Most of the discussions I find when searching on this topic are from several years ago. Maybe we can have an updated thread? The latest firmware upgrade (1.01) for the D300s allows 64GB flash cards.
So, what's the latest thinking on flash cards and SD cards? Speeds? Capacity? Both?
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#1. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 0MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sat 09-Feb-13 11:06 PM
I have used Sandisk 32GB 60MB/sec. CF cards in my D300 though they don,t seem to clear the buffer much faster than my Sandisk 8GB 45MB/sec. cards. The Sandisk 8GB/45MB/sec. cards clear the buffer much faster than my Sandisk 8GB and 4GB/30MB/sec. CF cards.
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#2. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 0marsmail Registered since 27th Aug 2010Tue 12-Feb-13 10:09 AM
The latest generation SD cards have significantly increased in speed, but still lag far behind Compact Flash cards.
Top rate CF is capable of write speeds of 90 + Mb/s BUT the D300s is only capable of writing about 30 - 32 Mb/s so there is no real advantage in paying for a much faster card, except that when transfering via a card reader to your computer, the faster read speed is an advantage.
Regarding size, I stick to max 8Gb cards. This gives me bout 400 images per and reduces the loss if one goes "bad" (I have had 2 Transcend CF cards do that over the years and am stopping using that brand for that reason). Additionally I am set up to write all to both cards so I have an immediate backup, it does slow things down a bit, but I feel safer doing it like that.
Each to his own though!
#3. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 0ericbowles Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Sat 16-Feb-13 03:41 PM
Based on testing by Rob Galbraith, the fastest CF cards are nearly 50% faster than the fastest SD cards. I had to look at the D800 stats to find comparable test results, but it should be applicable to the D300s.
I find 8GB cards are generally big enough to handle a day of shooting, but I prefer a 16 GB card for a little more room. It strikes a nice balance between price and having enough space for a day of shooting. I don't see a lot of need to go larger on the D300s.
I also have a D800E and a D600. On the D800E with the larger file size I use a 32GB CF card - and it's plenty. I have a 32 GB SD card as backup on my D800E, but just use 16 GB SD cards on my D600 and V1. If you are shooting video, you can burn through a large card in a relatively short time so large cards are much more important.
The vast majority of card problems are related to user error. There are some problems with counterfeits, but lost cards, damaged cards, download mistakes, etc are by far the more frequent problems. A single large card - but not too large - reduces that risk but increases the loss if there is a mistake. I don't place a lot of weight on this issue since it is so unlikely and instead emphasize a balance between speed and price by buying one level behind the fastest card and a size below the largest card.
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#4. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 3Wed 27-Feb-13 03:18 PM
Consider choosing a size so that there is no need to remove the cards from the camera. In my experience, other than incompatibility issues, most card failures are due to inserting and removing cards. While I've never had a CF card fail, I have experienced multiple SD card failures from the major brands, especially physical failures of the cards splitting open and one even split in half.
IMHO, if a camera requires SD cards, that reduces the camera to toy status. Since I'm very pleased with the results of the Fuji X10, it has a 32GB card that I never remove and even with bracketing, it got me through a 3 week trip with room to spare.
Also with no need to remove the cards, there is no risk of losing a card full of images. I used to follow the suggestion above considering the use of smaller cards but since I've stopped removing the cards, that has become moot.
As I normally use 5 exposure bracketing, this means 16GB cards provide a nice margin for a day's shooting before downloading to the computer. If traveling, they are downloaded to a laptop and uploaded to SkyDrive.
And I do write the same images to both cards for backup though in almost 10 years, I've never lost an image on a CF card, even the highly maligned Kingston cards which I find to be reliable but slow. SD, now that is another story.
Regarding compatibility, just my experience, I've never had a problem with any of the major brand CF cards. The CF electrical standard is tight and well adhered to by both card and camera manufacturers. The speed standards not so much with Kingston cards rarely performing faster than half their rated speed and often much slower.
SD cards are another story. It is a sloppy standard and incompatibility is common. Don't assume your favorite brand-X card which works perfectly in your current gear will work in your next camera. No matter the brand, extensively test any new card. My first test is to format, fill and erase the card several times on a computer and then do the same a couple times on the camera. For each filling of the card on the camera, copy all the images to the computer and randomly examine them; especially those at the beginning and end.
Your mileage will vary.
#5. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 4marsmail Registered since 27th Aug 2010Fri 01-Mar-13 12:17 PM
>Also with no need to remove the cards, there is no risk of
>losing a card full of images. I used to follow the suggestion
>above considering the use of smaller cards but since I've
>stopped removing the cards, that has become moot.
I'm not sure, reading this if you meant actually losing the card, or having it corrupt and lose the images?
I was talking about corrupted cards that, in one case would not format after transfering the images and the other, failing to allow any of the images on it to be read.
As I mentioned, I always set up to write to both cards, so at least that days shooting was not lost!
#6. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 5Fri 01-Mar-13 11:06 PM
I meant losing the card and not corruption. Unless a card was defective when new or split (I guess this is a kind of data corruption - only SD cards) I've never lost images due to corruption.
#7. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 0
I agree with Bill and Eric, in that user error associated with managing multiple cards is probably a more likely "failure" than a good brand name CF card outright failing. Anything is possible of course.
I've used over a dozen mostly Sandisk cards for almost 9 years now and never lost an image or had a card fail. Maybe just lucky.
I always use a card reader although I suspect using a USB cable is "safer" to the extent that it eliminates the potentially expensive problem of bent CF card pins in the camera. I've never bent a pin but I've read more than a few stories here. Probably "user error" but it happens.
Repeated inserts of a USB cable could similarly stress the camera USB port, which is also an expensive repair. But that port is arguably less critical than the CF pins (??). Lots of ways to call that.
I recently bought a 16GB card because periodically I was using well over a half dozen cards in a single day, and I did not like managing that even though I have a system. I otherwise have 8x4GB cards and 4x8GB cards. So I still use multiple cards for a few regular shoots a year but I like the fact that a single 16GB card gets me through most daily shoots. That with 12mpx cameras.
Interesting discussion re SD card reliability. That is an important consideration with the new Nikon "paradigm" that is more or less forcing many to SD cards.
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#8. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 7Sat 02-Mar-13 05:28 PM
Very good points and potential damage to the the camera's USB port concerns me as well. I did have pin failure on a Fuji S2 Pro so I'm probably unreasonably shy of that problem.
The CF card manufacturers could easily prevent that problem by using a slightly larger pin opening that tapers down to the specified diameter where the pins engage the contact points in the card. Such a simple idea, perhaps the better companies already do that.
I've used a couple dozen CF cards since my first 64MB (yes meg, not gig) and never had an error of any type. Whereas with SD cards, two were bad from new (one each SanDisk and Kingston), one split open (SanDisk) and another broke in half (Crucial).
If I can save enough coin, my next (and probably last) body will be a mint D3S, but that's another story.
#9. "RE: D300s (et.al) Memory cards" | In response to Reply # 0
I use Lexar Professional. I've never had an issue with their quality, and they are one of the few that owns their own chip production, etc.
Add to that the fact that whether I've called, chatted or e-mailed I've always gotten a polite, expert people based here in the US. I've contacted them to do some research on a blog and because I managed to damage two SD cards while putting them in hard plastic cases I used to carry them around in (basically broke the write-protect tab off both cards - didn't realize how until the second one). I told them straight up what had happened - I was mainly calling to recommend some kind of warning in their flier that comes with the cards. They asked me to send the cards in, and replaced them (I don't use those cases any more). I was pretty happy.
I use the Lexar Pro 1000X CF and Lexar Pro 600X SD, mainly so I can pull photos off the cards as quickly as possible. The SD card probably more than saturates the performance of the camera to clear the buffer, but it it nice and slightly noticeable improvement in that area (though I don't shoot at 7 FPS often)
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