Catch whatever life throws at you with SanDisk Ultra memory cards - rugged, high-performance cards with the speed and reliability you need to capture any moment, under any conditions. With fast transfer speeds of up to 15MB/second*, today's photographers and videographers are always ready for the next shot and the next adventure.
Winter, spring summer or fall - seize the season. And capture the whole thing on a super high-capacity, durable SanDisk Ultra card. Whether the days are sweltering or frosty, these cards keep up. So you're ready for more shots and more adventure, anywhere.
SanDisk Ultra cards help today's photographers and videographers capture, archive and share their precious memories like the pros.
Available in 4gb, 8gb, 16gb and 32gb capacities.
* Based on factory-internal testing. Results may vary according to device.
Now, keep in mind that, by design, the only real differences between digital storage cards are a) their type (eg. CompactFlash, SD, SDHC, etc), their storage size (more a factor of the technology than anything else) and their transfer speeds. So, if we focus only on SDHC cards for example, we are left with something commonplace (storage space) and something that can vary wildly between suppliers (transfer speeds.) So really... when it comes down to it... speed is the only key issue.
That said, you'll understand why this review is a tad shorter than normal for a "layman's technical" review...
A quick run-down on the card to start... the test card was a 16gb Class 4 SDHC card, straight out of retail packaging... about as bog-standard retail-stock as you can get. So what we tested, is what you'll be seeing on store shelves. It claims a top transfer speed of 15mb/sec... which we all know is 'lab speeds', where everything is as streamlined and controlled as possible. The card is suitable for digital still and video cameras compatible with the SDHC protocols.
The card states "16gb" which is in decimal notation, (16 billion bytes) which, when converted to binary notation, works out to about 14.9gb... minus pre-formatting space, you'll end up with about 14.5 true gigabytes. At around 1.5mb per compressed jpeg image, you can store about 9,000 images on this, but if you shoot in a RAW format, you can expect to drop that back to around 1800 images, give or take a few hundred depending on the exact filesize your camera will write. Of course, different megapixel ratings will also further move those numbers. For video... well, you'd be better to check your camera's manual, because we tested it on 3 different cameras and got wildly variant numbers between them. A good few hours is a fair rule-of-thumb.
Right, so... speeds... when tested in a high-end digital camera that packs away 10 megapixels with every click, this card held it's own at all snapping speeds short of 'rapid fire' - and that was more limited by the camera's buffer than the card itself I imagine, judging by later speedtests. Again, it managed to gobble the video data as fast as the cameras could throw the stream at it, so basically, this little beauty is great in whatever you shove it in. To get more 'real world' speed tests, we popped it into the PC and performed our usual "Genuine Jo Bloggs Speedtest" on it, reading and writing a 1.26gb media file, and 1.30gb of assorted files to and from it. We did each run 5 times, ignored the fastest and slowest, and averaged the remaining 3 sets of figures for a 'typical average'. We performed the test on three different systems, running under various 'typical' configurations, and averaged all of the results to get the following numbers.
For the single file test, we were able to write at 9.09mb/sec, and read back at 9.42mb/sec - hardly the 15mb/sec claimed, but again, these tests are 'real world' not 'lab test' results and will vary according to the workload your system is under at the time of the test. Actually, I was quite impressed by these figures, and they are more than fast enough to confirm top performance when it comes to shooting snapshots or footage. For the 'assorted files' tests we got a not-unexpected set of lower speeds, with write speeds at around 7.42mb/sec and read speeds at 8.66mb/sec on average.
Overall, nothing to note in the style, design or manufacture aspects, but speed and performance were pretty good indeed. Sure, there are faster, and bigger, storage cards out there, but if you want a good amount of space for a reasonable price, this one ranks pretty well indeed, and you'll not be left high and dry either. Despite the best efforts of our team, and the washing machine, we couldn't kill this card, and even if you do get any failures short of 'total write-off', Sandisk have software available for download that can usually recover pretty much most, if not all, your data. Quality and peace of mind... not bad.
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