Articles: Memory

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Performance in Digital Cameras

I decided to present my comments to the results in two parts: the first deals with the devices I tested the memory cards with, and the second part deals with the products of each flash card manufacturer and their results.

Canon EOS 10D

This device formally belongs to the class of reflex cameras with interchangeable lenses. Informally, this is a very popular model of a digital mirror-based camera now available in the market, and professionals and amateurs all like to use it. With a resolution of 6 megapixel and a 22.7x15.1mm sensor, the camera provides an excellent image quality under any conditions and for any photo tasks.

The Canon EOS 10D has an integrated frame buffer that allows shooting at a speed of three frames per second, up to nine frames in a series. After the shooting is complete or the maximum series size is exceeded, the buffer’s contents are written to the memory card and the shooting is stopped until the buffer has enough storage space for at least one frame.

You can see that the difference between the tested memory cards is rather small when you use them in the Canon EOS 10D camera – here, the gap between the fastest card (the Delkin Devices 1GB, with a result of 35 seconds) and the slowest one (the Pretec Platinum 512MB, 48 seconds) is only 13 seconds. That’s the maximum speed advantage you may obtain by replacing a slower card with a faster one – it may be even less! Moreover, you will only feel this advantage at reportage or sports shooting where making several shots in a series is the norm. Considering the rather low shooting speed of the Canon EOS 10D in this mode, it is unlikely to be used for such photo-work – especially because Canon, and other companies too, have cameras specifically targeted at press reporters and sports photographers. So, here’s my verdict:

  • The speed of the installed flash card is not crucial for this camera;
  • The camera is slow at saving the data, and the bottleneck in the “camera-card” system is the interface rather than the card;
  • You are unlikely to feel any difference between fast and slow cards at everyday photo-tasks, if you’re not into serial shooting (but in this case, another camera would be the best choice).
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