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D600 SD memory card speeds

mirek21

UK
31 posts

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mirek21 Registered since 05th Mar 2013
Sun 14-Apr-13 11:12 PM | edited Mon 15-Apr-13 07:11 AM by mirek21

A auite a fewpeople is asking whether it makes a sense to buy a top-of-the line card for D600. Since Rob Galbraith is not updating his pages any more I decided to do a quick benchmark of the I have cards. These are: top-card (Lexar 600x), middle-class (former king - Sandisk Extreme Pro 45mb/s) and low-end class 4 Sandisk card.

The test is simple - I press the shutter release for 30 sec in high-speed continuous shutter mode with all potentially interfering features like image review, ADL, vignetting reduction, noise reduction, lens cap on, AF, etc disabled. I measure the number of captured images, duration of maximal burst and then the card write time once the shutter button is depressed. I measured RAW 12bit compressed (picture is 16.9 MB).

The results:





cardframes capturedmax speed sustained for buffer cleaning timeapproximate speed
Lexar 600x UHC-I955.5s7s48.1 MB/s
Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-I 45mb/s784.5s9s39.5 MB/s
Sandisk Blue class 4 card294s90s14.7 MB/s


The conclusion is that the D600 can benefit from using a top UHS-I card. Whether the difference is significant depends on your shooting style. I don't personally care about the difference between 45mb/s and 90mb/s. However, if you believe that you can miss a critical frame by not having these 17 extra frames in burst, go for the top one. Do not use non UHS-I cards as the buffer clear time is too slow unless you never shoot in continuous shutter mode. Even when using a sequence of static shoots they can eventually lock the camera to the moment where you can not take any pictures for several seconds which is very frustrating.

And just one additional note. My non-griped D700 with a Sandisk Extreme UDMA6 card can capture 98 frames in the same test and sustain the speed (5fps) for about 5sec so the actual camera performance when writing pictures to CF card is very similar to the D600 with top SD card. However, the frames are obviously almost half in size and resolution. Looks like the D600 has twice as fast internals.

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