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Oct 11 2010

Which SDHC Card is Best?

Throughout my time with the EcoSynth Team we have used many different SD cards for many different cameras. Although the platform being used seems to be the main issue facing us, the problem of selecting the best camera and camera equipment has been present all along.


The last few months have helped us settle on the Canon SD4000 as our camera of choice for its excellent High-speed mode as well as its compact, lightweight design. At $320 this camera is a bargain and achieves the speed necessary for correct overlap right out of the box.

However, this still leaves us with the problem of selecting which card is best for high-speed photography.                                                     

The Cards:

SanDisk 4GB SDHC Card ($10) Note: The 16GB version is $30

SanDisk Extreme 16GB 30 MB/s ($85)

  Lexar Professional 16GB 133x ($105)

  SanDisk Extreme 4GB 30MB/s ($30)

The Test:

1) Clear all information off of all the test cards

2) Strap down shutter button on camera and allow it to run for several minutes

3) Power down camera and remove strap to access memory card

4) Find one complete minute midway through the test to ensure a full minute of photographs

The Results:

SanDisk 4GB SDHC Card: 158 photographs/minute

SanDisk Extreme 16GB 30 MB/sec.: 159 photographs/minute

Lexar Professional 16GB 133x: 158 photographs/minute

SanDisk Extreme 4Gb 30 MB/sec: 158 photographs/minute 

The Verdict:

The problem of selecting the ideal card should no longer be considered (in my opinion). The difference between cards was nearly 0 when comparing both card size as well as its write speed. The SanDisk extreme is marketed as the fastest card on the market right now and only minimally outperformed our stock 4GB SanDisk. This shows that for the purposes of high-speed photography, the card has no effect other than increased storage size. For our purposes, the ideal expenditures will be towards the newest and fastest cameras as opposed to cards that are supposedly needed to keep up with them. 

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