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Thread: CF or SDHC in D800?

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    CF or SDHC in D800?

    I'm asking for a friend who's contemplating card purchases for her D800. She's wondering if a CF with a SDHC as a reserve card is a good way to go. I haven't much experience or knowledge with current card tech so thought I'd ask for your opinions.

    She's a wedding pro and is thinking of using the CF as the main card and letting the SDHC act as an overflow should it be needed. She mentions that the SDHC is about half the price of a CF.

    So are there pros and cons to either format? Any rumors of one or the other being phased out in the near future? What's your preferred card combo in the D800?

    Thanks!
    Tim

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    I use CF as my Raw card and the SD card as a high res jpeg for backup. I have not checked speeds but I think a CF is faster overall at least it was. I'm also just more comfortable with the bigger size of the CF as my main. I have lost SD cards before.
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    I've been mirroring raw files to both cards. I don't use video, and don't have any use for Jpegs, so I use the dual slots for backup.

    I haven't done any timed tests. If you're photographing quickly enough to fill up the buffer, you can grow a long white beard waiting for it to empty. I don't have a sense of how big a difference fast cards will make, or if there's a speed penalty for writing raw files to both cards. I don't use jpegs for backup, because I have jpeg sharpening turned up all the way to improve live view focussing.

    Maybe there are speed tests online? I don't usually shoot faster than the buffer, but a wedding photographer might.

    I'm using a pair of SanDisk (extreme?) 16gb cards. Never had any troubles. The backup is good for peace of mind. I like this size card for my working style. A wedding photographer might want bigger ones, even though it means more eggs per basket.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    Thanks gents. I'll pass that along. It's where I come down on the question too, but wasn't sure if others had done more serious testing.

    Appreciate it!
    Tim

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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    I do the same as Guy -- as a plus having the jpegs on the SD reader makes it a snap to load them on my MBA for emailing when traveling. I do back the CF raws up daily.
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    I use Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC cards, they are plenty fast (90MB/s) and half the price when compared to an the equivalent Sandisk CF card.

    I use a fast Transcend CF card as overflow but it rarely gets used as swapping out the SDHC cards is quick and simple as needed.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    CF or SDHC in D800 ?


    I do the same as Neil as I so much prefer to swap a bunch of SDHC cards with no pins to get bent by accident.
    So I exclusively use my (only two) fast CF cards for overflow, and they rarely get used.
    Even the slowest SDHC cards are plenty fast for my purpose, even though I shoot both RAW and at the same time jpeg in order to be able to quickly weed out the obvious second-class images that do not deserve to reach any kind of finishing, not even an initial RAW batch conversion.

    But if I were into weddings and other one-time events I'd definitely use Paul's strategy with mirrored RAW files to both cards.
    A wedding photographer cannot risk to lose the decisive moments just because of a defective memory card.
    Corrupted memory cards are rare but they do happen.
    And only a fool does not fear the bride's mother and a claim for compensation.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    CF or SDHC in D800 ?


    There was also this thread about memory cards (see below), maybe it contains a couple of useful hints about card speeds etc.

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/39...ards-d800.html

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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    Rob Galbraith DPI: Nikon D800/D800E

    This should about cover it!
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    Anyone know if the camera writes to both cards simultaneously, or one after the other?

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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    I think you can Choose this!
    MENU> Camera icon> Primary slot selection/Secondary slot function.
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    Looks like I was right CF still has faster reads and writes. Although that article is about a year old. I'm more for the speed of downloading than shooting speed. But I have hit the wall once while shooting. CF cards do cost more but IMHO still dirt cheap compared to several years ago.

    I use 32gb cards both in Transcend and Sandisk
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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    Anyone know if the camera writes to both cards simultaneously, or one after the other?
    I mean, if the camera is set to write to both cards, does it perform these writes in parallel or serially?

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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    I recently did a shoot in DC, and needed to consider this option too. I've always used a San Disk extreme CF in my d800, but when needing a few extra cards most local store didn't have them in stock and some didn't even know what a CF card was! My assumption is that CF cards will be phased out in favor of the smaller, less expensive SDHC. I ultimately used one 16GB SDHC as a primary, and a CF card as a b/u. The new version of LR5, might do away with the need for RAW (still in beta), so SDHC shot in tiff or jpg might yield considerably more images at a better price.

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    CF or SDHC in D800?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post

    (...) The new version of LR5, might do away with the need for RAW (still in beta), so SDHC shot in tiff or jpg might yield considerably more images at a better price.

    A TIFF file is more than double the size of a RAW file, so TIFF files take up far more memory space than RAW files.
    And a max quality jpeg file is less than half the size of a RAW file precisely because the jpeg file is heavily compressed and thus a lot of estimated redundant information has been squeezed out and is lost forever.
    Therefore I doubt that the RAW file format can really be replaced by TIFF or jpeg with any net advantage.

    Still, the possibilities of editing jpeg files may of course be substantially extended and / or improved in the coming Ligthroom 5 version.
    I agree that according to the announcement of the Lightroom 5 Beta version it sounds like that is actually the case.

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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    Steen,
    Your right about Tiff's... my mistake.

    The gist of my comment was that LR5 might allow JPG's with RAW like files for more memory, and lossless compression. I have LR5 beta, so i'll edit a few soon.

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    Re: CF or SDHC in D800?

    RAW and Tiffs are ultimately lossless compression if compressed. JPEGs in general are highly compressed artifact apparent files and serves in completely different ways.

    The original comment about stores seeing less and less CF cards may be true. It seems only professional bodies are the only ones left that take them, and the 5D Mark III and D800 are the last line, offering one CF and one SD card slot each, while the 5D Mark III has it severely crippled in terms of speed, a huge over sight on Canon's part and not correctable in firmware.
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