Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hands-On Preview Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC!

Just announced the New Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC and CF cards and we got one for testing!
Last week Lexar sent us a 16gb Platinum SDHC card to do some speed and general purpose testing with. First thoughts were, 16gb, Cool! I can shoot almost all day and not swap cards. Followed by OMG, What if this thing crashes with a full day of assignments and all my clients’ files on it.
With big cards come big gains and potential big losses. The convince of not swapping cards is blissful, however, if the card is lost, fried etc. you just lost what many have over 4-8 cards (4gb and 2gb cards) since until now the Larger cards were very pricey being over $200, and when price per gig is that high, but halved when you use a 2 or 4gb card, Many decide to opt to change more cards.

Continue reading:


Working with a Pentax K20D DSLR my normal file sizes range about 12-18mb for RAW, and about 10MB for best Jpegs. I was really worried that going to a class 4 SDHC from Class 6 card, was going to kill the speed of my K10D to the snails-write pace of the *ist-D
Pleasantly Surprised, I found the in-camera write times to seam not overly much longer. This does not equal over when downloading in the computer. I do not care who you are and how fast your drivers are, but 16GB of info takes a long time to download no matter what the speed is.
The best part of this card is its size and capacity. SD is a great format to keep in the camera, or carry 8 where you could only put 2 CF cards. It’s not so great when you drop it in a pile of papers on the desk. Since SD is now rather standard for Point and shoots as well as amateur and semi-amateur/pro DSLR's we will not talk about its physical size pros and cons here, that's another d
Capacity is where this card shines. Sure I can get an 8gb Class 6, but for almost the same price estimates (when comparing current street prices of existing SD cards from Lexar) I have doubled my memory and the average consumer will not notice that much of a drop in-camera speed.
I was able to fit o
ver 1000 images on my one card with still a Little room to spar. I would download after every assignment but would not clear the card, testing how many I could fit. (I never did reach the limit)
The best 2 things were when I was shooting in the rain Friday Night and didn't have to worry about swapping cards and getting rain in the open camera. And photographing a company dinner Saturday and never worry about the card getting full or not in the middle of the gig.

Official Test Results:
(Tested on Windows XP Pro with 4gb ram, using 150gb/10000rpm Western Digital Raptor HDD as OS and separate one for files (non OS drive) Transferred using Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader to non OS Raptor Drive. Times averaged than average used to find fallowing results)
Using a File folder containing a mix of photo files totaling 1.01Gig (1010mb)
Write times: 7.30mb/sec Read Times: 14.26mb/sec
This is consistent with 14gig’s (max I filled it with from the camera) taking about 25-30min

So times from computer to card are a little slower with my test card than expected (Lexar Claims 9mb/sec) But I often find that all companies list the best time possible and this can be burst speed but average I find all cards to write about 1-2mb/sec slower on my machine than the factory clams.
I will conduct some camera write times soon and post here, but on average it seams to take about 8-10sec longer to clear my K20D’s buffer compared to their Pro 133x/class 6 Cards

Overall though from hands-on usage test I would say go buy this card. It should be cheep, reasonable fast (class 4/60x) and is perfect for all but those who demand massive burst capability and fastest camera to cart times. If you can tolerate some slightly slower downloads to the computer and the slightly slower write times, the benefits of having a 16gig card for your average DSLR (Nikon D40/60, Pentax K200D, Canon Xti) are wonderful, Almost an entire trip without swapping cards (depending on how you shoot) seams great and less chance you’ll loose/drop the card when changing. (But see note about keeping your eggs in one basket)
Also Note no matter what the speed, 16gb is a lot if information to transfer at once, even from 2 internal HDD it takes me at least 15min on high-speed drives. The only way to really improve speed times would be threw Firewire 800 with the ultra fast UDMA CF cards. When I get their 16GB CF card to test I will let you know about this, but I do not expect to see a drastic change in time of 16gb)
I know that I will go and buy one of these cards when they come out for trips, long-image intense assignments, weddings etc. My K20D eats memory cards like snacks (only about 150 on a 4 gig card shooting RAW+ And though I would not pick this card first for sports shooting (I did miss a few due to a full buffer that I normaly dont have with the pro/class 6 cards) I think it should work for most other events just fine.

Cheaper than Pro cards
16gb in a SD card form
Comes with Lexar Image Rescue (I like this program the best for image recovery)

Only Class4 (Not as fast as Class 6 SDHC)
16gigs takes along time to download no matter what the speed of the card.
A lot of eggs in one basket

Overall Result:
I Would/Will Buy One (for use in everything but sports)

No comments:

Amazon Deals

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...