Compact Flash vs SD?

Sinsinnati

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2006
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0
Cincinnati, Ohio
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.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
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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.
 

extraextra

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2006
1,758
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California
Sinsinnati said:
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.
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.
 

sjl

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
441
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Melbourne, Australia
Sinsinnati said:
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.
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 ...
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
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:
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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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).
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
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!
 

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
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512MB is the optimal size when traveling because burn kiosks normally only support CD, not DVD.
 

bearbo

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
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but would you say that SD makes D80 an unfavorable choice than D70 with CF?
 

Passante

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2004
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on the sofa
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.
 

CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
3,221
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51st State of America
Passante said:
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.
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?
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
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CrackedButter said:
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?
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.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,663
466
Redondo Beach, California
Sinsinnati said:
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.
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.
 

CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
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51st State of America
bousozoku said:
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.
I cannot say I've seen them but it sounds cool nonetheless.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,427
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^^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?
 

srf4real

macrumors 68040
Jul 25, 2006
3,001
26
paradise beach FL
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
 

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
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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.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
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Oregon coast
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.
 

pdxflint

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2006
2,407
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Oregon coast
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... ;)
 

bob5820

macrumors 6502a
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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