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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    19

    Storage: CF vs. SD Cards

    Is there any fundamental difference between the performance of Compact Flash and SD cards? Is there a good reason why Nikon has used CF for the D70/D70s and D200, but has switched to SD for the D50 and D80?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    6,929
    This question will reopen an old and ongoing debate.

    CF cards were designed prior to SD so most original digital cameras of all sizes ran on CF. They have become the standard for "pro" cameras.
    There are some issues with CF primarily the fragility of the pins, the physical size, no write protect mechanism and power consumption.

    SD was developed by Panasonic, Toshiba and SanDisk to counter the pin, size, power consumption and write protect issues and to allow smaller, less powerful devices to use media (not only cameras but also PDA's and mobile phones and other similar products).

    SD has become the virtual standard for P & S cameras.

    Nikon appear to be migrating from CF to SD by introducing SD into DSLR cameras that are designed to be purchased by new users or upgraders from P & S who probably already have SD cards.

    IMO the CF - SD conversion will continue until all new cameras will use SD at some time in the future. Others will argue against that.

    There is no real performance or capacity advantage for one format over the other these days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    144
    Good info K1W1! And I agree that SD will become the defacto standard.

    JMBZ71

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    439
    yeah SD cards are just so much easier to use I feel, because the CF cards still hold the same amount of information, just the card is bigger. SD cards are Very compact, even more than the Compact Flash (lol). The only reason I hope Nikon goes more with SD cards is that I don't have to invest in MORE memory cards because I've already got 2 1gb for my D50. But if I have to upgrade then I will.
    Nikon D300
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8
    Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D (70-200mm f/2.8 VR soon)
    Nikon SB600 (SB800 soon)
    Nikon MB-D10 grip
    Sekonic L-358
    Bogan/Manfrotto 055xprob tripod

    Canon AE-1 Program
    Canon FD 50mm f/1.8
    CPC 2x Teleconverter
    CPC Phase 2 CCT 80-200 f/4.5
    CPC Phase 2 CCT 28mm Macro f/2.8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    442
    Is there a performance hit by using an SD to CF adapter (sticking an SD card into a CF 'adapter' and then sticking this into the camera)? Would the adapter slow down a 'fast' SD card?

    This way, you could stop buying CF cards today (no matter what camera you have) and just buy SD cards from now on. If you still have a CF-equipped camera, just stick your SD cards into the adapter.
    Nikon D70 | 18-70 | 50/1.8 | 70-210
    Pentax Optio W20
    Film
    Nikon F100: 5 fps, weather-sealed, full frame 'sensor' and VR & AF-S compatibility

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    439
    yeah there was a thread talking about that adapter, but I can't find it. I don't know the answer to your question either. But I would assume that the SD wouldn't perform at its Maximum speed because it has to go through the adapter to get to the camera. Then again I may be wrong.
    Nikon D300
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8
    Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D (70-200mm f/2.8 VR soon)
    Nikon SB600 (SB800 soon)
    Nikon MB-D10 grip
    Sekonic L-358
    Bogan/Manfrotto 055xprob tripod

    Canon AE-1 Program
    Canon FD 50mm f/1.8
    CPC 2x Teleconverter
    CPC Phase 2 CCT 80-200 f/4.5
    CPC Phase 2 CCT 28mm Macro f/2.8

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,929
    Quote Originally Posted by cvicisso View Post
    Is there a performance hit by using an SD to CF adapter (sticking an SD card into a CF 'adapter' and then sticking this into the camera)? Would the adapter slow down a 'fast' SD card?
    Like all things in IT the answer is no....and yes....and it doesn't matter.

    If you get a good adapter the answer is no there is no performance hit. If you get a cheap one the answer is yes there is but if you are just taking shots one at a time any small write speed degradation probably won't be noticed so the issue will only really be a problem during burst mode shooting if it's a problem at all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    442
    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Like all things in IT the answer is no....and yes....and it doesn't matter.

    If you get a good adapter the answer is no there is no performance hit. If you get a cheap one the answer is yes there is but if you are just taking shots one at a time any small write speed degradation probably won't be noticed so the issue will only really be a problem during burst mode shooting if it's a problem at all.
    Cool. Then that seems to be the answer. No matter who you are or what you're shooting (unless it's a P&S - more on this below), stop buying CF cards today because SD is obviously becoming the standard and if you upgrade your dslr body in the future, you stand the chance of being stuck with a bunch of non-usable CF cards if you continue to buy them now (CF cards). Switch to SD and get a cheap SD-to-CF adapter, and you'll be [relatively] safe (until the next format comes along).

    Now for point-and-shoot cameras, it's obviously another story because the speed of the card is vitally important to the performance of the camera. Most shoot VGA-quality (or better) video now and that eats memory faster than anything. The only memory speed requirement in a dslr is when you're shooting a large burst in continuous mode (as K1W1 pointed out earlier)... but these go to the camera's buffer first anyway, so that's the weakest link in the chain - not the memory card itself.
    Nikon D70 | 18-70 | 50/1.8 | 70-210
    Pentax Optio W20
    Film
    Nikon F100: 5 fps, weather-sealed, full frame 'sensor' and VR & AF-S compatibility

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,650
    I wish I could recall where I read this at; but from my understanding of the article it is the intention to have SD cards available up to 32GB.
    I thought about who I am... and realized I was an
    unformed, unreconciled imagery, without "GOD"


    NikonD?
    and some other Nikon stuff

    0.0%

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    Memory cards are getting cheaper by the day. By the time you swich camera bodies the cost of memory cards will be in the noise level anyways. Or, you'll need to buy faster memory cards anyways to take advantage of the faster cameras. It's not something I'd worry about.

    -dave-

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