How Interesting: Using the right Memory Card will Make the New SONY Alphas a55 a very FAST Cameras


The SD Association announced back in June of 2010, the introduction of two new high-speed performance symbols for the fastest SDXC and SDHC devices and memory cards.

Why am I bring this subject up is quite simple.   In recent days after the announcement of the new SONY Alpha a33 and the Alpha a55 D-TLR cameras, a number of comments about how slow the camera is going to be in fast action shooting.   Many commenter’s further went on to say that the SONY Alpha a55 or Alpha a33 would be useless in covering sports or action events due to the inability to quickly clear the Alpha’s buffer when the camera buffer is full.   Well I have news for all of you skeptics.   The rumors of the slow buffer dumping of the Alpha a55 and even the Alpha NEX cameras is all hog wash and I will explain why.

Let’s talk about the SDXC memory card.  The new SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity) relies upon Microsoft’s exFAT file system and stores more than 4,000 RAW images, 100 HD movies, or 60 hours of HD recording with a transfer rate of up to 300MBps.   These cards have been out now since March of 2009 and have grown in popularity.   With read/write speeds up to 104MBps and capacities reaching up to 2 terabytes, it’s no wonder why many of the big names in cameras are starting to produce cameras that use this card format and moving away from the Compact Flash Cards in the consumer cameras.   Even thou Compact Flash Cards are the front runner in speed and capacity, the SDXC cards are not that far behind.

The first symbol identifies products with bus-interface speeds up to 104 Megabytes per second for greater device performance.

The second symbol identifies SD memory cards and products with a performance option allowing real-time video recording.    The sheer variety of high-performing, cameras on the market today has dictated the need for a wide variety of SDXC memory card speeds and capacities to maximize device performance and meet consumer expectations.

New SD memory cards and devices bearing the following new performance symbols may now begin entering the marketplace:


With Panasonic’s latest announcement of their new 8GB and 16GB SDHC memory cards Panasonic stated that the new SDHC UHS-l cards will conform to the latest UHS-I specifications, which are capable of delivering maximum read speeds of up to 60MB/s and Class 10 speed specification in order to complement 3D and full HD video recording features that are found in recently released cameras. Similar to Panasonic’s other ‘Gold’ range of memory card it will also come with protection against power failure as well as a Super Intelligent Controller which is capable of cleaning up errors to prevent any untoward data damage. The Panasonic SDHC UHS-l cards will be available from November 2010 onwards.   But be prepared for a little bit of sticker shock, for those who need a speedy and reliable memory card of the SDHC variety will have to be willing to cough up the money for them.

Other players in the SDXC-UHS-l game also include Kingston

The Kingston SDXC UHS-1 Class 10 was made available last June and has a suggested retail price of about $250.  It is covered by a lifetime warranty, 24/7 tech support and legendary Kingston reliability.    The 64 gigabyte  capacity which  makes this card ideal for Video work    For information on SDXC card compatibility visit http://www.sdcard.org/consumers/using_sdxc/.

Then we have Patriot Cards with the introduction of the LX Series card that also in the SDXC UHS-l class but with a slower write speed of 10MB/s.   A pit pricey at $347.20 but in time the price should go down.

But wait one moment.   I have not been fair about all of this talk about SDHC and SDXC UHS-l without talking about another memory card format that has the speed of the SDXC and SDHC cards.

As SONY’s new Alpha Cameras generate the demand for high capacity storage, the time it takes to transfer information has become a key feature for Sony Alpha and Handycam users.
The SONY HX series, offers a 20MB/s read speed and 15MB/s write speed, which is approximately one-third shorter transfer for time (varies by conditions and camera) than the SONY PRO-Duo media card.
Not as fast as the SDXC UHS-l card just announced by Panasonic, SONY claims that for the Alpha photographer, another added benefit of the Memory Stick Pro HG Duo HX Memory Card  is that they can utilize the continuous shooting feature at 5 frames per second on the camera when using this card.   And priced at $77.00 to $104. for a 16 gig card, that is not too shabby.
So if you are willing to spend a little more cash for a faster SDXC UHS-l card or the SONY PRO-Duo media card, then you too can stop the complaints about just how slow your new SONY Alpha a55 camera is.     But remember, the camera is not slow, it’s the memory card you insert into your camera that will make it slow.

Other companies that offer the SDXC UHS-l memory cards also include the SanDisk Extreme with 30MB/s Transfer, and the Transcend Class 10 Card also with up to 30MB/s Transfer.   In the very near future, start looking for more SDXC cards that will competing in the UHS-l category of high speed memory cards.

Special Note:

The SD Association is a global ecosystem of more than 1,000 technology companies charged with setting interoperable SD standards. The association encourages the development of consumer electronic, wireless communication, digital imaging and networking products that utilize market-leading SD technology. The SD standard is the number one choice for consumers and has earned nearly 80 percent of the memory card market with its reliable interoperability and its easy-to-use format. Today, mobile phones, Blu-ray players, HDTVs, audio players, automotive multimedia systems, handheld PCs, digital cameras and digital video cameras feature SD interoperability.

For more information about SDA please visit the association’s web site, www.sdcard.org.

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~ by pthomaslambert on September 2, 2010.

3 Responses to “How Interesting: Using the right Memory Card will Make the New SONY Alphas a55 a very FAST Cameras”

  1. […] de las tarjetas de memoria empleadas, y que usando las correctas el asunto cambia totalmente: How Interesting: Using the right Memory Card will Make the New SONY Alphas a55 a very FAST Cameras Saludos Citar […]

  2. A actually great submit by you my friend. We have bookmarked this page and will appear back following several days to examine for any new posts that you simply make.

  3. Have you tested any of the above cards on an Alpha a33? I bought a SanDisk 16gb Extreme 30MB/s Edition SDHC card for it and am curious if I should have gotten an SDXC card instead.

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