is a great camera. You'll enjoy it.

    EDIT TO ADD:

    I can take 20 full res raw photos at full speed with the 30 MB/s card before the camera slows down to write to card. It didn't take very long to write the data to the card (10-15 seconds maybe?).

    Also, I can get 269 raw photos on an 8 gb card.
     
  5. LtCarter47 thread starter macrumors regular

    LtCarter47

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Roseville, CA
    #6
    Thank you all very much for the information and advice!
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Most people in the Canon gear forums I frequent swear by the Transcend 16GB and 32GB 400x cards for $55 and $75 respectively.

    No issues with reliability, great UDMA performance, and the best value. I personally have a 16GB and two 32GB cards. They are great.
     
  7. marsmissions macrumors 6502

    marsmissions

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, US
    #8
    Almost any card is fast enough for video, and you probably won't use the 8FPS burst....

    If the card seems cheap, it probably is.
     
  8. johnhw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #9
    As long it's UMDA, it's perfect for you 7D.

    I use a SanDisk Extreme IV (16GB) card and it's blazing fast!
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #10
    If you get one of the UDMA enabled cards consider getting a fast card reader. I have a "Lexar Professional UDMA FireWire® 800 Reader". It's amazingly fast. dpreview managed to get 15.4 MB/sec connecting the 7D via USB. I get 40-45 via that reader...
     
  10. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #11
    I just got the 5DII and have the Lexar 400x CF card. In researching for a CF card reader the Lexar FW800 reader has been discontinued. I have read that some people have experienced difficulties with ii while others have not. Lexar makes an express card reader that slips into the slot where you would put a SD card on you MBP, but you need to carefully load the drivers first or face kernal crashes (at least according to reviewers on Adorama and B&H sites). Anyone?
     
  11. Cliff3, Mar 25, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011

    Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #12
    I have been using a Sandisk FW800 card reader for the past several years, but I prefer Lexar cards. They do not react like matter and anti-matter and this combo has worked well for me. I frequently shoot motorsports events where I fill 32GB worth of cards, and the transfer rate with a FW800 card reader is more than acceptable to me.

    Prior to this when I had a Powerbook with a cardbus slot I had a Delkin cardbus card reader. I experienced kernel panics fairly routinely with that device. I opted not to go that route when I replaced the machine with an Intel-based MBP that had an expresscard slot. FW800 is fast enough for most purposes, especially when compared to an intermittent cold reboot.

    Eventually Thunderbolt will be the way to go with the new Apple machines.

    (edit: Unfortunately it looks like Sandisk has discontinued that card reader but have not updated their website to reflect this. Awesome marketing skills on their part...)
     
  12. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #13
    ^^^ Curiously that CF reader is available on amazon. I was jsut thinking about getting it. Curious:confused:
     
  13. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #14
    They're selling it at a hefty premium. I'm a packrat when it comes to email, and it looks like I paid $60 for mine at B&H in April 2007.
     

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