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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Canon Teaser, 5D replacment?

In keeping with new DSLR teasers...

Another camera company with an official banner-ad (this one on Canon USA's site) that contains a silhouetted camera. I question if it is a 5D replacement because this is their oldest camera and with the current competition from the Nikon D700 it is only logical that the 5D is next for an upgrade.
These rumors have been floating around for almost a year now, but this is the first real hope from Canon that they may have something up their sleeve.
We will let you know ASAP when
anything becomes official.
(Image from Canon USA website using screen capture to freeze the action)

New Pentax DSLR at Photokina?

Various reports are floating around the Net about a new Pentax DSLR. Now a few sites have official banner ads (in German) with the above image showing a silhouetted 3rd DSLR-like camera.
Could this be the long awaited/talked about Kx000D (entry-level oriented) A new "Super" model (slightly-upgraded existing model) or even a Pro-oriented one?
Who knows. We will let you know ASAP when we have official news.
(Image from a screen capture)

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)

New Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC and CF

Expanding the popular Platinum II line, Lexar adds high capacity 16GB Lexar SDHC and CF cards with a reasonable read/write rate and a very nice price.
Though maybe not for speed demon's the Platinum II series offers a compromise for the pro-sumer that doesn't want the base speed (slow) cards but doesn't need/cant justify a pro card at often twice the price. The Platinum II series is basically "last years pro model" and that's good for the consumers.

I got a chance to hands-on their new 16GB SDHC and loved it, Review Here!

Official Specs and Press Release...

Increased Capacity of Lexar Platinum II Memory Cards Enhances Experience for Value-Conscious Video and Photo Enthusiasts

New 16GB Secure Digital High Capacity and CompactFlash Memory Cards Enhance Video- and Photo-Capturing Capabilities of Flash-Based Digital Cameras, Camcorders and Digital SLRs

Fremont, CA, September 16, 2008 -- Lexar Media, a leading global provider of memory products for digital media, announced today that the company has further increased the capacity of its widely popular Platinum II flash memory card line by introducing a Platinum II 60x 16GB Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card and Platinum II 80x 16GB CompactFlash® (CF) card. The new, high-capacity cards give value-conscious video and photo enthusiasts the ability to shoot longer and faster, while taking advantage of new higher-resolution and high-definition digital camcorders, digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras. When used with many of today’s popular flash-based digital camcorders, the Platinum II 16GB memory cards allow up to six hours of 1080 high-definition video recording. The Platinum II SDHC memory card is speed-rated at 60x, capable of a minimum sustained write speed of 9MB per second, while the Platinum II CF memory card is speed-rated at 80x, which represents a minimum sustained write speed of 12MB per second. The high-speed cards provide faster transfers of high-resolution video and photos, as well as large audio and digital multimedia files.

“With the rapid increase in camera resolutions now exceeding 10 megapixels resulting in larger image file sizes from newer digital cameras, flash-enabled digital camcorders, and digital SLRs, consumers need a higher-speed, higher-capacity memory card to ensure optimal performance while shooting,” said Manisha Sharma, director of product marketing, Lexar. “The new Lexar Platinum II 16GB cards provide the quality and dependability that customers expect from Lexar, with the increased capacity required to record and shoot longer.”

The new Lexar Platinum II SDHC and CF cards include a limited lifetime warranty and valuable image-related software—the full version of Lexar Image Rescue™ 3, Lexar’s award-winning image recovery software, and a six-month trial of Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4. The Lexar Platinum II 16GB SDHC and CF memory cards will be available in September.

Lexar will be displaying the Platinum II SDHC and CF cards at Photokina 2008 at stand F022 E023 in hall 04.1.

About Lexar Media
Lexar Media is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of NAND flash and DRAM memory products under the Lexar and Crucial brand names. Lexar offers products in all major flash and DRAM memory categories, including: consumer and enterprise-level USB flash drives, industry-leading memory cards for photography, and all popular form factors of memory cards for mobile devices. For computers, Lexar also offers a full range of DRAM computer memory upgrades for PCs and Mac systems, and solid state drives (SSD). An industry leader in innovative, patented flash memory technology, Lexar is vertically integrated with Micron Technology, one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers worldwide.

For more information about Lexar, visit For more information about Crucial products, visit, or Lexar Media, Inc. is a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc. Lexar Media is a division of Micron Europe Limited, a division of Micron Semiconductor Asia Pte. Ltd., and a division of Micron Japan, Ltd.

About Micron Technology, Inc.
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAM, NAND flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit

©2008. Lexar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Information is subject to change without notice. Lexar, the Lexar logo, and Image Rescue are trademarks of Lexar Media, Inc. Corel and Painter are trademarks or registered trademarks of Corel Corporation, in Canada, the United States and/or other countries. Lexar Media, Inc. is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash trademark. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lexar Media, Inc. is a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc.

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