How does one review a memory card without getting super technical and uber nerdy? Test it against every other memory card in your camera bag! That’s how. I’ve had the great pleasure of having the aforementioned memory cards from Lexar in my arsenal for the better part of two months. I hate to pit a Class 6 SDHC card against a lowly Class 2 SDHC, but that’s all I have. (Feel free to send over your Class 6 SDHC for me to review, Kingston, Sandisk and whoever else.) OK, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
First up is the 4GB Class 6 133x SDHC. My vessel of choice is the Pentax K200D shooting in JPEG at 10-megapixels. Frankly, my finger got tired after rattling off 83 frames. The only noticeable lag was when the lens was trying to focus. Because of that I switched to manual focus and Hi Drive Mode. The card managed to handle five frames before stuttering to one or two frames and then resumed spouting off four to five frames and so on. Switching to RAW resulted in a much different result. Four frames were immediately snapped and then it slowed down to one frame every second or so with a sprinkling of two consecutive shots thrown in every now and then. In RAW+ mode the card managed three frames before sputtering down to one frame every 1.5 seconds (roughly).
As a comparison I used a Kingston 8GB Class 2 SDHC. In JPEG mode the card managed four consecutive frames before crawling to one frame every 1.5 seconds or so. Shooting in RAW mode almost put me to bed. The initial blast of three shots resulted in one frame being snapped anywhere from four to eight seconds later. Once that initial batch was processed a series of two shots were snapped before it was bogged back down to roughly seven seconds in between shots. Shooting in RAW+ mode yielded similar results with a steady seven-second lag between shots after an initial three shot burst.
Here’s the gist on the Lexar card. It’s wicked fast. Oh, and I almost forgot about the USB card reader that’s included with it. It’s tiny, unobtrusive and results in me not having to lug around a bulky multi-card reader.
Now let’s move onto the UDMA 300x 8GB CF card. This, too, is stupid fast and works best with the FireWire 800 CF card reader. I don’t have a comparable CF card to test it against, but I did use it in a Nikon D3 and managed to snap over 100 images before I got bored with it. In other words, get yourself one of these along with the FireWire card reader because it’s fast and transfers images at lightning fast speeds.
The 8GB Lexar Professional UDMA 300x CF card is $199.99 the Professional UDMA FireWire 800 CF card reader is $74.99 and the 4GB Professional SDHC card is $64.99.