• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

What cards, readers and portable backup storage device do you rely on?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Things evolve.

I noticed a sale on cards and readers so I wondered where we are now, especially with the demands of the new 1D pro cameras! My biggest venture was an 8GB Lexar 300X card and the sky did not fall! I wish we could put two cards in my 5D for instant backup!

What do you think about difference in security with the various brand names?

Asher
 

Alan T. Price

New member
None of the fastest cards are worthwhile unless (1) you have a firewire 800 card reader and coresponding port on the computer to download the files at the full speed, or (2) you have a UDMA-compatible camera. In the Canon line-up only the 1Ds3 can handle UDMA card access at present.

When I got my 1Ds2 I got an 8GB card to go with it. In terms of file count it was no more risky than a 4GB card on my 1D2 or 20D.

I prefer larger cards because I see less risk of physical damage/failure or user error if I use a large card than if I change several smaller cards to get the same overall capacity.

I don't use the SD card for data backup in my 1D2 or 1Ds2 because they are either too small in terms of capacity (in the SD range) or else too slow (in the SDHC range) compared with a decent Sandisk Extreme III CF card.

However, I use a Hyperdrive Colorspace storage device as a speedy in the field back up device, and an Epson P-5000 as a noticeably slower but better looking viewing device / backup device. The screen of the P-5000 is such that it cannot dsplay images outdoors in daylight but it's great indoors or in good shade.

Once I've got two backups on independent hard drives I am free to re-use the card. The Hyperdrive unit does data verification too, with different levels that affect transfer speed accordingly.

There is risk associated with in-camera data backups to a second card. It seems that they are not both copied from the original data source but rather than one is copied from the other. If the master card is corrupted then potentially the backup card will be corrupted too unless it actually fails to copy at all and generates an error, and thus an early warning.

When I return to my computer I can download from the Extreme III CF cards at 10-11 MB/sec but that is with the CF cardbus card reader in my laptop. To get faster transfers I would need a faster external card reader or, as I sometime now do, I transfer the data from the hyperdrive colorspace to get about 16 MB/sec (if I recall correctly. I'll have to retest one day. It's certainly faster than the cardbus reader but I seem to recall that the transfer speed was not up to maximum speed and I suspect that the laptop USB controller is a bit slow).

I once had a firewire 400 card reader but by modern standards it is slow at about 7 MB/sec and has been retired. There is little point in buying a faster firewire reader because it will be no faster than my hyperdrive on my firewire 400 port, especially with my extreme III cards. Also, my laptop uses the smaller firewire port which it seems does not support external power for the likes of card readers. That leaves me with just the option of a USB 2 card reader and they too are no faster than what I've already got.

If I was to buy a 16GB card then I'd probably get a UDMA card such as the Extreme IV so that it could be used in my next camera that will I hope utilis UDMA like the 1Ds3 does.

- Alan
 

Paul Bestwick

pro member
Asher I am with Alan re image security....... 2 backups & then reformat the card. Having said that, nothing like that happens on location. When a card is full it goes into the case & stays there until I can safely download & back up onto 2 external drives in the comfort of the studio.
My most recent wedding (Saturday) resulted in 35 Gig in files. That was from 1,700 images.
That being the case, I opt for large capacity cards & to that end currently have 4X 8 Gig cards & an assortment of others for a total of about 50 Gig. I am using the 1DS3 & 1D3 on my weddings & as you can imagine the Gigabytes add up fast.
So while at the moment 8 or 16 Gig may sound impressive, give it a couple of years & 64 Gig cards will probably be the standard & the emphasis will be on download speed.
That would be pretty cool, one card for an entire wedding.
The area that I would like to know about is card readers. I have one I bought a few years back.... some inca usb2 thing. It takes 26 minutes to download an 8 Gig card onto my Mac. Seems a bit slow to me.
 

Steve Robinson

New member
While I'm not a professional whose lost memory would be a catastrophe, I agree about the larger vs the many concept mainly because my Pentax's use SD/SDHC cards. It'd be pretty easy to start losing those tiny cards especially outdoors in the winter with gloves on, etc. For my K10D I have two 4GB cards and my K20D I have 2 8GB cards, Kingston Class 6. Without a need for as much redundancy I use a SimpleTech .5 TB backup drive. I have yet to buy a portable viewer/backup drive.
 

Alain Briot

pro member
I just got a Sandisk Firewire 800 flash card reader. I believe it is the fastest card reader available right now. About $70. My previous firewire reader (Sandisk F400) died of natural causes, so to speak.

I haven't done any specific tests but, roughly, a 1GB card downloads in less than a minute, and a 4GB card in 3 to 4 minutes. An 8GB card should take about 7 to 8 minutes to download. Much faster than USB 2. In fact I try to have all my peripheral drives connected over Firewire 800 because of the speed gain.
 

Dierk Haasis

pro member
Lexar's is as fast and comes with the advantage of two FW-ports, so it can be part of a daisy-chain. Sandisk's FW-reader has to be the end of the chain. To get to full speed, one needs a full FW800 chain, and UDMA memory cards [i.e. Sandisk Extreme IV].
 

Alain Briot

pro member
Lexar's is as fast and comes with the advantage of two FW-ports, so it can be part of a daisy-chain. Sandisk's FW-reader has to be the end of the chain. To get to full speed, one needs a full FW800 chain, and UDMA memory cards [i.e. Sandisk Extreme IV].
Good point Dierk. Thanks. I'll have to get one of those too :)
 

Dierk Haasis

pro member
One thing, since it turns out to be FAQ: The speedier cards do not change anything in camera unless the camera is UDMA, too. Currently only Nikon's D3-series [I include the x00s within their x-series designation] are. No idea if they are actually faster writing - not that I can quite see how faster writing - compared to the D2-series does make a real life difference.
 

Ken Mitchell

New member
I am sure I am in the minority, but the one thing I really dislike about my D300 is the fact it uses CF cards... I much prefer SD cards, which are smaller and don't have the potential to break those stupid little pins off.

I am hoping that pro cameras start moving away from CF cards because they are unnecessarily big, unnecessarily heavy and rely on delicate pins that are easily broken... but that's me.

Time moves on, it's time (IMHO) to move past the CF card which is antiquated technology.
 

Nill Toulme

New member
I hate SD cards. They're too small and fiddly; I can hardly pick one up without dropping it, and then I can't find the pesky little thing. It worries me too that the contacts are exposed.

Give me good old-fashioned CF cards any day.

But, having said that... I would like to have a couple of 8GB SD cards for backup in my 1D2N and 1Ds2. Has anybody seen any write speed tests on 8GB SDHC's? RG is running a little behind on updating his database.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I am sure I am in the minority, but the one thing I really dislike about my D300 is the fact it uses CF cards... I much prefer SD cards, which are smaller and don't have the potential to break those stupid little pins off.

I am hoping that pro cameras start moving away from CF cards because they are unnecessarily big, unnecessarily heavy and rely on delicate pins that are easily broken... but that's me.

Time moves on, it's time (IMHO) to move past the CF card which is antiquated technology.
The better solution would be a card that does not have hidden pins that can break or get dirt in. The SD contacts on a bog card would be perfect!

Asher
 

Vivek Khanzode

New member
I will go against the grain and recommend the Ridata cards from Mydigitaldiscount.com. 8GB versions of CF/SD (Class6 BTW) are now < 40 USD. I got a few.

Most of these cards use the actual flash made by Samsung and so these are every bit as good as the branded ones. I believe Lexar uses Micron and Sandisk uses their own flash.

I am not a pro, and so I don't necessarily need huge cards. 50$ is my pain threshold for these "supplies" and from time to time I upgrade. I have used many Sandisks, Transcends and Ridatas and one Lexar. One of the Sandisks failed me, but the Ridatas, Transcends and the Lexar never have. YMMV.

-- V
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
2 x 8Gb SanDisk Extreme® IV CompactFlash
1 x 4Gb SanDisk Extreme® IV CompactFlash
For the Canon 1Ds3

1 x 8Gb SanDisk Extreme® IV CompactFlash (works pretty well with the Sinar inernal memory (6Gb) used as buffer)
For the Sinarback eMotion 75 LV

1 SanDisk Extreme FireWire Reader (Firewire 800)
1 "old" spare Lexar Firewire 400 reader still alive (just in case)

It rocks !
And, as many other, I allow myself to erase the card when the double back-up to HDs is acheived…
 

Jay Hoss

New member
I use Ridata CF & SD cards in my business (4 - 8GB, 6 - 4GB, 10 - 2GB). Over four years of use with only three cards failed which were replaced by Ridata, no charge. The types of cameras that these are stuffed into are Kodak SLR/c, Canon 1D MK II & III, Canon 20D, Canon 40D, Canon 5D, Canon Rebel XT & XTi, Canon SD700 IS and finally a Nikon D300.

As for downloading the card(s). If I'm at my PC I use a USB 2.0 Sandisk reader but if I'm on my Macbook Pro I use a CF express card reader from Delkin, and it smokes (I can dump a full 4GB card in less then 2 minutes).

Backup is as follows: dumped to a RAID 5 file server, which then replicates to another nearline RAID server. Then at the end of the month all images are achieved to offline media (hard drive). I've given up on DVD's due to the mass amounts of data that is created every week. Now when blu-ray becomes more affordable then I believe I will change my strategy but until then....
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Do you keep the receipts for the cards to get the card replaced? Did you lose files when the cards failed? Is it the contacts or what that fails?

Asher
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
Did you lose files when the cards failed? Is it the contacts or what that fails?

Asher
I have never lost any file since I use CF cards…
I do systematically format them in camera before any use and almost never trash a file from a card in the middle of a shoot.
 

Jay Hoss

New member
Do you keep the receipts for the cards to get the card replaced? Did you lose files when the cards failed? Is it the contacts or what that fails?

Asher
Asher,

I do keep the receipts for the cards as RiData asks for the purchase date (I pdf the paper receipts via my Canon Image Runner copier). Luckily, the cards failed before the shoot began, so nothing was lost but a few moments of my time. It seems that the card memory had failed, ie - bricked. I can only assume that it may have been related to ESD (Electro Static Discharge) but then again, one would think that would have taken down the camera also. To me this strengthens the need for duplicate equipment at a shoot.
 

Jay Hoss

New member
I have never lost any file since I use CF cards…
I do systematically format them in camera before any use and almost never trash a file from a card in the middle of a shoot.
Nicolas,

I use the handy utility CardWiper from PhotoRescue, as well as, formating within the specified camera. When the card was bricked nothing would see it including PhotoRescue.
 
Top