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FORUMS General Gear Talk Data Storage, Memory Cards & Backup 
Thread started 14 Jan 2015 (Wednesday) 12:37
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SDHC vs. CF

 
cerett
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Jan 14, 2015 12:37 |  #1

Beyond the obvious difference in physical size, is there any advantage of one over the other if your camera takes both? Is SDHC a safe storage media?


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Luckless
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Jan 14, 2015 19:36 |  #2

Biggest difference you can notice is your read and write speeds. Compact Flash cards will generally allow far faster transfer speeds than SD cards, but check specs before you buy. Usually doesn't make a difference when you're taking photos, but it can be nice when it comes time to download them onto a computer at the end of the day if you produce any volume of photos.

I find SD cards are easier to misplace. They're thin enough that they can become non-obvious in a stack of papers, where the CF card will still stand out and be a little easier to spot. (But they're both better than dropping a micro-SD card in grass... That is a nightmare...)

CF cards however are harder to buy at reasonable prices, and are far less commonly seen in stores.

SD cards have around the same reliability as CF cards. Some designs of either are more durable than others, but you shouldn't have a problem unless you're planning to abuse them. I can tell you from personal experience that neither device does well when embedded in a small UAV that is then driven into the side of a hill at nearly the speed of sound.


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frankchn
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Jan 15, 2015 02:30 |  #3

Also, because of the faster write speeds, you have a larger buffer depth with CF cards on your 5D3 than SD cards.




  
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Luckless
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Jan 15, 2015 08:02 |  #4

Good point on the buffer. But not just more photos in a given burst, but also a shorter time before you can start the next long burst. Totally not an issue for a lot of shooters, but can be important for some styles of wildlife or sports photography.

And now I'm curious on roughly what the difference is with the 5D3 when using different speed cards.


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cerett
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Jan 15, 2015 10:19 as a reply to  @ Luckless's post |  #5

Thank you. Do you use the SD slot, if available, at the same time you have a CF card in the camera? In other words, do you routinely keep an SD card in the camera?


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Jan 15, 2015 10:24 |  #6

I use both at the same time, JPG on SD and RAW on the CF.
I would prefer 2 CF, but Canon made 1 SD and 1 CF :-(


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Echo63
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Jan 15, 2015 10:59 |  #7

cerett wrote in post #17383743 (external link)
Thank you. Do you use the SD slot, if available, at the same time you have a CF card in the camera? In other words, do you routinely keep an SD card in the camera?

when i had a camera with both, yes, i used to keep both slots full.

with the old 1Dmk2N i used to use i had a 2gb SD+ from sandisk in the slot - the SD+ cards used to fold in half to expose a USB connector, so i always had a USB drive with me, if i needed it.

nowdays my camera takes 2 CF - both slots are full (16gb in A and 8GB in B)


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Jan 15, 2015 12:14 |  #8

SD cards have been around for years and are well tested. Reliability is no different than with CF cards.

For performance CF cards have higher speeds available but for most users it's not going to be an issue with a variety of high speed choices for SD cards from reputable brands being available at reasonable prices.

The main difference besides size is an SD card can not be put in upside down like a CF card can and you don't have to worry about bending pins in the camera or card reader with a SD card. SD cards are more commonly available at a variety of retailers while CF cards may not be stocked or will have a much more limited selection.

Given both formats offer cards with read/write speeds in excess of 90MB/s which is faster than most cameras can take advantage of its really up to personal preference.


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chantu
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Jan 15, 2015 19:46 |  #9

I think the SD card is actually more reliable. I think the edge connectors is much better physical design than the pin-hole connectors of the CF cards. A couple of times I had bent pins in the reader. Besides, the SD card can be read almost anywhere. Not so with the CF card. But on some (all?) of the Canon cameras, the fastest speeds can only be had on the CF cards.


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Jan 15, 2015 22:12 |  #10

CF cards are slowly fading from popularity. I am reluctant to buy new fast CF cards because of this. Good SD cards are almost as fast as good CF cards, and both are plenty fast enough for me. So I'm buying and using SD cards. I keep an older CF in my 7D2 in case the SD fills up.

Their size and possibility of losing are not issues for me. I use 32 and 16 GB cards and practically never need to change them in the field. They live outside the camera for only a few minutes back at home or in the hotel while files are being copied.


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col_ccc
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Jan 17, 2015 23:15 |  #11

I have found Cf to be very stable. But this is brand specific quality. Personality I would use Cf over sd

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cerett
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Jan 18, 2015 12:10 |  #12

Thanks everyone. I think I will stay with CF cards as my primary and only use the SD slot as a backup.


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Jan 27, 2015 06:56 |  #13

I've just bought a camera with SD cards. SD cards nowhere near as easy as CF cards to manipulate with gloves on or in unfavorable conditions as CF cards (I used to be able to load film into my Canon F1 cameras at a trot). SD cards don't have pins that might bend or break if you're ham-handed...but the cards do.

But as has been mentioned, it's a fact that CF cards are slowly fading away, despite that a larger form factor ought to always carry advantages...but not if manufacturers are not putting continual R&D into them.


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Echo63
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Jan 27, 2015 10:40 |  #14

chantu wrote in post #17384572 (external link)
I think the SD card is actually more reliable. I think the edge connectors is much better physical design than the pin-hole connectors of the CF cards. A couple of times I had bent pins in the reader. Besides, the SD card can be read almost anywhere. Not so with the CF card. But on some (all?) of the Canon cameras, the fastest speeds can only be had on the CF cards.

I have a few cards at work that would disagree with that - CF that still work after a few years, vs SD that are cracking and falling apart after one year (full time use, pulled in and out of the camera multiple times a day)
I havent bent a pin yet, but it is the one thing i dislike about the CF format


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douglala
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Jan 27, 2015 21:23 |  #15

I stick to SDHC even though I now also have a CF slot on my new 5DM3. The SD cards are more widely available and all of my laptops have an SD slot and not CF. Just one step easier when transferring my photos to my computer.




  
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SDHC vs. CF
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