The Fastest SD & CF Cards for the Canon 5D Mark III

The Fastest SD & CF Cards for the Canon 5D Mark III

This is a part of our SD/CF/XQD Database.

The data in the table below tracks the time (in seconds) it took to write 20 RAW and 20 Fine Large JPG to the memory card. Timing commenced when the camera’s card status light illuminated, and stopped when the light went out. Each test cycle was performed three times, and the average is presented. Lower numbers are better.

The figure in the Burst column represents how many RAW photos the camera and card take in 30 seconds. Higher numbers are better.

Prior to each test, all cards were formatted within the camera. The same scene was photographed under the same illumination for all tests. The identical camera settings and lens were used throughout.

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Compact Flash

Type

RAW

JPG

Burst

CF

8.63

4.30

69

CF

6.67

4.14

78

CF

6.01

4.13

83

CF

6.16

4.22

83

CF

13.31

4.48

43

CF

10.31

4.19

59

CF

8.03

4.03

70

CF

6.88

4.10

72

CF

6.34

4.03

82

CF

6.03

4.06

82

 SD Type RAW JPG Burst

SD

26.21

5.72

26

SD

26.47

5.85

26

SD

26.05

5.72

26

SD

26.00

5.64

26

SD

25.94

5.77

26

SD

29.34

6.63

24

SD

27.31

6.22

25

SD

27.86

6.27

25

SD

29.18

6.39

24

SD

27.06

6.12

25

SD

29.49

6.88

24

SD

29.41

6.91

23

 

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Yucel at 6:35 pm

    That’s awesome thanks… and explains a lot… My camera, a Sony, was choking shooting raw+jpg… now I know why… probably the JPG conversion…

    who knew such a thing.

    • Ben at 5:12 am

      Apparently if you’re writing to the SD and CF cards simultaneously it will slow down since the slot speed for the SD is slower (133x possibly) than the CF slot (even with a faster SD card, it won’t get much faster), it will go as fast as the SD will allow slowing down the shared buffer and slowing the CF card as well in a way.

      So if you care about burst speed (like for action / sports photography) it might be better to just use a fast CF card and keep an SD in for extra space if you run out on the CF…
      It is possible it might not slow down as much if you can put JPG on the SD and raw on the CF maybe, or just JPG on both. I haven’t tested that yet myself though.

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