Friday, July 29, 2011

Sony Alpha A77 DSLR Rumours...

Just read some rumours from Sony Alpha Rumours:

Of note, for me personally, is that they are rumoured to be dropping the CF card slot in favor of SDHC.


The comments seem to lean towards the line of thinking of: "Why are people bemoaning Sony dropping an outdated flash card format in favor of a more modern and better card format!?"


Let's see. Current high end SDHC cards are rated at class 10. Ie, min sustained speed of 10MB/second, potentially going higher. ~ Source ~

In real world testing, the high speed SDHC cards clock in at around 26-27MB/second when they perform above their rated 10MB/second. Contrast this to a 233X CF card in the same test that achieves 26MB/second. ~ Source

Now let's look what CF is actually capable of and has had on the market for a few years: 600X CF, which are rated at 80-90MB/second. They easily max out my USB2.0 and FW800 adapters in the 34-40MB/second range. 

On my current Sony Alpha A700 DSLR, the difference shooting with a 233X compact flash card and a 600X compact flash card is like night and day. My shooting buffer, the number of shots I can shoot before I need to wait for images to flush out, is effectively doubled from around 7-8 images to around 15-16 images, when switching out 233X to 600X compact flash cards.

Compact flash is continually being updated to perform. This is not surprising since the Compact Flash standard uses hard drive ATA standards. The new CF-1 standard that is coming out will be based on SATA standards. I honestly don't see SDHC or UHS-I (SDHC's successor) matching up anytime soon.

Why then, Sony, would you drop CF in favor of SDHC and your memory sticks? The size difference of the socket is not all that different and the pin-to-socket connectors employed in CF are significantly more reliable and shock resistant than the slide-to-contact connectors employed by SDHC, UHS-I, and MSPD.

It boggles the mind, especially if the claims that the A77 will be able to achieve 10-12fps at 24MP.

For those who wants to check out some spec pages for CF/SD:

EDIT: (August 5th, 2011)

Looks like there are some REALLY good performing UHS-I SDXC cards out there:
    • TOSHIBA Premiugate UHS-I SDHC Memory Card 32GB SD-E032GUX (95MB/80MB)
    • Panasonic 32GB SDHC UHS-I Memory Card RP-Sda32Gj1K (95MB/80MB)
    • Delkin Elite 633 UHS-I SDHC Memory Card 32GB
    All three of these cards are offered in 8/16/32GB versions and all provide 95MB/second read performance and 80MB/second write performance, with compatible and properly implemented UHS-I interface.

    As others have noted, those testing this on the UHS-I enabled Nikon D7000 don't really see a difference between say the 45MB/second write speed Sandiks UHS-I cards, in which case the bottleneck is the camera. :p

    I'm looking forward to checking out how well those cards perform on the Sony Alpha A77 dslr... since I will at least need to buy one card(32GB?) though more likely than not... 2. Given the larger file sizes (24mp image files vs 12mp image files I currently shoot) and the option for movies(rumored to be 28mbps 1080HD video streams), even with my existing CF cards (2 x 16, 1 x 32), I would be finding myself filling up cards too quickly. *SIGH*

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