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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gadget Bag: High-Speed CompactFlash Cards

To take advantage of the latest high-res video HDSLRs, you’ll feel the need for speed and capacity, and contrary to what you may have heard, the death of CF has been greatly overstated

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Approximate Card Capacities
Choosing the best capacity is a personal decision that you should base upon how you shoot. If you're shooting full HD video, the highest capacity that you can afford is a necessity. Many time-lapse shooters prefer to shoot high-res JPEGs even though the images will get resized for playback. (Even if you want to render your time-lapse as a massive 4K project, the individual frames will still get resized smaller.) The reason some time-lapse shooters capture in high-res is to give themselves options down the road and to future-proof the project as much as possible. The chart below will give you a rough idea of how many images or how much HD video fits on the various card sizes. We say it's a rough idea because images compress differently and final file sizes can vary.
  16 GB Card 32 GB Card 64 GB Card 128 GB Card 256 GB Card
12 MP JPEG 2000 4000 8000 16,000 32,000
16 MP JPEG 1600 3200 6400 12,800 25,600
18 MP JPEG 2400 4800 9600 19,200 38,400
24 MP JPEG 800 1600 3200 6400 12,800
12 MP RAW 800 1600 3200 6400 12,800
16 MP RAW 600 1200 2400 4800 9600
18 MP RAW 560 1020 2040 4080 9160
24 MP RAW 400 800 1600 3200 6400
1080/60P AVCHD* 1:15 2:30 5:00 10:00 20:00
1080/30P MP4* 2:45 5:30 11:00 22:00 44:00
Note: JPEG figures are for "highest-quality" JPEG settings; all figures are "ballpark" figures. The actual number of shots per card depends on the individual camera, the specific RAW or JPEG setting chosen and the scene content. For video, actual recording time per card depends on video format, compression and scene content. The figures for 18 MP JPEGs aren't consistent with the figures for 12 MP, 16 MP and 24 MP JPEGs because the manufacturer of the 18 MP cameras referenced uses different compression than the manufacturers of the 12 MP, 16 MP and 24 MP cameras. We compiled these figures from the published specifications provided by a number of manufacturers in their owner's manuals. *Hours:Minutes


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