The 45X series cards from Transcend behaved similarly in the tests, notwithstanding the difference in storage capacity. Moreover, these devices turn to be well-balanced as they work fast both at reading and writing and both in cameras and card-readers. The 1GB card was better in readers and the 512MB one – in cameras. Overall, the Transcend 512MB card scored second best after the Apacer 512MB. You should note that a majority of Transcend’s 45X series cards of other capacities are high-performing, too.
After all the winners and losers are identified, I’d like to summarize the results of the today’s test session as a few facts:
- The performance of a particular memory card in a particular digital camera is first of all determined by the effective interface of the camera’s reader rather than by the speed characteristics of the card itself;
- Depending on the design of a particular digital camera, you can feel a big or small performance boost, replacing a slow card with a fast one, or may not feel it at all. There’s no way to predict this – the particular “card-camera” combination should be tested in each case. Moreover, a camera may favor certain cards that are most speedy with it, although do worse (usually slightly) than other cards on other cameras. Anyway, the tendency is clear: a fast memory card will deliver more performance than a slow one in any camera. The value of the advantage is uncertain, though.
- Memory cards of the same series from the same manufacturer may also show different performance in cameras, notwithstanding similar design. You shouldn’t go far for examples: take a look at the results dispersion of the Platinum series cards from Pretec or at the “ordinary” Apacer 512MB and 1GB;
- A card’s belonging to a special “speedy” series doesn’t warrant its higher performance in comparison to an “ordinary” product (but nearly always means a higher price). For example, the Apacer PhotoSteno Pro 512MB turned to be slower than the ordinary Apacer 512MB model (well, the latter card was the absolute winner in my tests, outperforming all other cards – “normal” and “special” alike);
- The performance of a memory card in a card-reader also varies according to the reader model. There’s no regularity – some flash cards will be faster on this reader, others on another reader. I can’t also claim that universal readers work slower than specialized ones or that FireWire is better than USB 2.0 – it’s not so, at least with some cards;
- If you’re shopping for a memory card basing on the results of a test, there arises the identification problem, since the manufacturers can change the internals of a product without showing it in the device’s price or appearance. Such changes are often brought in due to marketing reasons. And of course the performance of two cards from different batches may vary dramatically;
- In order to make sure that you are buying a card from the same series as the one used in the tests, you can compare their edge stamps or serial numbers. However, as I already mentioned above, it is more practical and easy to test the card in your own camera before making a purchase.