16GB Of Pure Bliss

I received my order from B&H Photo Video on Monday: two SanDisk Extreme III 8GB Compact Flash cards. First off, let me say that B&H Photo Video is always a pleasure to deal with. They are quick to ship and never had any problems. There are two reasons why I ordered new compact flash cards. First, any purchases for SanDisk cards from an authorized dealer during April 6, 2008 to June 29, 2008 is eligible for a rebate. If I was to purchase a single SanDisk Extreme III 8GB Compact Flash for $99.95, I would be eligible for a rebate of $40. Purchase two and you’re eligible for a $100 rebate. So essentially if I bought two cards, it would be as if I bought one and got one free or paid $50 per compact flash card; either way, excellent price.

So why did I need to upgrade to such an obscene number? Every since I purchased the Canon EOS 1D Mark II, I’ve been taking a lot of pictures and have been hitting the limit of ~393 JPGs on my Sandisk Extreme IV 2GB more often than I would like. If you shoot right up to the limit, when the camera shows 0 for remaining shots, the last few images are usually ruined because it is not recorded properly. Also when I shoot RAW, I’m only able to take some 170 pictures…not very much. Also the higher you raise your ISO, the more space the images take. So when I’m shooting in low light conditions at ISO 400 and above, I’m only able to get less than 300 JPGs on my 2GB compact flash and even less with RAW. Now with the 8GB compact flash, I can shoot almost 1500 JPGs and more than 700 pictures in RAW. This way I never have to worry about running out or missing a shot switching memory cards. One of the best features of the Canon EOS 1D Mark II is its dual memory card slot, compact flash and SD (although I would have preferred it to be dual compact flash slots like the Nikon D3), it still takes time to switch over to the other slot. The feature that allows for auto switching when one memory card is full is available on the Canon EOS 1D Mark IIn and the new Mark IIIs.

The Extreme III is almost a second slower in write time versus the Extreme IV according to Rob Galbraith’s site, I have hardly noticed this, although I’m sure it is there. Also I believe the maximum transfer speed from 1D Mark II’s buffer to compact flash card is about 10MB/s. The new Extreme III’s maximum write speed is 30MB/s, not sure what the old Extreme III write speed was.

There also is the adage of putting all your eggs in one basket, but I’ve used nothing but SanDisk cards and *knock on wood* have never had a problem. Although if I was shooting a wedding, I would also have an Epson P-3000 Multimedia Storage as backup. To me, it’s not worth risking a shot switching compact cards because of lower capacity, especially when you can fire 8 frames-per-second.

[UPDATE: May 10, 2008] I’m including a link to the PDF of the rebate forms in case anyone has lost theirs. Please be sure to choose the correct form depending on whether you want a cheque or Visa card. The download link is here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *