SanDisks Extreme Pro 16GB UHS-1 95 MB/s SDHC
I currently have a Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC card. I don’t know how many times I’ve been shooting at 6fps and hit my buffer limit of 9 shots and the camera slows to a crawl! It’s unbearable! I don’t want to think about how many shots I’ve missed because of that… When I got it, I thought Class 10 was the fastest card you could get, so I got 2 of them. They were so cheap! They’re even cheaper now! At a little over $1 a GB, I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
Enter the SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB UHS-1 95 MB/s SDHC. I’ve never been so thoroughly amazed by something in such a short amount of time. This card is awesome. Well worth (assuming it holds up) the $50 i paid for it.
So, what does about $3 a GB get you? Speed. And tons of it!
OK, to compare, I did a very basic test starting with the Transcend. I switched everything to manual, and held down the shutter button. I shoot RAW, so only 9 shots fit in the camera’s internal buffer. I started the timer as soon as I pressed the shutter button, and then stopped it when the buffer emptied and the light went off. I did it three times and it took about 16 seconds on average. OK, now for the SanDisk card. Same exact setup as above, averaged 7 seconds!
The next thing I tried was to keep the shutter button down. So, as expected, the first 9 shots went at 6fps. Then, as the buffer cleared, it would take a burst of 2 more. Instead of trying to time it, take a look at the image below. It’s a screen cap of a wav file. The spikes you see are the sound of the shutter.
As you can clearly see, the SanDisk card blows the Transcend card out of the water! Look at the first two rows: The initial 9 shot bursts line up exactly, and then as the buffer writes to the card, it clears room. I can get 3 more shots in by the time I can take the next shot on the Transcend card!
Now, look at the next two rows, I was able to shoot 37 frames before the buffer couldn’t write fast enough, and even then, it maybe only slowed down to 4FPS… Compare that to the Transcend cards 15 frames and then an erratic maybe 2 frames per second…
One important note:
Not all cameras support the UHS-1 format. Mine (Nikon’s D7000) is one of the few that support it, that I know of… A quick google search will let you know if yours supports the UHS-1 format. If it does, you won’t regret getting this card.
I’ll update this post as I shoot more with the card. For example, I know that with the Transcend 16GB card the camera tells me I can only get 454 shots, but in reality I can write about twice that to the card. I’m wondering if the Sandisk will be any different. Another thing I’ll need to test is the read speed when I import into Lightroom. Downloading a full 16GB card can take a good amount of time!