Do we really need Sandisk Extereme Pro 95mbps read & 90mbps write speed?

Started Dec 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,834
Re: Do we really need Sandisk Extereme Pro 95mbps read & 90mbps write speed?

Aberaeron wrote:

I believe that with any class 10 card, that the camera read and write speed is the limiting factor, not the card.

The write speed of the card can, indeed, be a major bottleneck if your camera is capable of emptying the buffer faster than the card can write (if you're shooting the likes of wildlife or sports action in high-speed burst mode; loosing the high-speed burst when the buffer fills can mean missing the shot). That bottleneck is unplugged to a great degree with a UHS-1 90mbps or faster card in cameras capable of writting at UHS-1 speeds, i.e. a77/99.

When first acquiring an a77 I tested and found a dramatic difference (as illustrated in several YouTube videos): with the ~90mbps cards I get test bursts (both a77 & a99) of 17 RAW files before filling the buffer, with buffer clearance in ~7 seconds. Real life shooting of shorter bursts with brief pauses between bursts is virtually unlimited with these faster cards.

For RAW shooters, another factor that will greatly improve burst rate is switching off un-needed drains on processing power -- high ISO NR, object tracking, face detection, and DRO all turned off. These settings coupled with the fastest card provides fantastic a77/99 high-speed burst performance, which I find essential for sports and wildlife.

For video however, the UHS-1 speeds are unnecessary. I've outfitted my a77&99s with the high-speed 95/90mbps cards for RAW image shooting, but use the less expensive Sandisk 45mbps cards in the a99's second card slot which I have designated for video. The faster cards provide the best performance for image burst shooting, but the slower card is perfectly capable of writing 1080/60p video without ever filling the buffer.

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- AlanS

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