I just ordered a 32gb Sandisk Extreme 60mb/s Compact Flash card from B&H + the Nikonians D800 book. Since I'm not using the D800 for sports/action do I really need the fastest cards? I use 16gb Sandisk Extreme 45mb SD cards as well and the camera seems very fast.
Regardless of the write speed of the memory card, you can always shoot at full speed until the buffer is full. The difference between cards is only seen in the interval before you can shoot the next burst. When you transfer images to your computer, a fast card can save a minute or two over a slow one.
In a word; No! If and when you start filling the buffer and find yourself waiting for the buffer to clear before you can capture the next image, you might consider getting a faster card. Until that happens, use what ever speed cards you have.
If you shoot landscape panoramas with skies and stitch photos, a fast card is important. Clouds and light are always changing.... so a fast card will help you catch the right moment without too much change in your landscape scenery. I have missed the right moment in the past with a slow card when trying to shoot panoramas. I now use San disk Extreme pro 32gb 90mb/s CF and 32gb 95mb/s SF cards and have been very happy with no missed shots. You basically answered your own question ...Good luck !
Thanks for all the info. At some point in the near future I plan to get a 32gb SD card and may consider another 32gb CF card. At that time I'll try the Sandisk Extreme Pro cards. I picked up a couple of 16gb Kingston Ultimate 600x CF cards a couple of months ago. I think that was a bad decision because the slower Sandisk's seem faster.
Agree with Hawk Eyes on this one. Also, for similar considerations, if you are shooting landscapes for HDR, with 7 or 9 frame brackets, it's a good idea.
Do you plan to also use an SD card simultaneously (e.g. - for shooting jpeg backups in RAW +fine mode)? I found that having a slower SD card had a very definite, negative impact on write speeds under those circumstances. Upgrading to the fastest SD card from Lexar made a big difference.
The trick is not to make lemonade when life hands you lemons. The trick is to find the person life has handed vodka to and then have a party.
Generally CF cards are 40-50% faster than SD cards. SD cards tend to be a little cheaper. The fastest cards are usually the most expensive, so dropping back to a 60mb/s card is a good balance of price with speed for most situations.
I like a 32GB card for the D800. It covers a full day of shooting for most subjects. Wildlife is different and you'll be more likely to fill a card, but it depends on the subject.
>I just ordered a 32gb Sandisk Extreme 60mb/s Compact Flash >card from B&H + the Nikonians D800 book. Since I'm not >using the D800 for sports/action do I really need the fastest >cards? I use 16gb Sandisk Extreme 45mb SD cards as well and >the camera seems very fast.
Simple math. 14-bit uncompressed RAW, 74.4MB camera buffer memory 16 frames 12-bit lossless compressed RAW, 32.4MB camera buffer memory 21 frames 14-bit uncompressed RAW in DX, 32.5MB camera buffer memory 25 frames
So if you feel you are going to shoot at the maximum 4fps for over 4 seconds straight and in 14bit RAW you need the fastest card possible. Ant delay between the shots and you don't need fast card.
I don't shoot sports (need more than 4fps for that) but I shoot something as demanding as that. I shoot red carpet. I shot with Canon 5d2 at 3fps before and now with D800e without any problems at all. And I been doing it for a year now with D800e. I use Topram 600x and Transcend 400x cards which are about equal in speed.
The only minor problem is that I tend to shoot thousands of RAW images and transferring to computer even at close to 90mb/sec takes awhile. Even a 1000x cards would not save me much times.
The second problem is that some cameras have a bug. If you put SD card as your secondary even if you use it as overflow so no files are actually written to it, once in a while there is a long 15 seconds delay to write to the main CF card. I have a thread here on this a some people reported this problem even with the fastest cards possible. So just don't insert SD card.
So if you are shooting landscapes you are not going to machine gun so you don't really need fast cards.