OM-D E-M5 SD card benchmark test

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
OM-D E-M5 SD card benchmark test

For easier viewing of the table, a web version of this article is placed here:
http://moonlightknighthk.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/om-d-e-m5-sd-benchmark-test/

It’s easy to do a bit of google and find that Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s card is one of the best choices for my OM-D E-M5 camera (or any camera that takes SD card). However, I’d prefer cheaper cards. So I bought a Kingston UltimateX 100X Gen 2 Class 10 (SD10G2) 32GB and borrowed a few other cards and performed this test to find out how fast (or slow) it is, relative to price. (Note: there are many complaints about this Kingston card being slow in amazon)

Methodology

  • OM-D E-M5 with Firmware 1.1

  • IS Off setting

  • 9fps setting

  • Set to RAW

  • Shoot a watch / clock, hold the shutter until the camera pauses briefly

  • Check how many photos are taken

  • Measure the time between pressing the shutter and the SD write icon disappears

  • Set to RAW + JPEG Large Normal and repeat

Benchmark Test Results:

  • Time is measured in units of seconds

  • error + / - 1 second

Frames, Raw time, Raw + JPEG Large Normal time

Transcend Class 10 SDHC UHS-I TS16GSDHC10U1 16GB
12, 12s, 19s

Kingston UltimateX 100X Gen 2 Class 10 SD10G2 32GB
12, 20s, 28s

Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Class 6 8GB (WiFi turned off)
12, 21s, 29s

Sandisk Ultra 30MB/s Class 6 SDHC UHS-I 32GB Class 6
12, 27s, 39s

Kingston Class 4 SD SD4 8GB
12, 25s, 44s

Kingmax Class 10 MicroSDHC 16GB
12, 28s, 41s

Lexar Class 10 MicroSDHC LSDMI32GBSBNAR 32GB
12, 32s, 48s

Leica X2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 (Lumix DMC-FT1) Sigma SD10
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tt321
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,774
Re: OM-D E-M5 SD card benchmark test

In other words, writing to card delay is related to the card speed, and overall number of shots before speed drops is a camera property and unrelated to card given at least a half-decent card.

Is it worth bothering about spending large sums on fast(er) cards?

OP Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: OM-D E-M5 SD card benchmark test

tt321 wrote:

overall number of shots before speed drops is a camera property and unrelated to card given at least a half-decent card.

I think I read some reviews stating 15 or 16 frames using the fastest cards, but I couldn't achieve this with the cheap cards I tested above.

Is it worth bothering about spending large sums on fast(er) cards?

Perhaps it depends on how frequent continuous shooting is done. If the Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 32GB were only 1.2x (instead of 3.25x from where I buy them) the price of my Kingston Class 10 32GB, I'd certainly have bought the Sandisk...

OP Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: OM-D E-M5 SD card benchmark test

Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 16GB
13, 12s, 17s (12 frame only)

I know this is the one of the fastest card, and this result confirms it. However, this result is different from other reviews, so I must assume my judgment of when the camera "pauses" is a bit different from others.

Spectacle99
Spectacle99 Regular Member • Posts: 120
One question

Good info. Thanks for checking this.

One question: After that twelfth frame, does the camera stop shooting entirely, or does it just slow down to fewer frames per second until the card is done writing?

OP Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: One question

It does not stop but it slows down very much, between 1 to 2 fps with an average card.

Timur Born
Timur Born Veteran Member • Posts: 4,967
Re: OM-D E-M5 SD card benchmark test

Thanks for this benchmark. Your measured differences between the 95 mb/s SanDisk and Transcend suggest that they perform virtually the same. And since the Transcend cost me 30% I bought it and it makes a big difference vs. the 30 mb/s Sandisk in both the Olympus E-M5 and Fuji X10.

 Timur Born's gear list:Timur Born's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
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