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Compact Flash performance related questions

zooloo

Chicago, US
46 posts

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zooloo Registered since 06th Nov 2004
Sun 07-Jan-07 07:16 AM

I'm close to pulling the trigger on a D200, and I'm trying to understand what speed CF cards I should buy (capacities will be 2GB or 4GB).

It's becoming clearer the more I read, that labels such as '133x' and other such manufacturer ratings don't mean much.

Instead, I looked at some numbers on Rob Galbraith's web site showing in-camera and card-computer transfer rates. The in-camera (D200) rates tend max out at under 8-9 MB/s (writes, with reads being lower), and the card-computer rates are usually faster. The latest data appears to be about 6 months old.

Ken Rockwell has a good article on this, and IMHO confirms that the D200 is fast enough with most cards, but the card-computer rates are where the faster CF cards shine.

Questions:

1. What data do you use to evaluate CF card performance before buying, and where can I find info on current cards? Do you just stick with a known brand if you can't find such data from independent sources?

2. Not that it will matter, but for my own curiosity, anyone know what the latencies are for flash memories used in CF?

3. In your experience, has card-computer transfer rate been an issue? I'm guessing it's more noticeable with higher capacity CF cards.

In the end I don't want to spend a premium on the absolute fastest card if I won't notice a difference when I'm shooting. I don't have any experience with digital, so I don't know how much the card-computer transfer rate will affect me.

TIA!

G