SD memory: Sandisk Ultra II or Extreme III?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by weldon, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. weldon macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I'm planning to buy a new Canon SD-550 this week (Amazon is having a sale and my old 3MP camera is long in the tooth). I was checking out 1GB secure digital memory cards and saw that the Extreme III card is $15 more than the Ultra II. If I want to take lots of candid snapshots and the occasional short movie clip, is the upgrade to the Extreme III worth the extra dough?

    Actually, looking again... I think my mind is made up because the Ultra II card comes with a $25 coupon for prints at

    Still, any opinions on the cards or the camera? Save me from myself if I'm about to make a mistake. :)
  2. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2005
    the ultra card will do just fine. I use one in my digital elph and it records video and performs well
  3. Orlando Furioso macrumors 6502

    Orlando Furioso

    Apr 12, 2005
    $15 difference is really not that much. And I'm sure either card will be fine. However, does this particular camera even take advantage of the extras (probably speed) offered by the Extreme III card? If not, then go for the Ultra II card, it already should be more than enough.
  4. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    That is what I was going to say. I am not sure, but I think that the only cameras that really use the Extreme III speeds are like the DSLR style cameras. I just bought a Canon A620 and I ordered the Ultra II for myself last night. I know my camera handles that speed great.

    That said, $15 ain't that much more and it's not like it will perform slower.
  5. cotton macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2003
    I have a Canon 5D and I was looking at some photo site about the difference. From what I know, the camera might not have a real difference between the II and III. I bought both the II and III and even though I'm not a professional, I don't really see a true difference.

    Hope that helps. :)
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The "III" is much faster. Where this helps is if your camera has a "burst" mode where it can take 3 to 5 shots per second. If the memory card can not handle data that fast the camera is forced to slow down. For a small point and shoot camera the "II" is fast enough. What you might want the "III" is for a DSLR where the (RAW) data files are much larger and you like to take shots fractions of seconds apart or even do that "machine gun" burst mode for 100 frames
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Try this experimant: Put the camera to record RAW files. Set it to "burst mode" where it does five frames per second or whatever the speed is. Now just hold the shutter button down and see how many frames it takes before it slows down.

    In theory it should do more frames useing the faster card.

    But then how many peole do this in real life.

    It is nice to have a fast card if you us a USB card reader The faster card is as fast as a hard drive.
  8. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth

    This is only half the story.

    The other half of the story is getting the images off the Card and into your PC, typically via a USB 2.0 reader.

    The access speed of the card is the bottleneck at this point, and usually you're usually sitting there, waiting impatiently, for the system to copy the *entire* card over to your HD to begin to work with any of it.

    As such, even if your camera can't take advantage of a higher speed, you may very well still want it anyway.

  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The little point and shoot camera will not work faster with the faster card because they have such a long delay already with thier auto focus and meter systems they can only take images onec every second or so. dSLRs are much faster so sometimes the faster cards helps.

    But where the extra speed is always noticable is when you are reading the data with a card reader connected to your computer. The "extream III" cards are as fast as a your hard disk drive. This makes a noticable difference on a 1GB card but is saving 15 seconds worth it? Depends on who you are.

    Someday you might upgrade the camera. Some people worry about that and overbuy the cards. But then your next camera might take CF cards...

    The other thing is that Sandsk claims to have tested each Extream II card to very high standards, extreams of tempurature and shock What Sandisk does not say is if thier other cards are tested or not. It may be that they all are.

    I always say just use you equipment a lot so that you know it well and never take brand new stuf with you on vacation.

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