Memory Card for A710S
Well after much research and hair pulling and plans to return the Panasonic LZ5 I bought 2 days ago, I have decided to buy the A710. I want to be able to use the burst mode and also want faster lag after shooting single shots. Will the memory card I use make a difference in the recovery time? I have a PNY 1GB card that I bought with the LZ5 and I will return it if I need to get a SDHC. Also what is the difference between the SD, SDHC,ULTRA and the ULTRA II? Will a "faster" card make the shutter lag time between flashes quicker?
That lag is the flash recycling, not the memory card being written to. It is very slow on the A710, mainly because a) it is a 2 battery camera (4 battery cameras have higher total voltage and will be a bit faster and b) NiMH batteries have longer flash recycle times than Li-Ion, which you can't use on this camera.
I'm in the process of adapting an external Li-Ion battery to this camera; I did some initial tests and was able to drop the recycle times to 1-2 seconds.
For the A710, not really. The camera only can support a set speed for pushing bits, and nearly all cards meet that minimum. With the current price points, you might as well get a 60x (Ultra-II level) card, since at least your downloads to the computer will be faster.
A faster card will have no impact on flash recharge speeds. If the camera is maxed out, a faster card will have no other affect.
SDHC are High Capacity cards. I don't think the A710 can use them.
I'm of the opinion that "fast cards" are required for burst and full resolution movies. I use a 2GB Sandisk Ultra 2. It's a great card and gives me good service and 17 minutes of video. As you probably know these are about $50 now if you shop around. Staples sells them for $50 and occasionally a little less. By the time you read this they may be $35!
The 710 is compatible with SDHC cards.
I bought some cheapo 2 gig PNY and Kingston cards for about $30. Max resolution video records at <2mb/sec and these cheap cards (not speed rated, but probably around 30x speed) can handle that no problem.
It's the burst mode that maxes the slow cards out. I tested:
3mb photos run fine at the rate 1.7 shots/sec burst mode
4mb photos start to slow up to 1.5 shots/sec burst mode
5mb photos really slowed up to <1 shot/sec burst mode
There also seems to be a 5 shot buffer so the pix didn't start slowing down til the 6th shot. I can live with that.... I rarely use burst, 5 shots in burst is enough for me, and large/fine (vs large/superfine) will keep photos below 3mbs.
Oh yeah... forget about flash bursts... that'll be hopeless.
That's interesting. I have the SD300 (which is certainly shooting smaller image sizes, but has a faster burst mode) and it keeps up with burst mode at full size images with a base Sandisk card. It also has no problem with 640x480 @30fps video, which is the same across all the Canon models.
I agree that burst mode puts a heavier load on the memory card. And the A710 sounds like its burst mode is fast enough that a 60x card is required. I suspect most basic memory cards will keep up with the fast video mode. At the current prices, I wouldn't buy anything less then 60x anyways. It's only a few dollars more for a 1 G card.
For my A710 I recently purchased a Transcend 4GB SDHC Card, Class 6. It's one of the fastest, biggest memory cards you can get. There are some 8 GB cards out there, but none are class 6 (fastest) and unless you're shooting movies all the time, the 1275 hgh res superfine pics that this thing can hold should be plenty for most people. The card was 50 bucks. The Class 2 version was 40 bucks.
It doesn't shoot any faster with the faster card. You're limited to 1.7 pics per second because of processing time. You can get 2 pics per sec at a lower resolution. Of course, this is without flash.
MAZDA VERISA PICTURE
During a test I recently made, the Transcend card was able to maintain 1.7 fps for 1 minute on 5 MB large images. That's about 8.5 MBps.
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