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Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT/350D, Nikon D2X added to CF Database  
Monday, March 28, 2005 | by Rob Galbraith

Write speed test results for the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT/350D and Nikon D2X have been added to the CompactFlash Performance Database on this site.

The results for Canon's newest digital SLR are roughly comparable to the EOS 20D. This means Canon has improved the write speed tremendously in the Rebel XT/350D, relative to the original Rebel/300D, though the speed at which data is moved to the fastest cards is still well short of Canon's latest 1-series digital SLRs.

Test results for the EOS Digital Rebel XT/350D are here.

The D2X is the first camera we've tested that can take advantage of one of the new data timing modes in v3.0 of the CompactFlash specification. By supporting PIO Mode 5, Nikon's 12.21MP digital SLR is capable of moving data particularly quickly to CompactFlash cards that are also PIO Mode 5-capable.

As of this writing, the list of such cards is limited to SanDisk's Extreme III line (which support both PIO Mode 5 and the even-faster PIO Mode 6). Not surprisingly, the Extreme III 1GB and 2GB models we tested trumped everything else in this camera by a healthy margin. In fact, RAW write speed tested to be almost 2MB/second faster with the Extreme III 2GB than the top-performing PIO Mode 4 card (a Lexar Pro Series 4GB 80X, in this case).

Test results for the Nikon D2X are here.

New to These Parts

In the EOS Digital Rebel XT/350D, Nikon D2X and Card-to-Computer sections we've included test data for several CompactFlash cards that are new around here as well:

Dane-Elec Xs 512MB. This CompactFlash card is sourced by Dane-Elec from Toshiba, and uses binary-type (often called single-level cell, or SLC) memory. As such, its performance is essentially the same as other Toshiba SLC CompactFlash cards in the database.

Hitachi Microdrive 6GB. We're beginning to add this card, the highest capacity of rotating hard drive CompactFlash currently available, to the database.

Lexar High-Speed 1GB 40X. When Lexar transitioned to 80X for its Pro Series line of CompactFlash last year, their 40X cards became the High-Speed line. We've added to the stable of test cards a grey-label High-Speed 40X, to see how Lexar's now-second-tier series of CompactFlash cards performs relative to the first-tier 80X. Based on the test results, it appears that the High-Speed 40X 1GB model is nearly identical to the last Pro Series 40X 1GB that shipped in mid-2004.

Lexar's 40X High-Speed CompactFlash will soon be absorbed into the company's Platinum line (this switchover is expected to be completed during April 2005). Though this will mean a new label and packaging, performance of the 40X cards, says John Omvik, Lexar's Director of Professional Product Marketing, will not change.

SanDisk Ultra II 2GB (MLC). We've included a binary-type Ultra II 2GB CompactFlash card in the database for some time. What's new is SanDisk's move to multi level cell (MLC) memory inside this and all other media in its Ultra II line, from the binary-type memory (often called single level cell, or SLC) used previously.

Historically, multi level cell CompactFlash cards have been dog-slow; SanDisk appears to have engineered its MLC-based Ultra II to be anything but. In fact, the SanDisk Ultra II 2GB (MLC) CompactFlash card offers real world performance that's the same or quicker than the binary-type memory version it has replaced. This has been a pleasant surprise.

More to Come

We're cranking hard this week to bring the rest of the CompactFlash Performance Database up to date, including adding the four new cards listed above to all the other sections of the database we're actively maintaining, as well as post results from some previous testing rounds that aren't yet up on the site.

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