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Making Sense of Memory Cards Read More

Making Sense of Memory Cards

Selecting a memory card might seem like a complicated process, but knowing some key pieces of information can help make selecting the right memory card easy.

CF memory cards for 20D series


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M Barbu , Nov 24, 2006; 11:57 a.m.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the 20D can take advantage of the faster transfer speeds possible with the extreme IV.

OK; you're wrong. ;-) Although it can't reach the theoretical speeds capable by using the Extreme IV, that version is faster on the 20D, as indicated in tests by Rob Galbraith. FWIW, I use an 8 GB Sandisk Ultra II. Based on that, I would fully expect it capable of utilizing a 16 GB CF card.

David Y Lee , Nov 24, 2006; 02:41 p.m.

"if I was to upgrade my camera in a year and a half, is 2GB big enough or will I most likely want something bigger and faster? Thinking about future limitations made me not buy the 2GB Ultra II and want get the 4GB Extreme IV"

I would think 1). generally (in the absence of sale, ridiculous deal, etc), the price/gig ratio is going to be better for the 2GB than the 4GB; 2). prices drops significantly for memory in time; 3). you're welling to burn some cash by the time you're ready to buy your next camera. Why not buy something sufficient for now, and just get the then-cheaper and possibly faster 4gb when you need that capacity in a year and a half? I don't think buying memory to "stock up" for the future a good idea. However, if you really need the 4gb now, that's a different story...

Daniel Cheung , Nov 24, 2006; 03:46 p.m.

Barbu >> thx for that link

David >> Ya, that's something to think about too. In 1.5 years, the 4GB Extreme IV will probably cost just a bit more than the 2GB Ultra II's cost now. Right now, the price is more than double.

Bill Gussman , Nov 24, 2006; 04:42 p.m.

Costco has the 2GB Ultra II on sale this weekend for $57.99. No rebate hassle but you need a coupon which they hand out on the way in the entrance...

Rob Bernhard , Nov 25, 2006; 12:21 p.m.

<<Have Canon ever said this?>>

No, they haven't. Because 8TB cards don't exist, they obviously can't say if it would work or not.

But I have no problem reaffirming what I already stated.

By the time card sizes are so large that the 20D can no longer address them, there will be no 20D's around. And if there are, there would be no reason for anyone to use a card that large in a 20D in the first place.

M Barbu , Nov 26, 2006; 09:24 p.m.

No, they haven't. Because 8TB cards don't exist, they obviously can't say if it would work or not.

While they cannot definitively say whether or not it can work, they can definitely say whether or not there is an inherent limitation to such a thing due to their design of the product (such as the chips in the camera, etc.). For example, some computers can only accept memory modules up to a certain capacity, even though larger capacities exist, and the manufacturers sometimes indicate whether or not this is the case.

Rob Bernhard , Nov 27, 2006; 10:55 a.m.

M Barbu,

Canon's responses from queries of this nature have been decidedly short on real information. It's usually a lot of hand-waving and "the camera hasn't been tested with X." So, even if they know something specific about the limitations of addressing memory size, they're not likely to come out and say it for a hypothetical product like a TB-sized memory card.

Lauren MacIntosh , Nov 27, 2006; 05:00 p.m.

There is no reason to really get a CF card that writes real fast since the EOS 20D will only write just so fast to the card and that means we are wasting money bying faster cards!

Bob Atkins , Nov 27, 2006; 05:21 p.m.

I'd imagine there is an address bus limitation of some sort, but where it is I have no idea and Canon don't appear to want to say.

4GB is good. 8GB is good and as far as I know 16GB is good. However I suspect that at some point (32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB?) there is a bit address limit in the 20D firmware. I'm pretty sure the engineers would not have wasted the firmware and hardware resources needed to make it address 8TB of memory! The same applies to all DSLRs, not just the 20D.

It's probably pretty safe to say that the 20D will likely address and CF card made in the next 10 years though, and certainly any card that anyone is ever likely to use.

The bigger limit of FAT32 is the 4GB file size. Not likely to be a problem for 20D users, but it could be for those shooting video to a CF card. Hi-res video can gobble up enormous amounts of memory so the use of FAT32 might be a problem there.

Rob Bernhard , Nov 27, 2006; 05:35 p.m.


I imagine the hard-drive based video camera manufacturers have the solution already :)

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