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Thread: CF or SD Which is better and why

  1. #1

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    Bernard Kravitz

    CF or SD Which is better and why

    Why does the Nikon D800 use the CF card (with an SD for video) and the new D7100 use the SD.
    I am very pleased with the SanDisk Extreme Pro and currently use the 32 meg and the 16 meg cards. I currently shoot with the D300 and MB-D10 that allows rapid fire. I have never had a problem with memory writing lag.

  2. #2
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Hi Bernard.

    CF is faster than SD they are also reportedly more robust but ive never had problems with SD, the D800 files can be about 50mb each and you will need the fastest card you can buy if your going to push the frame rate for sports, but then you could use the cam in crop mode and get a file half the size or go for JPEGS.

    The SD card slot on the d800 can be assigned to whatever you want to use it for not just video.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    I shoot with both types of cards on the D800, and Mark is 100% correct; the CF has faster read / write speeds than the SD. Given the large file size (especially the way I shoot - jpeg + RAW), but rarely in burst mode, I can live with either, but frankly the download speed from the SD card is noticeably faster.

    I remember having read that the file structure of the SD card is more suitable for video work, but I can't remember exactly why but seem to recall that the built in memory controller was somehow part of the reason.

  4. #4
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    One wonders whether the XQD format introduced with the D4 will ever develop further or will go the way of the Betamax

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    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    I have to admit that I prefer CF just because they are easier to handle with gloves on.

    When you are working at -37*c you really don't want to drop an SD card into a meter of powder snow.

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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
    When you are working at -37*c you really don't want to drop an SD card into a meter of powder snow.
    Just curious -- what camera works at those temps?

  7. #7
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
    I have to admit that I prefer CF just because they are easier to handle with gloves on.

    When you are working at -37*c you really don't want to drop an SD card into a meter of powder snow.
    At that temperature any resin used in any of the camera components will be below its glass transition temperature and will snap off if you are not extremely gentle with it. Same issue with your SD / CF card...

  8. #8
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    Just curious -- what camera works at those temps?
    It's certainly well beyond specification for all my gear but the 5D worked OK provided I swapped out the batteries frequently and surprisingly my X10 worked with a minimum of fuss.

    CF or SD  Which is better and why

    I had external power packs available for the cameras but actually didn't need them on this trip.

    I'm new here so I'm not sure about the rules for posting links yet but you can find my web site hub in my profile if you're interested and if you follow the "Ice Raven" link there you'll find the Jokkmokk trip report in the Arctic section of that site.

  9. #9
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    At that temperature any resin used in any of the camera components will be below its glass transition temperature and will snap off if you are not extremely gentle with it. Same issue with your SD / CF card...
    The only breakage I had was the glass screen protector on my 5D and that was due to careless packing.

    I used Extreme Pro SD cards in the X10 which only needed changing once but my regular, cheap, CF cards were used in the 5D and changed regularly with no problems.

  10. #10
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    My experience in cold is that 5DIII will keep shooting at around -40C though rear screen / associated info & live view control buttons became a bit erratic at that temperature (somewhere between -35 and -40). I have no idea what the camera is rated to do, but everything else we had froze.

    Re the original question I have always wondered why the 5DIII has CF + SD rather than two of either.

  11. #11
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Like most cameras they only specify it down to 0c which is pretty useless and inaccurate IMO.

    I guess they're just covering their backsides as usual.

    Even the EOS 1D X is the same although they give it an extra +5c at the upper working limit.

    I think I would find it annoying to require two different card types for one camera but I suppose it helps to future proof it to some degree and it might be helpful if you find it difficult to find new cards in small local stores in a pinch.

  12. #12

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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    SD card is definitely better - cos it works in my current camera
    CF was definitely better in my last camera - guess why
    With the CF cards I was always concerned about bending a pin (when using a card reader) so I usually used the cable to connect the camera.
    SD cards don't seem as fragile to use in that respect (but I am willing to be corrected).

    I can also store an emergency backup card in my wallet (with no case). The CF card is too bulky for that.

    Perhaps things would be different if the buffer was bigger in-camera, I don't know. But it still does the job. I can always slow down to only 8fps if necessary

    Graham.

  13. #13
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    I can always slow down to only 8fps if necessary
    poseur

  14. #14

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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    Just wanted to bring it back onto thread.

  15. #15
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    The only drawback I'm aware of with SD cards is their small size which in addition to making them hard to handle, makes them easier to lose. At least that's the recent talk on another forum.

    Glenn

  16. #16

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    Bernard Kravitz

    Re: CF or SD Which is better and why

    I use the 16 and 32 Gb sandisk Extreme Pro and it records at 90mb/s I agree the bigger size works well with my hands.

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