Monday, June 05, 2006

SD Card Prices Are Dropping And Speeds Are Increasing

If you're thinking you want to get a new SD card, you should take a look at the prices lately. After missing out on the Sandisk rebates that were available for the Ultra II cards last week, I started noticing that SD card prices in general are really falling. It's possible to get a 1GB card for around $50 or less (regular speed), but I saw a great deal today for a 160X speed 1GB Card from, without a rebate: $31.99 with free shipping. The brand is ACP-EP, and while it's not as common as Lexar or Sandisk, it's not a bad manufacturer, nor too hard to ignore for that price. Especially when you consider that the first Sandisk Extreme 1GB SD card retailed for $379 three years ago.

The faster the card, the sooner your camera will clear its buffer for the next burst. Because the standard *ist DS and DL buffer records about 2.8 images per second to its RAM, to a maximum of 5 RAW files in a row before it's full, a faster card will let you refresh the buffer that much sooner. The latest Sandisk Extreme III cards are pretty incredible (they write over 20MB per second and cost about $60), but you can get away with older technology for a lot less. I've seen 256MB Lexar standard speed SD cards for $15 at Walmart.

Tpyically, 1GB will give you room for 92 RAW images or 338 'Best' JPEGs. For cards over 1GB, you'll need to make sure your DS firmware is up to date. Just remember when you shop that a few people are having problems with 2GB cards in their Pentax DSLRs depending on where they were formatted first, but it's rare. As far as I can tell, the 2GB Sandisk Ultra II SD (80X) is the best bang for your buck, but it's not as inexpensive just yet. And 4GB SD cards? Well, your mileage may vary, but somepeople are having no luck formatting them in their camera and have better luck if they're formatted in your PC first, and officially there's no word yet for when Pentax will say they're officially supported in the *ist cameras.

If you have any recent experience with shopping for SD cards for your Pentax DSLR, feel free to share it in the comments.

Link: ACP-EP 1GB SD Card at, Ron Galbraith on Sandisk's Extreme III, Sandisk Extreme III 1GB at Amazon, Pentax 2005 News about +1GB SD Cards


Anonymous said...

Some really amazing internet prices for 1GB Sandisk SD Extreme memory card 46$ and 2GB for 70$!!!

phil baker said...

I just bought a PQI 4gb Hi-Speed (150x) SD Card. It doesnot work in my Pentax *istDS.


Anonymous said...

BEWARE!!! is selling fake Sandisk SD cards!!!

IF it has a serial number on the back of ASS0621DH &/or the RescuePro does not have a serial number on the envelope, it is a fake.

Do not by from this vendor...

Carl said...

I'm using a 4 Gig Transcend 150x SD card in my K100D. The counter on the top says 999 when I have it set to 6M JPEG, and it doesn't go down I guess for awhile.

sutram naresh1986 said...

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