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CF/SD Performance Database Archive - Continued

February 8, 2006: The Canon EOS 10D section of the database is no longer being updated.

Several EOS 10D design decisions mean that this camera will benefit from the fastest possible CompactFlash card:

  • The camera's image review features don't fully come to life until the storage buffer is completely emptied to the card. RAW format afficionados will find the wait especially long.

  • When the camera's processing and storage memory buffers are completely full, you'll need to wait for the camera to finish writing at least one photo to the card before another photo can be shot.

  • The camera writes slowly, regardless of card.

CompactFlash Write Speed - Canon EOS 10D (Firmware Version 2.0.1)

The data in the table below was derived by timing how long it took the 10D to write out 9 Large Fine JPEG and 9 RAW .CRW photos to the card. Timing commenced when the camera's card status light illuminated, and stopped when the light went out. Each test cycle was performed 3 times (if the card's capacity allowed for that) to ensure accurate results.

Card-to-card speed variation within the same brand and model, photographing scenes of varying detail and at different ISO settings - these and other factors may slightly alter write speed performance. As a result, write speed differences of 5% or less from card to card in the table below should be considered insignificant. If one card's write speed is within 5% of another's, the two cards are likely to offer effectively the same performance in the real world. Similarly, it's unlikely that most photographers would notice a difference between the fastest card and one that was up to 10% slower.

The results are arranged in the table from fastest to slowest (based on JPEG write speed). The top 10% (based on JPEG write speed) are marked in blue.

Brand and Model
(Card Identifier)1
Key Components Source2
Card
Type3
Date Added or Updated
Write Speed -
Large Fine JPEG4
Write Speed -
Raw .CRW4
Delkin Devices PRO 2GB
(Label: CFLS1VM1-02G)
Samsung I 2004/11/8 1.394MB/sec 1.393MB/sec
Kingston Elite Pro 2GB
(Edge stamp: 4DC02G1MY1-2LA00)
Samsung I
2004/11/8
1.390MB/sec 1.390MB/sec
Lexar 2GB 80X Write Acceleration *second edition*11
(Edge stamp: 39132GBAI3904A4B6)
Lexar I 2004/11/8 1.389MB/sec 1.395MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 80X Write Acceleration *second edition*11
(Edge stamp: 39121GBBB4304A4B6)
Lexar I 2004/11/8 1.384MB/sec 1.388MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme III 2GB
(Edge stamp: BE04091F USA)
Sandisk I 2004/11/8 1.383MB/sec 1.387MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme III 1GB Sandisk I
2004/11/8
1.382MB/sec 1.387MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 1GB
(Label: CFLS1VM1-01G)
Samsung I 2004/11/8 1.382MB/sec 1.385MB/sec
ATP 1GB
(45X label on packaging; edge stamp: 2GC01G1MY1-2LA00)
Samsung I 2004/11/8 1.382MB/sec 1.385MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 2GB Sandisk I 2004/3/22 1.382MB/sec 1.352MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 2GB Sandisk I 2004/3/22 1.382MB/sec 1.350MB/sec
Kingston Elite Pro 512MB
(Edge stamp: 1GC5121MY0-2EA00)
Samsung I 2004/7/29 1.371MB/sec 1.331MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0307VZ CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/8/28
1.369MB/sec
1.334MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0306VZ CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/8/28
1.353MB/sec
1.317MB/sec
Kingston Elite Pro 1024MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I 2004/7/29 1.325MB/sec 1.310MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 1GB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I 2004/3/22 1.321MB/sec 1.303MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0310WJA CHINA)
Sandisk I 2004/3/22 1.316MB/sec 1.302MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0308VZ CHINA)
Sandisk I 2004/3/22 1.312MB/sec 1.299MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 2GB
(Edge stamp: U3F06116)
unknown8
I
2004/3/22
1.311MB/sec
1.291MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 80X Write Acceleration *first edition*11
Lexar
I
2004/7/29
1.293MB/sec
1.288MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
*new and improved*
10
Lexar
I
2004/3/22
1.293MB/sec
1.284MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size9
(Label: CFLS1VM1-04G)
Samsung 2004/11/8 1.292MB/sec 1.307MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 1GB
(Edge stamp: S4N88116)
unknown8 I 2004/3/22 1.292MB/sec 1.283MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MCA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2004/3/22
1.287MB/sec
1.281MB/sec
Sandisk "new" Ultra 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0303TV CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/7/14
1.257MB/sec
1.249MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/8/28
1.254MB/sec
1.234MB/sec
Transcend 1GB 45X
(45X on front label)
Transcend
I
2003/8/28
1.253MB/sec
1.230MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size9, 12
(Edge stamp: BH04092X USA)
Sandisk (MLC)13 I 2004/11/8 1.247MB/sec 1.258MB/sec
Sandisk "new" Ultra 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0303TV CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/7/14
1.247MB/sec
1.224MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 32X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/4/1
1.244MB/sec
1.216MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 640MB
(Label: CFPRO-640D)
For Delkin6
I
2003/3/26
1.237MB/sec
1.203MB/sec
Lexar 2GB 40X Write Acceleration
Lexar
I
2003/7/14
1.235MB/sec
1.204MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/4/1
1.234MB/sec
1.203MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 24X
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38)
Lexar
I
2003/3/26
1.227MB/sec
1.192MB/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0211RX CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/3/26
1.224MB/sec
1.167MB/sec
Lexar 4GB 40X Write Acceleration, formatted FAT32 with 4K cluster size9
Lexar
II
2004/3/22
1.217MB/sec
1.171MB/sec
Core Micro 1GB
(Edge stamp: 72688 KTN3 1GCP 0313 QC:5F)
Transcend
I
2003/7/14
1.207MB/sec
1.154MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
(Label: CFPRO-512D)
For Delkin6
I
2003/3/26
1.200MB/sec
1.165MB/sec
Transcend 512MB
(30X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2003/3/26
1.198MB/sec
1.153MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 320MB
(Label: CFPRO-320C)
For Delkin6
I
2003/3/26
1.197MB/sec
1.166MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 24X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/3/26
1.194MB/sec
1.155MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 512MB
unknown8
I
2003/3/26
1.170MB/sec
1.136MB/sec
Microtech 512MB
(Internal: TOSHIBA THNCF512MAA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2003/3/26
1.170MB/sec
1.127MB/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 32K cluster size9
Hitachi
II
2004/3/22
1.169MB/sec
1.115MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 24X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/3/26
1.152MB/sec
1.113MB/sec
Transcend 256MB
(30X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2003/3/26
1.148MB/sec
1.111MB/sec
SimpleTech PRO X 1GB
(Internal: STI/FLASH 1T)
SST
II
2003/3/26
1.144MB/sec
1.121MB/sec
Pretec 512MB
(Label: P/N: ACH512-P)
undisclosed7
I
2003/3/26
1.129MB/sec
1.097MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 256MB
unknown8
I
2003/3/26
1.129MB/sec
1.093MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 256MB
(Label: CFPRO-256C)
For Delkin6
I
2003/3/26
1.129MB/sec
1.073MB/sec
Transcend 256MB
(25X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2003/3/26
1.125MB/sec
1.093MB/sec
Microtech 256MB
(Internal: TOSHIBA THNCF256MAA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2003/3/26
1.125MB/sec
1.090MB/sec
SimpleTech PRO X 512MB
(Internal: STI/FLASH 1T)
SST
I
2003/3/26
1.121MB/sec
1.099MB/sec
Viking 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5 I 2004/3/22 1.090MB/sec 1.063MB/sec
Apacer Steno Pro 256MB
(Edge stamp: 83.29040.410 2002401-00006)
SST
I
2003/3/26
1.075MB/sec
1.026MB/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 256MB
(Edge stamp: ARO110MQ USA)
Sandisk
I
2003/3/26
1.063MB/sec
1.040MB/sec
Kingston Memory 1024MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02MA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2003/3/26
1.057MB/sec
1.023MB/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 1GB
Hitachi
II
2003/3/26
1.056MB/sec
1.060MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 12X
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 37)
Lexar
I
2003/3/26
1.042MB/sec
1021K/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 4K cluster size9, 12
(Edge stamp: BH04092X USA)
Sandisk (MLC)13 I
2004/11/8
1.039MB/sec 1.008MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 4K cluster size9
(Label: CFLS1VM1-04G)
Samsung I 2004/11/8 1.036MB/sec 992K/sec
Kingston Memory 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2003/3/26
1.029MB/sec
1.030MB/sec
PNY 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMG (TOOCK))
Toshiba (MLC)5 I
2004/11/8
1.028MB/sec 1.049MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 4X
Lexar
I
2003/3/26
1012K/sec
984K/sec
Kingston Memory 256MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF256MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2003/3/26
971K/sec
964K/sec
Lexar 4GB 40X Write Acceleration, formatted FAT32 with 4K cluster size9
Lexar
II
2003/8/28
902K/sec
870K/sec
Sandisk Standard 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0205NK CHINA)
Sandisk I 2004/3/22 864K/sec 806K/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 4GB, formatted FAT32 with 4K cluster size9
Hitachi
II
2003/10/30
757K/sec
746K/sec
Sandisk "standard" 512MB
Sandisk
I
2003/3/26
753K/sec
739K/sec
(1) To help determine whether the card you purchase is substantially similar to the one tested, the card's description includes an identifier - series number, internal name or other unique value - where possible and applicable.
(2) Many companies sell CompactFlash media; relatively few actually design and manufacture the key internal components, including the controller and flash memory. This column lists the manufacturer of the controller.
(3) Type I CompactFlash cards are 3.3mm in thickness; Type II, 5.0mm.
(4) K/sec = Kilobytes per second (1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes); MB/sec = Megabytes per second (1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes).
(5) Companies that source CompactFlash cards from Toshiba may opt for either the faster binary-type (often called single level cell, or SLC) or slower (but less expensive to manufacture) multi level cell (MLC) architecture. Kingston's standard orange-labeled line uses Toshiba MLC; the Elite Pro line uses either Toshiba SLC or Samsung.
(6) Delkin has not revealed the design and manufacturing partner for their PRO line of CompactFlash cards up to 640MB; above that capacity, the cards we tested were sourced from Samsung.
(7) Pretec has not disclosed the source of the controller in the Pretec 512MB card tested.
(8) These cards contain controllers from an unknown manufacturer, likely of Taiwanese origin.
(9) This camera's built-in formatter will reformat cards over 2GB as FAT32 with a 4K cluster size. This cluster size means less efficient camera-to-card transfers than FAT32 formatting with a 32K cluster size, so we've tested FAT32-formatted cards both ways in this camera. The only way with this camera to format a card FAT32 with a 32K cluster size is on the computer: we used the Format function in Disk Management in Windows XP. Note that technical staff at two CF card manufacturers warned that if a camera isn't designed for FAT32 with cluster sizes larger than 4K that compatibility problems could arise (though we experienced none in extensive testing with the 10D).
(10) This card, which began to ship in mid-March 2004, contains faster memory than the original 40X card. Lexar has revamped their entire 40X Pro Series lineup, from 256MB to 4GB, with the faster memory, though we've only tested the 1GB model. The packaging for the revamped 40X doesn't indicate that the card inside is different from an original 40X, though the card itself does: if the series number stamped on the card's edge ends in C977, it's a revamped 40X.
(11) Lexar began shipping their 80X line of cards in late June 2004. The card marked *first edition* in the table is a production model representative of the 80X lineup that began shipping at that time. In October 2004, Lexar began to ship a revised version of their 80X cards, which we've dubbed *second edition* here. As of this writing, the first edition and second edition cards are identical in appearance and sold in the same retail packaging. Only the last four digits of the edge stamp differentiate first edition from second edition. If the last four digits are A4B6, it's almost certainly a second edition 80X CompactFlash card. Please see this article for more information on the status of Lexar 80X second edition cards.
(12) This card includes a switch that enables it to operate as either a 2GB or 4GB card, for compatibility with older cameras that are unable to recognize cards over 2GB. All testing in this camera has been done with the card's switch set to the 4GB position. See the next note for more information on this card.
(13) In October 2004, Sandisk announced that its Ultra II line of memory cards was being revamped to utilize multi level cell flash memory instead of the binary-type flash memory (often referred to as SLC) used in Ultra II since the fall of 2003. As of this writing, we're not sure how a prospective purchaser will be able to differentiate older, binary-type Ultra II CompactFlash cards from newer, MLC Ultra II CompactFlash cards, or how soon MLC Ultra II was going to be widely available from retailers. As of this writing, all Ultra II CF, including the 4GB capacity, utilizes binary-type memory. We have no plans to test the 4GB Ultra II binary-type, because it was expected to be shipping for no more than about a month before being replaced by the MLC version tested here.
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