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Photography Question 
Cheryl Miller
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2009

SD Card Recommendation

I just received a Canon Rebel Tli and need to buy a memory stick. What do you recommend?

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12/31/2009 9:18:18 AM

Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2004
  Your camera takes SDHC memory cards. They're square. For the full speed that your camera can provide, buy a fast card ... i.e., Class 6 rated. SanDisk is an excellent brand, and their Extreme or Ultra cards are very reliable. A 2 GB card should have adequate capacity.

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12/31/2009 10:37:57 AM

Kenneth De Pree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2008
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  I don't like to contradict an instructor whose course includes the one you own, but I question whether a 2 GB card is big enough.

If you are shooting RAW, those photos take up much more space than .jpeg, but give you more detail and more processing options.

The T1i has video capability and a 2 GB card will fill up fast. You want at least a 4 GB card if you plan to shoot video, and if you don't, you should have bought an Xsi at a significantly lower price.

Don't limit what you can do with your new camera by getting a small card. Get at least 4 GB cards. Even if you don't start shooting video immediately, get cards big enough to handle video when you do start making use of that feature.

I agree that SanDisk has excellent cards and that you should have the Ultra or above.

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1/4/2010 4:35:06 PM

Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2004
  Well, yes, if you plan to shoot videos, a 4GB card will be necessary.

If not, I still prefer cards with less capacity, such as 2GB. But you may need to buy more than one.

Why? Because you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.

i.e. If your memory card gets corrupted, you may lose all of the photos.

I would rather lose fewer photos than the *numerous* photos on a high capacity card.


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1/5/2010 8:13:02 AM

Kenneth De Pree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2008
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  I agree that it is better not to put all your eggs in one basket and for that reason stick with 4GB cards, which I have several of. Besides shooting photos, I shoot video on occasion and also continuous shooting when the occasion seems to call for it.

My point to Cheryl was that she has paid a lot of money for a camera that shoots video as well as RAW and .jpeg, whereas she could have gotten the .Xsi for $200+ less and gotten everything the T1i does except shoot video. If she is not shooting video clips now, she should in the future and she should buy cards that are properly sized, rather than have to buy more cards in future to have space for video.

If she had purchased a camera that doesn't shoot video, 2GB would be the way to go. Unless she was going to do a lot of continuous shooting, then I would prefer the 4GB.

Cheryl, no matter what size card you decide on, buy several. When you are out and about, you don't want to be without both a backup card and a spare battery.

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1/5/2010 8:27:00 AM

Kenneth De Pree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2008
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  Cheryl, because I am thinking about getting a T1i myself, I am checking the info available. I found this extremely interesting discussion about memory cards on Amazon and thought it worth posting, even though quite long.

****Update---I talked to Canon, to make a long story short, this camera is a bit finicky about which cards you put in it. Both kingston class 6 (fastest class) had problems, tried a kingston micro class 4 (slower) 4 gig and it worked fine, tried 2 Polaroid/pny 8 gig class 4's and they worked fine with only 1 buffer bar appearing occasionally, even on 1080. Canon guy seemed to like the sandisk brand. This begs the question of how can a class 4 work better than the class 6? I have a sandisk extreme III on order and will update this info if I have more problems with that.
My wrath now turns to Kingston, who service has been xlnt.
***update kingston- I returned a card to kingston, they sent a new one just as bad as the slow originals, which indicates ALL this type kingston are mot going to work in this camera for video.

******Another update, with a Sandisk 8 Gb Extreme lll card the video worked fine, no buffer bar at all. Perhaps there should be a recommended list of sdhc cards so others don't have the trouble I did.

That said, I was able to test the video as follows:
I have tested my T1i for memory usage in video mode, here are the results using a Sandisk 8 Gig Extreme III:

T1i Video Memory Usage Rates for a 1 minute file.

1080 mode 282 MB
720 mode 194 MB
480 mode 131MB

Following is for 5 minute file
1080 = 1,383 MB
720 = 988 MB
480 = 638

Any 1 clip can be 4GB max, so the following is an approximate max clip length

1080 about 14 minutes
720 about 20 minutes
480 about 30 minutes

These figures are approximate as the content of the video will affect the compression and amount of memory actually used but these are pretty close to an average time you should expect. I did a little rounding so these are probably the on the low side you may get a little more time, but not much, maybe a minute.

You can shoot as much video as the card will hold, just any 1 uninterrupted clip cannot be longer than 4 gig.

Shooting Video also eats the battery, buy extras, one Battery per every 8 gig card should be about right.

Bottom line-MAKE SURE you thoroughly test and 'season' the memory card BEFORE counting on getting complete videos. The first cards I tried did work on day 1 for 20 minutes but the buffer bar got to 3 or 4. Day 2 (the convention) was a different story, you read it above. DO NOT use KINGSTON CARDS.

Stills are pretty good but I noticed on blowing them up the noise almost looks like dusty distorted scratchy marks on the sensor, not just the colored freckles. My XTi is better, My Nikon d200 is better, my Nikon d40 is better in the noise department. I cranked up the iso to speed up my shutter and some of the shots looked like very dirty/dusty slides I have from the 70's. I guess you can choose between the noise or slow shutter speed with the movement blur, or both. See the customer images for a sample of the noise at 6400 iso.

****update on stills
Still shot Capacity on 8 gig card
Large + RAW =286
Just RAW = 359
Large = 1375
Medium = 2334
Small = 4175
* if you shoot any video mixed with the stills these numbers drop very fast.

Other review sites had a pre-release version of this camera and they had the same video problem, (they did not name the sdhc card they were using, but I'd bet it was a kingston). Unfortunately there were not any reviews of actual cameras when I ordered it, just press releases. Now you have been warned and now you have this review. When you lose the video as the couple says 'I do' or other critical moment, you'll curse too.
***I currently put a SanDisk 8 gb sdhc extreme III rated at 20 MB/Second, far and above the minimum class 6 rating of 6MB/sec, it seems to work flawlessly today, we'll see about tomorrow, but this showed no signs of the buffer bar on the side, looks promising!
***update SanDisk still working xlnt.

If you are going to do Video, and it important at all, I can only recommend the SanDisk 8 gb sdhc extreme III at this point. Just be warned that the video mode is very demanding and picky about the performance of the card, just the class rating is not to be counted on, as I found out the hard way. Some class 4's may work, even class 2's but that buffer bar will start showing up.

>>>>>>>> Be Safe Buy the Sandisk Extreme III.
>>>>>>>> Another user says Transcend 16GB Class 6 SDHC is performing well in video

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1/5/2010 11:41:19 AM

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