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CF/SD Performance Database Archive - Continued

July 29, 2004: The D1H section of the database is no longer being updated, as we no longer have access to this camera.

Any digital SLR can benefit from a fast CompactFlash card. In designing the D1H, however, Nikon engineers have done a superb job of minimizing the need for maximum card speed.

First, its cavernous 40 frame JPEG/TIFF buffer means never running out of bullets when shooting extended sequences, no matter how pokey the card. Even with the camera set to record RAW NEF photos, the 27 frame limit is more than enough to cover almost any shooting situation, which in turn gives the card lots of time to write as the buffer empties.

Second, Nikon has designed the playback mode so that photos may be reviewed and scrolled through immediately after they're shot, even when the card has yet to write out most of the photos in the buffer.

In short, it will be the rare D1H photographer that notices a difference between shooting to the fastest card and shooting to the slowest. Only if you must remove the card from the camera as quickly as possible after shooting an extended sequence will you notice that the wait is quite a bit longer with the slow-pokes. So, a fast card will never hurt, but loads of CompactFlash write speed is not essential for most D1H applications.

CompactFlash Write Speed - Nikon D1H (Firmware Version 1.10)

The data in the table below was derived by timing how long it took the Nikon D1H to write out 20 JPEG Fine and 20 RAW .NEF 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.

Note: Because the D1H isn't capable of writing to cards that have been FAT32-formatted, only cards whose capacity is 2GB or less have been tested in this camera.

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 -
JPEG Fine4
Write Speed -
RAW .NEF4
Lexar 512MB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38)
Lexar
I
2003/4/1
1.594MB/sec
2.453MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
*new and improved*
10
Lexar
I
2004/3/19
1.558MB/sec
2.715MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 40X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/8/28
1.556MB/sec
2.445MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 24X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/2/25
1.555MB/sec
2.426MB/sec
Lexar 1GB 32X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38)
Lexar
I
2003/4/1
1.547MB/sec
2.422MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 24X Write Acceleration
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38; WA on front label)
Lexar
I
2003/2/25
1.524MB/sec
2.400MB/sec
Lexar 2GB 40X Write Acceleration
Lexar
I
2003/7/14
1.408MB/sec
2.313MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MCA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2004/3/19
1.388MB/sec
2.153MB/sec
Microtech (Pexagon) X-treme 1GB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA)
Toshiba (SLC)5 I 2004/3/19 1.385MB/sec 2.107MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0310WJA CHINA)
Sandisk I 2004/3/19 1.368MB/sec 2.192MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0308VZ CHINA)
Sandisk I 2004/3/19 1.364MB/sec 2.189MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0307VZ CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/8/28
1.364MB/sec
2.160MB/sec
Sandisk "new" Ultra 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0303TV CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/7/14
1.363MB/sec
2.100MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 1GB
(Edge stamp: S4N88116)
unknown8 I 2004/3/19 1.362MB/sec 2.062MB/sec
Core Micro 1GB
(Edge stamp: 72688 KTN3 1GCP 0313 QC:5F)
Transcend
I
2003/7/14
1.357MB/sec
2.076MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0306VZ CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/8/28
1.355MB/sec
2.154MB/sec
Transcend 1GB 45X
(45X on front label)
Transcend
I
2003/8/28
1.353MB/sec
2.135MB/sec
Transcend 256MB
(30X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2003/2/25
1.342MB/sec
2.110MB/sec
Transcend 512MB
(30X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2003/2/25
1.338MB/sec
2.094MB/sec
Lexar 512MB 24X
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38)
Lexar
I
2002/10/28
1.330MB/sec
1.736MB/sec
Sandisk "new" Ultra 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0303TV CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/7/14
1.315MB/sec
2.052MB/sec
Sandisk Extreme 2GB Sandisk I 2004/3/19 1.292MB/sec 2.000MB/sec
Sandisk Ultra II 2GB Sandisk I 2004/3/19 1.290MB/sec 1.998MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 52X/PRO. 2GB
(Edge stamp: U3F06116)
unknown8
I
2004/3/19
1.283MB/sec
1.910MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 256MB
(Label: CFPRO-256C)
For Delkin6
I
2003/2/25
1.268MB/sec
2.204MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 256MB
unknown8
I
2002/3/26
1.263MB/sec
1.606MB/sec
Transcend 256MB
(25X label on packaging)
Transcend
I
2002/3/26
1.256MB/sec
1.603MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 320MB
(Label: CFPRO-320C)
For Delkin6
I
2003/2/25
1.254MB/sec
2.184MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 24X
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 38)
Lexar
I
2002/10/28
1.254MB/sec
1.640MB/sec
Microtech 256MB
(Internal: TOSHIBA THNCF256MAA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2002/3/26
1.254MB/sec
1.605MB/sec
Delkin Devices 256MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF256MAA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2002/3/26
1.253MB/sec
1.619MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 512MB
(Label: CFPRO-512D)
For Delkin6
I
2003/2/25
1.245MB/sec
2.110MB/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 512MB
(Edge stamp: AX0211RX CHINA)
Sandisk
I
2003/2/25
1.228MB/sec
1.641MB/sec
Microtech 512MB
(Internal: TOSHIBA THNCF512MAA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2002/3/26
1.222MB/sec
1.598MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 12X
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 37)
Lexar
I
2002/3/26
1.222MB/sec
1.536MB/sec
Ritek/Ridata 512MB
unknown8
I
2002/3/26
1.218MB/sec
1.582MB/sec
Delkin Devices 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MAA)
Toshiba (SLC)5
I
2002/3/26
1.216MB/sec
1.595MB/sec
Pretec 512MB
(Label: P/N: ACH512-P)
undisclosed7
I
2003/2/25
1.215MB/sec
1.578MB/sec
Delkin Devices PRO 640MB
(Label: CFPRO-640D)
For Delkin6
I
2003/2/25
1.209MB/sec
2.053MB/sec
SimpleTech 256MB
(Internal: STI/Flash 5.1.0)
Hitachi
I
2002/10/28
1.181MB/sec
1.477MB/sec
Sandisk "original" Ultra 256MB
(Edge stamp: ARO110MQ USA)
Sandisk
I
2002/3/26
1.180MB/sec
1.526MB/sec
SimpleTech 512MB
(Internal: STI/Flash 5.1.0)
Hitachi
I
2002/10/28
1.163MB/sec
1.452MB/sec
Lexar 256MB 4X
Lexar
I
2003/2/25
1.152MB/sec
1.464MB/sec
Pretec 1GB
(Label: P/N: CFP01G)
Pretec
I
2003/2/25
1.122MB/sec
1.492MB/sec
SimpleTech 1GB
(Internal: STI/Flash 5.1.0)
Hitachi
II
2002/10/28
1.116MB/sec
1.414MB/sec
Lexar 160MB 10X
(Edge stamp, first two digits: 35)
Lexar
I
2002/3/26
1.088MB/sec
1.292MB/sec
Think Perfect Pix 320MB
(Label: USA DEM LX-FLASH 320MB)
Lexar
I
2002/3/26
1.041MB/sec
1.223MB/sec
Viking 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5 I 2004/3/19 950K/sec 1.325MB/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 1GB
Hitachi
II
2002/3/26
941K/sec
1.152MB/sec
Kingston Memory 512MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF512MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2002/10/28
838K/sec
1.161MB/sec
Kingston Memory 256MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF256MMA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2002/10/28
835K/sec
1.154MB/sec
Kingston Memory 1024MB
(Edge stamp: THNCF1G02MA)
Toshiba (MLC)5
I
2002/10/28
821K/sec
1.147MB/sec
Sandisk "standard" 512MB
Sandisk
I
2002/3/26
751K/sec
840K/sec
Sandisk Standard 1GB
(Edge stamp: BB0205NK CHINA)
Sandisk I 2004/3/19 692K/sec 927K/sec
Hitachi Microdrive 4GB
Hitachi
II
2004/3/19
n/a9
n/a9
Lexar 4GB 40X Write Acceleration
Lexar
II
2003/8/28
n/a9
n/a9
SimpleTech PRO X 512MB
(Internal: STI/FLASH 1T)
SST
I
2003/4/1
error11
error11
SimpleTech PRO X 1GB
(Internal: STI/FLASH 1T)
SST
II
2003/4/1
error11
error11
Apacer Steno Pro 256MB
(Edge stamp: 83.29040.410 2002401-00006)
SST
I
2002/11/7
error11
error11
(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 single level cell (SLC) or slower (but less expensive to manufacture) multi level cell (MLC) arhictecture. The Kingston cards tested were MLC; the company does, however, offer SLC-based CompactFlash cards on special order. Kingston's SLC-based cards have "-S" appended to the end of their part number, ie CF/512-S. Not all of Kingston's distributors will have the SLC cards listed among the products they can ship to dealers. For more information, contact Kingston.
(6) Delkin has not revealed the design and manufacturing partner for their Pro line of CompactFlash cards.
(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) All cards over 2GB must be formatted FAT32, a variant of the FAT file system that this camera doesn't support.
(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) The camera would not recognize these cards.

Note: Be sure to examine the wake-from-sleep test data also; the Nikon D1H is one of the cameras affected by the lengthy wakeup time of certain CompactFlash cards.

Next Page: Nikon D2H
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