Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


CF and SD Cards


User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
9 Mar 2012 7:39PM
Please can someone enlighten me?

My old Nikon D3s had twin card slots - both took CF cards and I could use them sequentially, use them both together to duplicate images or use then to capture Raw files on one and Jpegs (had I been so foolish) on the other.

That all made sense.

But the new Nikon D800 (and, I think, the wee Canon 5D Mk3) have dual card slots but one is for a CF card and one is for an SD card.

Why do they provide dual card slots for two different forms of card, rather than two of the same type?

Seems incredibly stupid but maybe I am missing something (wouldn't be for the first time! )

.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Nick_Hilton 9 514 2 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2012 7:48PM
Space - to make it a small body instead of the huge size of the D3series. That's what the Nikon man said at Focus
colin beeley e2
12 1.1k 10 England
9 Mar 2012 8:08PM
why not use two sd cards then ?
AlanPerkins 9 472 England
9 Mar 2012 8:20PM

Quote:Why not use two sd cards then ?



THat would be much too simple.Wink
BigRick 9 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2012 8:34PM
SD cards will replace CF cards as they are now faster, and smaller than CF.... it is likely to be a way of easing pro users with CF card boxes full into using SD without them having to just dump all the CF cards and buy new.
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
9 Mar 2012 10:14PM
Ah!

Wink
monkeygrip 6 574 6 England
9 Mar 2012 11:28PM
I may be wrong now as the technology has moved on in the past few years but CF cards transfer data in parallel which was and may still be faster form of transferring data hence more pins on the CF card.

SD cards transfer the data in serial which means sending and receiving data down one wire/connection hence the SD card have less connections.

So the quality may now be similar but the fact that most PCs Laptops and mobile devices have SD card slots is probably the main driver for adding the SD slot in cameras.
redhed17 9 666 England
10 Mar 2012 3:50PM

Quote:SD cards will replace CF cards as they are now faster, and smaller than CF.... it is likely to be a way of easing pro users with CF card boxes full into using SD without them having to just dump all the CF cards and buy new.


I'll give that SD cards are smaller, but are SD cards faster than CF?

The fastest SD card on sale I can find is 45MB/sec, whereas the fastest CF card I can find on sale is 90MB/sec. The newer UHS-II SDXC Cards (SDXC2) have the potential for 300MB/sec, but that was proposed around 2009 and expected on shelves in 2011, no need to say what year it is. Wink

The new XQD card format is slightly larger than SD, (but smaller than CF and almost as strong) and has come in with a starting speed of 125MB/sec, and the potential for 500MB/sec. At the moment it is only in the Nikon D4 afaik. Of course if it doesn't show up in a lot of different devices it will be a dead format pretty quickly. Wink

I think if they really wanted to they could have put 2x CF cards in any of the larger camera bodies, but SD cards are everywhere, and those upgrading to a body higher up the range may have SD cards, but for performance, at the moment at least, the fastest CF cards are twice as fast as the fastest SD card. At the moment. Wink

Of course you could have the fastest card there is, but if the camera can't take advantage of the speed, any gains in performance 9in camera) would be negligible. :-/
oldblokeh 3 845 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2012 8:05PM

Quote:The fastest SD card on sale I can find is 45MB/sec, whereas the fastest CF card I can find on sale is 90MB/sec.


Lexar are now offering 90MB/s SDXC and SDHC cards. Available from several retailers, but flipping expensive.
redhed17 9 666 England
11 Mar 2012 1:18AM

Quote:The fastest SD card on sale I can find is 45MB/sec, whereas the fastest CF card I can find on sale is 90MB/sec.

Lexar are now offering 90MB/s SDXC and SDHC cards. Available from several retailers, but flipping expensive.


I stand corrected. Smile

Even that is only catching up with CF cards. The price of SD cards will drop quicker than CF cards though as more people you them.
thewilliam 6 4.7k
11 Mar 2012 11:57AM
Check whether the second slot is really for SD.

I seem to remember one colleague moaning that he had to buy a new type of card that's only made by Sony.
redhed17 9 666 England
11 Mar 2012 3:51PM

Quote:Check whether the second slot is really for SD.

I seem to remember one colleague moaning that he had to buy a new type of card that's only made by Sony.



The card only made by Sony (up to now) is the XQD card which is only being used in the Nikon D4 as far as I know. If your friend is getting a D4, then it takes CF and XQD cards, and he only 'needs' an XQD card if he wants to take advantage of the extra card slot.
lawbert 7 1.7k 15 England
11 Mar 2012 5:46PM
I could be talking utter rubbish but I seem to recall reading somewhere that you would most likely use the Compact Flash for images and the SD for video?
User_Removed 10 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2012 9:10PM
Possible but a bit unlikely as CF is faster and good video needs speed.
redhed17 9 666 England
12 Mar 2012 8:43PM

Quote:I could be talking utter rubbish but I seem to recall reading somewhere that you would most likely use the Compact Flash for images and the SD for video?


The dual slots can be used in many ways, sending the same files to each card as a backup. Sending RAW to one, Jpeg to the other. As an overflow, so as one fills up, the other slot will start to be used. And images to one, and video to the other as has been mentioned.

When I initially got my D300S, even though I shoot only RAW, I started sending Jpegs to the SD slot. (why? because it was there Wink lol) I never used the Jpegs, and so just deleted them. I also feared it may have been slowing my camera down in high speed continuous mode situations too. I now have my dual card slots set up as an overflow, but in critical situations I will send RAW files to each as a backup.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.