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Performance during Digital Shooting

We tested the practical advantages of each CompactFlash card with the help of a Canon EOS D60 digital camera. The cards were used to save a series of 8 pics in RAW format with the total size of 40MB. After the shooting was over we used the electronic stop-watch to measure the time required to transfer the pics from the camera buffer to the flash card.

The table below contains the times each of the tested cards required to save 8 pictures from the digital cam memory:

Transcend 45x required least time of all the cards tested. The second fastest appeared Transcend 30x card. After that PQI and TwinMOS solutions come almost neck and neck. And the slowest one in this type of test was the Flash card from Digitex. Of course, you should keep in mind that the results obtained in this test are not absolute as the processor and the internal bus bandwidth of the digital camera involved do affect them a lot.


Well, no doubt that Transcend 45x CompactFlash card deserves the first prize here. it looks much more attractive than the opponents in most benchmarks we have taken a look at. Its advantage is especially evident in case we use FireWire interface for IOMark and FC-Test.

The second solution from Transcend participating in out test session, Transcend 30x, also looks very nice. It boasts the minimal access time and even managed to win in Sandra Professional tests. The other three CompactFlash cards fall significantly behind the leaders in terms of performance and at the same time feature very similar specifications.

In most cases all the testing participants slow down when working with a set of 500 smaller files, rather than with one big file. Although in some cases (such as file copy from the memory cards to the HDD) the performance drop is minimal.

The conclusion we can draw regarding the interface preferences will not be absolute, according to the results we obtained. Theoretically, the USB 2.0 interface boasts higher bandwidth: 60MB/sec against 50MB/sec by FireWire. The maximum data transfer rate we managed to observe during this test session of CompactFlash memory cards never exceeded 8MB/sec. This way, the interface will never be a bottleneck. However, for the fastest product of the bunch reviewed this time FireWire is still preferred. Maybe the situation will get any different as the new CompactFlash cards appear in the market. We’ll see…

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