Oh the perils of modern life!
Ok, I'm sitting here at my desk with like a million things to do and two million lame excuses not to do them. "I know - instead of getting some work done, I'll conduct a memory card test! That's the ticket - some guy on the Internet asked about what memory card to buy for the Nikon V1 so now I must push all million of those things that I need to do aside and run some damn memory test!"
And so I set up this totally non-scientific test with a number of memory cards. The "methodology", if you'd call it that, was to shoot the V1 in super high speed 60FPS mode, fill the 30 shot buffer, and then see how long it took to empty the buffer (return it to 30 available shots).
Think about that for a second - I can take 60 10 megapixel RAW photos in half a second. That's kind of crazy, isn't it?
And for the record, I didn't count 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, etc... I'm not that devolved; I used the iPhone.
First up was the SanDisk Extreme UHS-1 32Gb. From taking the 30 shots to clearing the buffer took 45 seconds. Not bad, but if your at an event where you feel compelled to shoot 30 frames in half a second, 45 seconds may feel like a lifetime. The good thing with the V1, is that you don't have to wait all 45 seconds, and with this SanDisk card you have 10 shots in the buffer almost immediately. Which, at 60FPS, is about 1/6th of a second of more action.
Oh, is that why the V1 lets you change between mechanical and electronic shutter without diving into a menu? Hmmm. Shoot a burst of 30 then quickly switch to mechanical shutter or slower electronic shutter and keep on shooting while the buffer clears - clever!
Next up was the SanDisk Extreme Class 10 8Gb card. Same brand, slower claimed transfer (30Mb/s vs 45Mb/s). Confusingly, the UHS-1 and Class 10 cards have the C-10 icon on them. Huh? In any case, it took about 75 seconds, much slower. Not only that, but unlike its faster brother, this Class 10 card usually only had 6-8 available shots available right after the first burst.
Next up, a Transcend 16 Gb Class 10. This card had the most variable scores - 54 seconds on the first run, followed by 71 seconds on the next and 62 on the final run. Interesting. Wonder what - besides sloppy testing - would cause that?
Then (and I know that this is fascinating all of you), the Delkin 16Gb Class 10 scored 66 and 74 seconds. So it looks like all the Class 10s fall in the same general range, while the UHS-1 is quantitatively faster.
Finally the Sony 16Gb Class 10. It broke. The Nikon said on the screen, "Dude, there's something wrong with this card." Or something like that. So I ejected the card and tried putting another card in. No luck - the card wouldn't stay in. I looked at the Sony again and noticed that a small bit had broken off.
Noooo!!! I nearly spit my binky. This had happened to me once before and I had to send my Panasonic in to be serviced. Luckily, Panasonic fixed it free of charge, but this V1 was used and I had visions of paying hundreds of dollars to extract a tiny bit of plastic from the slot.
Ugh. I reached for a toothpick. And poked around. I didn't see anything fall out, but the next card I tried work. So it's all good - for now.
Bad Sony. Bad.
[photo taken with Pentax Q with 03 Fish-Eye]