Which Express card...? Quality is important...!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SoCalRich, May 2, 2010.

  1. SoCalRich macrumors 6502

    SoCalRich

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    NorCal
    #1
    I have my new 17" MBP on the way. I need to buy a Express Card to read my SD cards. I currently run 8GB 30MB/s cards. In the future I might want to run 16-32GB 30MB/s cards so I don't want to limited in any way.

    I read on on card reader that it only compatible up to 2GB cards....[​IMG] I thought that was strange as I didn't know there was a limit as to size.

    I want to buy a quality Express Card and when the SD card is installed I want it to be flush.

    I have no idea who makes a good quality card. Any advice would be greatly appreciated... [​IMG]

    Many thanks in advance... [​IMG]
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #2
    That may have referred to the limit in size on SD cards. An actual SD card, IIRC, is limited to 2GB. Anything bigger than that is an SDHC card, which is the same form factor but a different spec.

    If the reader in question couldn't handle SDHC (which seems really unlikely), then it could have been referring to the reader itself.
     
  3. Perrumpo macrumors 68000

    Perrumpo

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  4. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #4
    That is the official specification. There are borderline SD cards bigger than 2GB, maybe upto 16GB exist. I have some 4GB. They have to be formatted as FAT32, which is out of spec.

    The SDHC spec goes upto only 32GB, most probably because of the Windows formatting limit. For bigger than 32GB SDXC was made, which uses exFAT and goes upto 2TB. There are some 64GB cards already.

    Some cameras that only take SD cannot format in FAT32, but happily accept cards which have been so properly formatted elsewhere (eg: Nikon D50).

    But I guess most cameras that only accept SD cannot use FAT32.
     
  5. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    #5
    I'm not exactly sure, what the max size of a fat32 file system is, but I did format a HD to 2TB as fat32. I would imagine it would be easy to update the firmware of any camera to support formatting of SD or SDHC cards without limits. If a camera can use a card it should also be able to format it. If it can't that just mean its firmware needs to be updated. If the camera manufacturers are really interested in doing that is another story alltogether. For example, when Pentax K100D came out it only supported SD cards and not SDHC. Pentax then issued an updated firmware, that added support for SDHC.
    There is the issue of SD and SDHC compatibility with older cameras though. SD usually means fat16 while SDHC is fat32.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #6
    Windows sets an arbitrary formatting cutoff of 32GB IIRC - the reason being large FAT32 drives supposedly suffer from poor performance. Windows can access FAT32 drives that are larger than that, but it will refuse to create them.

    Since FAT32 isn't journaled I'd hesitate to use it anywhere a better option exists (e.g. HFS+ for Mac, NTFS for Windows, ext3/4 for Linux). But with memory cards, of course, we're kind of stuck with these second-rate formats.
     
  7. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #7
    I looked it up and according to wikipedia the maximum size for the fat32 file system is 8TB.
    I agree, journaled FS is the way to go, unless you need to be able to write to the file system from Mac/Linux and Windows. NTFS isn't writable from Mac/Linux (writing to NTFS from Linux is still "experimental") and Windows doesn't support anything other than FAT or NTFS. So we're stuck with the lowest common denominator, fat32.
     

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