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General photography questions and answers: Discuss what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?...would like to know about the compact cards for my Nikon camera, what is the difference between a Sand Disk, ...
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Old 25-11-2007, 06:45   #1 (permalink)
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what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

would like to know about the compact cards for my Nikon camera, what is the difference between a Sand Disk, and a Sand Disk Ultra 11 ? then they say it is high speed, what do they mean? does it record pics in my camera faster, or can I unload them into my camera faster ? there must be some big difference judging by the higher cost of the Ultra, thanks for telling me, Frances
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Old 25-11-2007, 10:03   #2 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

You have hit the nail on the head, it is the read/write speed.

Sandisk are up to Extreme 4 now, Ultra 2 are relatively old with the Extreme 3 being brought out after the Ultra 2, but to get the full capability of these cards (Extreme 4) you need a special card reader to download into your computer.

These high speed cards really only give advantages if you use burst mode/continuous shooting a lot as they will allow the camera buffer to be cleared faster, and/or if you need to download pictures into a computer quickly. Sports and action photographers are the people who will reap the most benefit from them.

All of the major makers are now producing these high speed cards, and as prices continue to fall, most people are buying them when they need to buy new cards.
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Old 25-11-2007, 11:29   #3 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

Yup - a lot of these "old" cards are perfectly usable and are often half the price of the faster ones.
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Old 26-11-2007, 01:29   #4 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

Thanks, Graham and MB, Do you have any advice as to which one I should look for ? I do shoot in bursts when I shoot birds, and animals, so I understand that the speedy cards would be better ? There are ones, (not Sand Disk , that say 40 times, and 80 x, should I look for the speediest ? Are there some brands that are just as good, but better priced? I see that some stores are selling "speedy" cards for a lot less, so I wonder is it a mistake to buy those? thanks for any advice, I want to buy the right card, but not pay too much if some are just as good. (cheapskate me ), but I know that buying the wrong card would not be cheaper in the end !
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Old 26-11-2007, 09:01   #5 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

I've used branded and unbranded cards with no problems, (not high speed ones).

Most, if not all of the makers make fast cards and the main players are Sandisk, Lexar and Kingston. I would not look at the 80x or 133x figures, they are comparing the card with old/standard cards, and not with each other. If you want to know the read/write speed of the various cards the spec should tell you, but the difference between them, even if the figures look better, in practice might not mean a lot.

For your use the Extreme 3 or 4 (or equivalent) will be a better option than Ultra 2, but the Extreme 4 (and other makes equivalents) does need a special reader to download to a computer at higher speeds.

Memory cards are pretty cheap nowdays. I can remember getting a 128mb CF card about 6/7 years ago and it cost £90/$180!
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Old 26-11-2007, 16:41   #6 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

I don't often fire off bursts with my camera, but if i do it is rarely more than a second of shooting per go, I therefore go for cheapo cards. I've got one that was a no-name card from ebay thats been through the wash and still works as well as an extreme 3 for my purposes.

Unless you're gunning like mad as perhaps a press photographer would, I don't think you need a very fast card.
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Old 26-11-2007, 17:59   #7 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

Even with the newest Canon DSLRs (i.e. 40D, 1DmkIII), they don't support the maximum speed of the Extreme IV cards by Sandisk.

If you need the maximum speed in-camera, you should just go for the Extreme III flavour. If you don't need the highest speed, I would go for something like the Ultra II range.

I would avoid the cheapest/slowest cards because they don't come with good warranties and recovery software in the box like the posher versions.

Also... make sure you don't source your memory cards from ebay - there are tonnes of fake cards on there and some of the fakes don't even have the advertised capacity let alone speed of the genuine articles.

I've got an Extreme IV 4GB (and a FireWire 800 reader for it) but it's just because I'm an impatient git when it comes to getting the pics onto my computer...
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Old 26-11-2007, 18:00   #8 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

thanks ! it's very nice to be able to ask the pros !!
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Old 26-11-2007, 18:52   #9 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GainfulShrimp View Post
Also... make sure you don't source your memory cards from ebay - there are tonnes of fake cards on there and some of the fakes don't even have the advertised capacity let alone speed of the genuine articles.
Very good point GS

And good advice too.
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:02   #10 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

woops just bought a SanDisk Ultra II from ebay.

How do i test to see if its a fake?
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:22   #11 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

Fake Memory Cards - OCAU Wiki
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Old 27-11-2007, 17:25   #12 (permalink)
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Re: what is the diff between and regular Sand Disk, and Ultra 11 ?

The quickest way to know for sure is to call Sandisk customer support using the number on the packaging and quoting the serial number on the card to them. They have a database of many fake serial numbers in circulation. If your CF card doesn't have a s/n printed on it at all, it will be a fake I'm afraid.

Here's a guide including photos of a specific fake Ultra II vs a real one:

Fake SanDisk Compact Flash card

As you can see, the differences are subtle and without a real one to compare it with, you probably wouldn't notice anything was untoward.
... but there's no guarantee that the fakers haven't improved their game even further since those photos were taken, so the best way is to check with Sandisk customer support.
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