What the... Memory Card Speed Test with 1DsMkIII --> SURPRISE!

Started Aug 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
Flat view
Earthlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
What the... Memory Card Speed Test with 1DsMkIII --> SURPRISE!


So, I thought I'd carry out a little memory card speed test with my new 1DsMkIII.

Today I bought two new cards in hopes of getting as fast buffer flush as possible and maybe even longer bursts. Then I proceeded to compare my new acquisitions against my older cards.


Here are the contestants (sorry about the crappy iPad photo):

My new cards are on the left, the 400X Transcend 32GB CF and below it the SanDisk Extreme 32GB SD. The other cards I just scoured from my camera bag.

The testing procedure

  • Canon EOS 1DsMkIII

  • Manual exposure 1/500s at full aperture

  • High speed continuous drive

  • Manual focus

  • Format each card before the test burst

  • Quality: RAW (no jpeg recorded)

  • Wifey clocking the elapsed time with my iPad and the Clock Pro HD app.

  • Timing begins as I say "one, two, three, NOW" and ends as the red write indicator LED goes dark.

  • Shutter button lifted as soon as the continuous burst halted

The results

All the cards from the cheapest to the most expensive managed an exactly 13 frame burst until slowing down (continuous burst suddenly halted). No more no less. The fastest times are in bold.

Compact flash

Transcend 400X 32Gb UDMA7 --> 13 frames, 20,3 seconds
SanDisk Ultra 30MB/s 16Gb --> 13 frames, 20,3 seconds
SanDisk Ultra II 15MB/s 8Gb --> 13 frames, 19,2 seconds

Secure Digital

SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s SDHC class 10 UHS-I 32Gb --> 13 frames, 22,8 seconds
Transcend SDHC class 10 32GB --> 13 frames, 20,3 seconds
Kingston SDHC class 4 16 Gb --> 13 frames, 36,3 seconds

And out of general interest two cards together:

Transcend 400X 32Gb UDMA7 and
SanDisk Extreme 45MB/s SDHC class 10 UHS-I 32G

-- hide signature --

> 13 frames, 23,7 seconds


I do not know what to make of this. Out of the CF cards the fastest one was the oldest and nominally slowest . Granted, the capacities were different but certainly a bigger newer generation card with way faster specs should not be slower than a smaller old tech card?

In the SD competition I find it unexpected that the cheaper 32GB Transcend beats the SanDisk Extreme .

About the only thing that makes sense to me here is the painfully slow 36 seconds for the Kingston SDHC class 4 16 Gb card.

What are we seeing here? Are smaller old tech cards usually faster than newer bigger capacity cards? Is the DsMkIII unable to take advantage of the new tech, perhaps getting even slower buffer flush because of it? Caveat emptor?


Do you own a DsMkIII and some 32GB cards such as the Sandisk Extreme or Extreme Pro CF? Or some other type of a 32GB CF or SD?

Please, repeat the prosedure with those cards and report your findings here. This should be interesting.

Pre-emptive strike against the inevitable trollsy accusations

  • Yes I do realise this is not the biggest issue in the world

  • No, I do not lose sleep over this

  • No, I am not steaming but enjoying myself, this is interesting

  • Yes, I have better things to do in life but had some spare time today and came up with this idea, hehe.



Canon EOS-1Ds
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow