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Lexar Media's Write Acceleration delivers promised performance boost  
Thursday, November 7, 2002 | by
Actually, the headline writer got it wrong. Lexar Media's new Write Acceleration (WA)-enabled CompactFlash cards deliver a greater performance boost than the company promised when the technology was announced in late September, especially for photographers whose cameras are the Nikon D1X and D1H, and especially when those cameras are set to record RAW NEFs.

To wit:

  • Nikon D1H RAW NEF write speed increases by almost 47% when writing to a Lexar Media 256MB 24X WA-enabled CompactFlash card, relative to the non-WA version of the same capacity. JPEG Fine write speed also increases, by about 22%.

  • Nikon D1X RAW NEF write speed increases by almost 39% when writing to a Lexar Media 512MB 24X WA-enabled CompactFlash card. JPEG Fine write speed moves up by about 15%.

The release of Lexar's speed bump to their 24X Pro Series of CompactFlash cards coincides nicely with the availability of the 1.10 firmware update for Nikon's D1X and D1H cameras. That's because the write speed increase described above comes only when both card and camera are tuned for Write Acceleration, and the latest firmware for Nikon's digital SLR cameras, which Nikon began to install in user cameras late last month, provides that.

With Nikon's release of the new firmware for the D1X and D1H, Lexar is back where it prefers to be, at the head of the write speed in pack in Nikon's flagship digital SLR cameras. Delkin's speedy new PRO CompactFlash, introduced just before PhotoPlus Expo in late October, briefly occupied top spot by eclipsing Lexar's best in most Nikon D1X and D1H write speed tests. Now, Lexar has leapfrogged ahead again. The result is good news for the professional photographer, since both companies offer strong-performing cards for these two Nikon models (and other digital SLR cameras too).

The tables below provides a glimpse at how the CompactFlash performance leaders stack up in these cameras, while the Nikon D1X and Nikon D1H entries in the CompactFlash Performance Database tell the full story.

Write Speed - Nikon D1H (firmware version 1.10)

Brand and Model
Card
Type
Write Speed -
JPEG Fine
Write Speed -
Raw NEF
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
I
1273K/sec
2151K/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 640MB
I
1238K/sec
2100K/sec
Lexar Media 256MB 24X
I
1284K/sec
1679K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 24X
I
1362K/sec
1778K/sec
Lexar Media 256MB 24X WA
I
1570K/sec
2461K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 24X WA
I
1572K/sec
2465K/sec

Write Speed - Nikon D1X (firmware version 1.10)

Brand and Model
Card
Type
Write Speed -
JPEG Fine
Write Speed -
Raw NEF
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
I
1491K/sec
2072K/sec
Delkin Devices Pro 640MB
I
1468K/sec
2017K/sec
Lexar Media 256MB 24X
I
1345K/sec
1747K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 24X
I
1398K/sec
1794K/sec
Lexar Media 256MB 24X WA
I
1795K/sec
2502K/sec
Lexar Media 512MB 24X WA
I
1796K/sec
2505K/sec

Both Lexar's WA-enabled 24X Pro Series and Delkin's PRO series CompactFlash cards are expected to hit stores shelves in volume this month. WA-enabled cards also see a write speed jump in Nikon's D100 (with v2.00 firmware loaded), as well as all recent Kodak DCS camera models.

For more information, see Write Acceleration boosts Lexar Pro Series CompactFlash.

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