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SD card advice for AF100

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    great article. thanks


      Had to RMA two of my 16GB Lexars. The casings had failed. Didn't have a problem getting data off them, but they were done. One thing I did _not_ do was store the cards in their cases, so they were in my wallet, in my pocket with a cell phone, etc. (though not change, keys, or anything comparably damaging). Getting an RMA number took about two weeks, which did not bode well. Still, once I sent the cards in, I had two fresh replacements in less than a week (they advertise 4-6 weeks, I think).
      Lots of toys... that I barely know how to turn on


        I mostly use the Pana cards and whilst I didnt test all the cards I have, I tested the different types of card I have. Test was on a mac pro 4,1 using usb2.0 interface using black magic disk speed test. I dont think this would be anywhere near the accuracy of Toms, but I think it shows accuracy in the relative speed differences of the cards. I did them a few times each and result varied by a max of 0.1.

        All cards pre formatted on AF102EN

        All results in MB/s.

        Sandisk Extreme III Class 6 @ 8GB
        Read - 19.7
        Write - 17.5

        Sandisk Extreme (HD VIDEO) Class 6 @ 16GB
        Read - 19.8
        Write - 15.4

        Sandisk Extreme Class 10 @ 16GB
        Read - 19.6
        Write - 15.7

        Panasonic Class 10 @ 16GB (I have a number of these cards but only tested two, results were almost exactly same on both)
        Read - 19
        Write - 14.2

        Those are the exact figures as I tested them. For reference all my Panasonic cards were originally purchased in Japan the Sandisks are a collection Ive bought from reputable stockists for stills camera usage.
        w: Noel Evans TV

        p: +61 (0) 408 455 374


          Failures happen with all kinds of hardware. I do not think any manufacturer can claim failure-free... except, maybe, Apple, but this is due to non-technical reasons. Customer service plays critical role in the overall "quality" perception. In a recent study, over 80% of "quality" image is comprised of CS policies and experience. Fancy that!

          I deal with CS, including RMA, often as a part of my daily routine. Only premium enterprise-grade (and paid) SLAs have consistent performance. Everything else is a hit-or-miss that requires extra pushing and pulling. The risk and disaster management strategy shall not solely rely on the manufacturer's CS, but have some internal resiliency too. Just recently, I had a partial motherboard failure in a production workstation. It took me 2 weeks to get a replacement from Asus, which is considered a premium vendor. I know CS from within, and, let me tell you, CS is typically a stepchild in many Silicon Valley outfits, big and small. This translates to a variance in service quality, which customers inevitably notice.
          Last edited by maxusa; 05-24-2011, 10:09 PM.


            Apple is NOT failure-free, period. If your warranty runs out, YOU pay for hardware failure, even if it a design flaw (of which they happen). I currently have 5 macs, and in the past, add 7 more to that list! So *I* know.

            That said, there are 3 areas that matter; testing, quality(and control) and customer service. The quality of each is part of the price you pay. You pay less for a product, one of those areas surely will take a hit. That's the chance to take. People have this misguiding perception that when you buy something, it is only for the materials involved, but there is SO MUCH MORE.
            formerly know as grimepoch.


              Originally posted by Rick Burnett View Post
              Apple is NOT failure-free, period.
              No this cannot be true... I saw an Apple ad on TV that Apple systems have no viruses.

              P.S. Sorry, could not resist.


                Haha . And yes, I've seen the genius bar memos about malware/viruses on macs.

                Luckily I've never had a card go bad yet. My transcends have worked great with the af100.
                formerly know as grimepoch.


                  I got my AF100 a couple weeks ago B&H, and got the Pana old 16 gig SD cards. Was thinking of getting a 3rd one... But B&H has them discontinued... :s anybody knows why?
                  AF100 - Contax Zeiss - Sachtler FSB8 T


                    Panasonic moves away from SDHC/XC Class 10 to SDHC/XC UHS-I. For example, deprecated p/n RP-SDW32GE1K is being swapped out with p/n RP-SDU32GE1K and RP-SDA32G. The new Gold SD cards comply with SD Card Spec v3.01 (UHS104) for substantial speed boost. The RP-SDA32G is rated at 95 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write. Interestingly, from the Panasonic press release, Super Intelligent Controller (SICS) provides Power Failure Protection to protect data from sudden power failure, Refresh Function to extend the archival life over 10 times, and Smart Data Writing to minimize defect risk caused by intensive writing. They are also equipped with the "Proof 5" feature (water-, shock-, magnet-, X-ray-, temperature-proof) to withstand severe conditions. I am guessing it will take several months for the channel to refill.
                    Last edited by maxusa; 05-31-2011, 12:40 AM.


                      The memory card comments are rather amusing. There are only so many manufacturers that turn out flash memory. Some companies do it all. I believe SanDisk is the main player here. Some companies buy the flash memory chips from the memory manufactureres then assemble and package them (likely Kingston, Patriot, Transcend and others) while other companies merely buy finished goods with their logos on them from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers). As an example I took apart a Verbatim unit and the memory modules were manufactured by SanDisk. The Kodak, Duracell, etc. products likely have that pedigree.

                      So outside of the purely fraudulent devices out there, I wouldn't get too excited about any specific manufacturer. If you are worried stick with SanDisk, Panasonic or Toshiba (three of the original players in the product line). All three are quite reputable. Everyone else could be hit or miss, but as will all things electronic, most failures should occur when the unit is fairly new. As for being shock-, magnet-, X-ray-, temperature-proof, come on, these are electronic components. They all have those characteristics!


                        Welcome to the forum. I can add Crucial/Micron to the list of the "original players." However, even they are on record of using 3rd party memory chips and/or controllers (e.g., when they have supply issues and/or riding the spot market). Also, with regard to being something-proof, of course, some of it is a marketing talk. The rest is formal testing and qualification that these advertised properties are indeed real. I assure you that Panasonic won't simply say "Proof 5" because is sounds more professional. Same applies to a lot of professional grade gear. Take Western Digital RE-series hard drives. They are technically based on the consumer Caviar Black and, yet, are pimped as enterprise ready... mostly because they go through additional testing and qualification, have premium SLA/warranty, etc. The consumer equivalent might give you the same result, but it is often not guaranteed and, therefore, the professional crowd won't take the chances. It is also about managing risks. Bottom line is that Panasonic and other "professional" brands have a legitimate place in the market and their customer base.


                          I totally agree with your comments maxusa. The pro gear is more expensive due to the qualification and testing if receives. When it costs more to manufacture, the prices will reflect the additional costs the supplier bears. On the other hand, the profit margins on the "Pro" gear are also a lot higher too. I think that Samsung might be part of the Tier 1 list too.

                          I should have been a bit more clear; I was targeting the comments directed at the second and third tier suppliers that target the consumer markets. Getting a good / bad Patriot, Transcend , etc. card today is not a good indicator of future performance by products from these suppliers. That being said, manufacturing yields, especially in a mature process, often means that the "pro" and "consumer" versions could be identical parts, other than the labelling and packaging. There are just no guarantees of that.

                          Your comments on the Western Digital drive is an excellent example. Effectively the consumer and enterprise drives are identical from a mechanical standpoint. Testing will identify drives that are operating at the higher end of the design spec and these drives will be streamed into the enterprise product. Add the "soft" stuff with regards to a tighter SLA / warranty process, and voila, you have enterprise ready hardware that companies are willing to pay a premium for.

                          My own experience has been that electronic failures tend to occur early in the product life-cycle. If I plug a card into my computer and fully load up a few dozen times and it doesn't fail, I don't see electronic failures in the field either. If I treat the card well and keep it in the supplied case when it is not in the camera, rather than in my pocket, I don't see any mechanical failures in the plastic packaging material either.

                          As with many other things, it's all about risk management...


                            Are the Lexar Professinal cards resin encapsulated like the Sandisk extreme and ATP Promax cards (And I think Panasonic Gold) are? I see Lexar Pro 32GB class 10's at futureshop here for $120 CAD. I can pay the same for ATP Promax but I have to have them shipped and the Lexar's are usually in stock local. I won't buy any card for pro video use any more that is not A) Reliable, B) resin encapsulated.

                            I have had 3 cards break apart on me with light use in camera.


                              Lexar Pro 133x SDXC are not resin filled. Lexar is Micron's mostly professional brand, but still very affordable. The cards are well-made, tested, true to their performance claims, and come with limited lifetime warranty and dedicated support line. Pricing is one of the best for Class 10, 64GB for $121 ($1.89/GB) street and 128GB for $250 ($1.95/GB) street at the time of this writing. Attentive handling and a Pelican case can extend SD card life expectancy to acceptable levels. For epoxy and/or metal reinforced cards, expect to pay 2x-4x per GB. Hope this helps.


                                ATP Promax 32GB are around $120 on sale right now, plus of course shipping. I might have to get some more. Was hoping to find something local that wasn't as pricey as sandisk extreme.

                                (For anyone wondering, I have ordered from that company before and they are a reliable seller).