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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:20 AM   #1
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Memory card size?

I got my 550D last week but I still haven't gotten any memory cards yet (haven't forgotten, just been busy) and been using small/slow cards for tests and familiarizing myself with the camera. I know that I should use SDHC cards Class 6 or higher but I'm wondering about the actual capacity of the card...

So what size cards are everyone using/plan to use? 8GB, 16GB, 32GB? I've been looking at 16GB cards but keep seeing 8GB cards for less than half the price (same brand)... Should I save money and buy two 8GB cards instead of one 16GB card, or is it worth spending extra and keeping all the files on one card? Is it more secure spreading footage over different cards, or is there just a bigger chance of something going wrong? Is 24 minutes per card enough?

Just after some thoughts on what other people are doing... Thanks everyone!
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:44 AM   #2
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You might want to shop around a bit more. 16gb is the sweet spot right now, but the price difference is only a few dollars.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 12:07 PM   #3
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Many users of the Panasonic HVX200 (and other P2 cameras) are used to shooting with less-than-capacious cards. DVCPRO HD has a bitrate of 100 Mbps, so the commonly available 16GB and 32GB P2 cards are roughly equivalent to 8GB and 16GB SDHC cards for the T2i. Clearly P2 card users don't find that to be too limiting or inconvenient. The 12-minute-per-clip time limit would be a greater limitation, IMO.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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I'm also trying to figure out the best option to purchase- my question to you, Aaron, is, how well are those slow cards performing, and what kind are they? If the slower cards are cheaper, but can handle writing 4 gigs continuously without conking out, isn't that the best option (unless you're hoping to be compatible with some other future device, or hoping the camera at some point can overcrank, or something?)

i'm leaning towards the cheapest / largest combo, and usually the largest ones are cheaper, gig-for-gig, though I haven't found what the cheapest, largest, class 6 card is yet. people have recommended Transcend. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these seem to be the best deal going:

Welcome to Transcend Online Store

2x16 gigs for $108? can anyone top that with a reliable name?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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Transcend is a reliable brand. Just Google for reviews. Their Class 6 cards have been consistently shown to write at 10-12 MB/s (80-96 Mbps).

BTW, the bigger brand names might not have the best quality control either. Just read this disturbing article: The surprisingly seedy side of microSD production -- Engadget
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Lau View Post
You might want to shop around a bit more. 16gb is the sweet spot right now, but the price difference is only a few dollars.
I've found this too, but at some places I've found extra discounts on 8GB cards, making them well less than half the cost of the 16GB. Saving from $30 to $50. That could get me an extra battery, which is why I ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fei Meng View Post
Clearly P2 card users don't find that to be too limiting or inconvenient. The 12-minute-per-clip time limit would be a greater limitation, IMO.
Aren't P2 cards hot swappable? I have 8GB cards (25min) for my EX1 and that isn't a problem because I don't have to stop recording, turn the camera off then change cards. I can fit two full 12 minute clips on one 8GB card (so I can change cards after the clip ends), but would it be more preferable of safer (card failures?) to store footage on more smaller cards, or fewer large cards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David St. Juskow View Post
I'm also trying to figure out the best option to purchase- my question to you, Aaron, is, how well are those slow cards performing, and what kind are they? If the slower cards are cheaper, but can handle writing 4 gigs continuously without conking out, isn't that the best option?
David, they are DSE 4GB cards, I haven't really used them extensively yet (clips less than a minute). I haven't really tested the limitations of these cards, just testing the camera itself.

On occasion when I start recording I see the memory buffer indicator for a second then it disappears. This isn't exactly confidence inspiring... Has anyone had a similar experiences?

Thanks guys.
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Last edited by Aaron Fowler; March 2nd, 2010 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Fixed Link
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler View Post
Aren't P2 cards hot swappable? I have 8GB cards (25min) for my EX1 and that isn't a problem because I don't have to stop recording, turn the camera off then change cards. I can fit two full 12 minute clips on one 8GB card (so I can change cards after the clip ends), but would it be more preferable of safer (card failures?) to store footage on more smaller cards, or fewer large cards?
Yes, P2 cards should be hot swappable, and I believe that the camera automatically switches between cards when one card is full, but my point was simply that the operator or media manager still has to take the time to offload the footage and reformat the card. In a practical sense, I don't see how taking the time to replace the card in a DSLR would be any significant inconvenience, especially considering the 12-minute time limit. It's something that takes about five seconds to do in between takes, when you have a secondary card ready to go.

I personally prefer having larger cards because I don't want to keep offloading the footage, especially since I haven't had the occasion to employ someone to be the media manager on set. Two or three 32GB cards can enough for a day's shoot. But I'm definitely sympathetic to the argument that the bigger the card, the bigger the risk of losing more footage.

Quote:
On occasion when I start recording I see the memory buffer indicator for a second then it disappears. This isn't exactly confidence inspiring... Has anyone had a similar experiences?
In my experience, as long as the indicator goes away before going to four bars, and the camera doesn't stall/hiccup while recording, then it's not a concern.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler View Post
David, they are DSE 4GB cards, I haven't really used them extensively yet (clips less than a minute). I haven't really tested the limitations of these cards, just testing the camera itself.
Aaron, just in case you didn't notice, the card you linked to is a Class 4 card while Canon recommends Class 6 or higher, so that's where your buffering is coming from.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:43 PM   #9
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Thanks Fei, you just addressed all my concerns. I'm beginning to like the idea of larger cards better (from a good manufacturer of course). I say that now because I know how distracting it can be when having to change cards by oneself. Plus more smaller cards would be a pain to wrangle (and more chance of them getting misplaced).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Cantwell View Post
Aaron, just in case you didn't notice, the card you linked to is a Class 4 card while Canon recommends Class 6 or higher, so that's where your buffering is coming from.
Woops, wrong card. I'm actually using a Class 6, I fixed the link. I just don't get the feeling it's as reliable as some of the bigger brands.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:03 PM   #10
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I grabbed a 16GB card from Frys (Patriot Class 6) just to have something once my camera arrived. I plan to get a few 32GB ones once I really bring the T2i into the production cycle.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:43 PM   #11
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I have some 8GB sandisk Ultras that I picked up at Costco two for $39.95. I know they are not class 6 but I've not seen the buffer meter yet. If I do run in to buffer issues they will still work in my NetBook and my Zoom H2. Ordered a Transcend 32 GB SDHC Class 6 Flash Memory Card today.
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