Monday, April 26, 2010

In Spring a Girl’s Fancy...

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

turns to camera gear and accessories. What? Camera gear and accessories?!! That doesn't sound right. Oh, well. Maybe that’s the difference between young girls and older girls. Yes. I suspect that’s it in a nutshell.

Last weekend, while photographing horses and the welcome signs of full blown Spring just a couple hundred miles south of us, I thought quite a bit about camera gear. Mostly my thoughts lingered on horses, flowers, and trees—like the pepper trees pictured here (one of my favorite trees). Occasionally, however, I was distracted by thoughts about camera accessories.

It’s time for a confession. I have never owned an extreme memory card. Yes, I know. Way behind the times. I’m still using SanDisk Ultra IIs. Why? Simple. They are cheaper. Now, I won’t drop below that quality; but, I have yet to splurge on an extreme card. I am curious as to whether or not anyone can vouch for the advantages. This issue comes up for me only when I am photographing horses at liberty, the hooves and dust are flying, and I want to take advantage of a little burst of “spray and pray” technique. Waiting for the buffer on my 50D to clear, I can’t help but wonder if the extreme card might help that along just a tad.

Now, I could switch to Jpeg format to ease the strain, but that isn’t going to happen. I am hopelessly addicted to RAW. I have a great number of old photographs taken in Jpeg format that I would dearly love to be magically transformed to RAW. What I can accomplish in ACR with a Jpeg file doesn’t come close to what I can mine from a RAW file. Of course, the better solution to the problem is a Canon 1D and extreme cards. Dream on, Anita. Not in the cards. The other kind of cards.

If you have any experience with extreme cards and can encourage me that they will make an appreciable difference when shooting fast action, I will go for it. What little I know about extreme cards leads me to believe that their main advantage shows up when you download files to your storage device. But, I may be dead wrong about that. I haven’t bought any yet, because I suspect the only thing that would make any appreciable difference would be that other camera that will have to remain in the “wouldn’t it be nice?” category. That or stop using high-speed continuous shooting mode.

Sigh. Choices. I think I’ll concentrate on pepper trees for a while. It’s easier and much less expensive.


  1. Anita,

    I am Sandisk Extreme III junkie. All of my CF cards are Extremes. It speaks to my utter impatience. They are faster and I figure if something allows to spend less time waiting, its worth giving a try. :) Lol. I got a great deal by watching the B and H site for rebates. I was able to buy several for the price of one. They also seem to be cheaper than when they first came out, likely because there are now IVs and probably, soon, V's (V's probably take the photo and process it for you....). Happy shopping, Mary Ann

  2. Mary Ann - Hi, great to hear from you. Are you posting anywhere these days? I miss looking at your blog. I hope all is well.

    Thank you for the yes vote on the extreme cards. So you think they write faster? I would love the increase in download time, but I'm squeezing those pennies, so that I could pass on. But faster writing speed? That would be fabulous. I guess I'll begin looking at rebate offers. Thanks again.

  3. I'm with Mary Ann - I'm impatient. When I get back home, and I pop that memory card in the reader and fire up Image Ingester, I want it to finish up quickly, so I can look at what I've got.

  4. Paul - Oh, dear, the votes are piling up. This is going to cost money.

    Thank you, Paul, for adding to my information. It appears that once I try one of these cards there will be no going back.

  5. Yea, like Mary Ann and Paul, I like the extra speed when importing photos. I tend to shoot a lot of images each outing so the faster I can get them loaded so I can start processing them the better.

    As far as speed in the camera on continuous mode...I don't do that enough to notice much difference but it probably does help some.

  6. I am a bit on the other side of the two comments you have received so far. I am impatient for the the card to write. I hate it when action is happening and the camera/card isn't keeping up. Thus far, I am very happy with the Extreme III line from Sandisk. When it comes to uploading a large batch of files I just start it and go freshen the the coffee cup and wand outside to check the clouds.
    When doing some surfer shots in So-Cal I was able to get about 13-17 LRAW files shot before the buffer on the 7D (20-23 MB files @7 FPS) started to bog down. When using the 1D MkII (9-13 MB files @ 8FPS) the Extreme III card kept up with the camera.
    As far as I know the Extreme III and IV have been discontinued and now the is only the Extreme, which is faster than my cards.
    My suggestion is to get a 4GB Extreme, or whatever the budget will allow and go from there depending on how many files you rack up in a shoot.
    I kick myself for only taking the one 8GB card to the beach with the 7D. It filled up in 45 minutes, although I only kept about 15% of them.

    Steve Weeks

  7. Earl - Thanks for joining in. I know I would relish that speed on importing photos. I tend to get fairly antsy while waiting. But, I have endured this long. The speed writing in the camera—now that one drives me wild. It looks as though I have will have to buy one and test it out.

  8. Steve - It's always great to hear from you. Wow. You have me even more convinced. I will definitely need to go for the 8GB card with the 50D. Most of the time I am not shooting continuous mode, because it means that much more work reviewing files. But, there are occasions when it makes a big difference. I will look at Extreme. I have not bought anything other than SanDisk since my first six or eight months of shooting, so I am on my way.


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