SanDisk Extreme III vs. Transcend SDHC test results

Started May 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Hyun Yu Contributing Member • Posts: 716
SanDisk Extreme III vs. Transcend SDHC test results

Since I got my 450D/XSi a few weeks ago, I've been using the Transcend 8GB Class 6 SDHC. It was a great bargain at $32 from Amazon, and has been working well. However, I've felt the "speed" of the card holding me back when I'm shooting birds in flight in continuous mode. With JPG only, the 450D/XSi can manage over 50 (53 to be exact, I believe--check p. 64 of the manual) shots at 3.5 fps. Well with the Transcend card I can shoot at full speed for about 20-21 frames, then the rate drops down.

Well my new SanDisk Extreme III Class 6 SDHC card arrived this morning and I took this opportunity to run some tests. The results are quite interesting.

Without doubt, the SanDisk Extreme III card is the clear winner. I set the camera to JPG only, shutter priority mode at 1/1000 sec, manual focus, and let it rip. The result: 181 frames in 60 seconds. With the Transcend card, same camera settings, it was 115 frames in 60 seconds. Here's a graph showing the relative performance:

Here is the audio clip of the SanDisk Extreme III card:

... and the WAV clip of the Transcend card:

With RAW+JPG setting (in which the camera's buffer is limited to 4 frames), the difference was clearly pronounced, as well. The SanDisk card managed 17 frames in 20 seconds, and the Transcend card managed 9 in 20 second.

You'll note that there are more than 17 or 9 "peaks" in the chart above. Thus, in the Transcend graph, there are 13 shots. I can only surmise this is showing the camera's buffer (4 frames) plus the memory cards's write capacity (9 frames). I counted the frames (181/115/17/9) by their time stamp on the memory card, which I felt was a better indicator of the cards' write performance.

Here is the audio clip of the SanDisk Extreme III card shooting and writing RAW+JPG:

... and here's the Transcend card:

So it seems a no-brainer that the SanDisk Extreme III card outperforms the Transcend SDHC card. Both are Class 6, but remember that only guarantees that the cards have a minimum write speed of 6 MB per second. Of course, the mitigating factor is that the 8GB Transcend card cost me $32, and the 4GD SanDisk card cost $44.

Hope you guys found this useful/interesting.

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