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Test Protocols and Notes

Card Reader Tests

4GB CF Cards:

Protocol 1

• Wipe
• Format FAT32
• Reboot PC
• Write (PC to Card): 1.01GB of files in multiple folders copied to card (time recorded)
• Unplug reader, reboot PC
• Reconnect reader, place card back in
• Read (Card to PC): 1.01GB of files in multiple folders copied to (record time)

Protocol 2 (only SanDisk card reader used)

• Wipe
• Format with FAT 32
• Reboot PC
• Write (PC to Card): 1.01 GB of JPEG images in single folder (record time)
• Unplug reader and reboot
• Reconnect reader, place card back in
• Read (Card to PC): 1.01 GB of JPEG images in single folder (record time)


2GB SD Cards:

Repeated protocols 1 and 2 above, but instead formatted in the camera (FAT16) after wiping. We also repeated the steps in Protocol 2, using the Lexar USB2.0 SD card reader that came free with the Lexar SD card.


Camera Write Test

To calculate the write speed in the Canon EOS-1D Mark II an 8.5fps continuous burst of Large JPEG images (Quality set to 10) was used to capture a standardised scene. The stopwatch was started when the camera’s card access lamp lit up and then stopped when it went out. The total MB of the images captured was summed and divided by the time recorded. The following protocol was used:

4GB CF Cards:

• Wipe
• Format on PC with FAT 32
• Reformat in Camera (remains FAT32)
• Write (Camera to Card): 8.5fps continuous burst of JPEG images capturing a standardised scene. (record time and total MB written)


2GB SD Cards:

Repeated above, but instead formatted in the camera (FAT16) after wiping.


Test Notes:

All tests were repeated and an average taken. The PC is rebooted and the reader unplugged between tests in order to ensure that the PC does not cache the test files. Anti-virus software was also disabled.

PC system: Intel P4 3.4GHz with HT; 1.5GB DDR2 533 RAM (Dual Channel); Intel D925XCV motherboard; 7,200rpm, 8MB cache SATA hard drive; 128MB nVidia GeForce 6600GT PCIe.

Canon EOS-1D Mark II: Firmware version 1.2.4; ISO 640; JPEG quality 10; Auto White Balance; Picture review off; Noise reduction off; Sharpening level 3.

The tests carried out in this article reflect the performance of each card as used with the stated data types, card readers, computer system, and camera. The performance is subject to the equipment used but as all cards have been tested equally, the results can be regarded as “real world” comparative.

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