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aix123
08-19-2004, 04:22 AM
I have just bought a Nikon Coolpix 5200 (my first digicam) and need to buy a Secure Digital memory card for it. I'd like to buy a 512MB card.

The Nikon manual says that for some of its recommended cards (mainly ones 256MB and above) then the write speed should be 10MB/second.

I don't understand this. The write speeds for the lower capacity cards (upto 256) are anywhere between 1.5MB per second, up to a max of 3MB per second. These are standard SD cards, made by Kingston, Sandisk, etc. not professional super fast cards which are probably out of my price range. Nikon seem to be implying that the higher the capacity of the card the faster it must be, otherwise camera performance will be affected. Surely capacity is irrelevant when it comes to write speed. If a 16MB card works well with this camera at 1.5MB/second write speed, then a 512MB card with the same write speed must be okay as well. Right?

Bottom line: if I bought a 256MB or 512MB card with an average write speed of about 1.5MB per second what will be the result? Will the camera take a ridiculous amount of time to process a shot?

Please help!

John_Reed
08-19-2004, 07:35 AM
I have just bought a Nikon Coolpix 5200 (my first digicam) and need to buy a Secure Digital memory card for it. I'd like to buy a 512MB card.

The Nikon manual says that for some of its recommended cards (mainly ones 256MB and above) then the write speed should be 10MB/second.

I don't understand this. The write speeds for the lower capacity cards (upto 256) are anywhere between 1.5MB per second, up to a max of 3MB per second. These are standard SD cards, made by Kingston, Sandisk, etc. not professional super fast cards which are probably out of my price range. Nikon seem to be implying that the higher the capacity of the card the faster it must be, otherwise camera performance will be affected. Surely capacity is irrelevant when it comes to write speed. If a 16MB card works well with this camera at 1.5MB/second write speed, then a 512MB card with the same write speed must be okay as well. Right?

Bottom line: if I bought a 256MB or 512MB card with an average write speed of about 1.5MB per second what will be the result? Will the camera take a ridiculous amount of time to process a shot?

Please help!I don't think there's a "MB vs. Speed" factor that says you need a faster card for higher density, but looking at the things that you can do with that camera, it seems to me that Nikon is suggesting you'll be a lot happier with the faster card in place. Take one 5MP "Fine" image, which will be about 3 megabytes in size when compressed and transferred. It's not hard to figure that that image will transfer to a 1.5MB/sec card in ~2 seconds, but only ~0.3 second on a 10MB/sec card. When you do the "high speed burst" mode where the camera stores the last 5 images you snapped before releasing the shutter, you'll wait 10 seconds or more before being able to shoot again with the slower card, and only ~1.5 seconds with the faster card. In normal usage, if you don't use these modes, maybe it's no big deal. I can tell you I definitely notice the difference with my FZ10 camera when recording a high-speed burst, between a "normal" card and a "fast" card. An on-line reseller called "Surplus Computers" is offering a 40X 512MB PQI SD Card (http://www.softwareandstuff.com/cgi-softwareandstuff/sb/productsearch.cgi?storeid=kmak) for around $75, so fast cards are not really too expensive as an alternative.

aix123
08-20-2004, 03:05 PM
John, thanks for the reply above, its put things in perspective a little more for me.