Canon 7D Tips – How fast is your Compact Flash Card?

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compactflash-600xIt’s tough to get excited every time Compact Flash manufacturer’s increase the speed of their cards.  Most is just marketing hype to generate sales.  However, if you have been following the discussion on my Facebook Wall, this is something real!

It all started with a YouTube video by bodnara2009 called Transcend UDMA CF Memory Test.  It shows a test using the Canon 7D in high-speed continuous shooting mode using several compact flash cards (100x generic, Transcend 300x 8GB card, Transcend 400x 8GB card and Transcend 600x 8GB card).  To my surprise, the Canon 7D with the Transcend 600x compact flash card just keeps shooting continuously for over 430 photos (Large JPG format) before maxing the cameras buffer.  Even then, the 7D’s red light stays lite for only a few seconds before the buffer is cleared and the 7D is ready to start again.  Pretty amazing!

Both the Transcend 600x Compact Flash Cards and the Sandisk Extreme Pro Compact Flash Cards are rated with read/write speeds of 90MB/s.  That is double the speed rating of the Sansdisk Extreme IVs which I bought last year with the Canon 7D.  But, what is even more amazing is the price.  While the Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB Compact Flash Card is currently around $190 online, the Transcend 600x 16GB card around $80 at B&H Photo. Now that’s amazing!


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6 Replies to “Canon 7D Tips – How fast is your Compact Flash Card?”

  1. I think its time to buy the 16GB 600x for photography speed. I am not sure it is recommended for video since 133x can do the job, 400x is better than 133x. How bout 600x for video? I will find out more.

  2. They should be great. If anything, video would benefit from the faster cards due to the faster read/write speed. When recording video, the card is constantly accessed.

  3. I blame you for the decision to go from a point and shoot I could easily carry in my pocket in the streets of Africa, to a Canon 7d which left me with empty pockets, in more ways than on. Heh.

    Seriously, have lurked here on and off and really love your site and your style. Thanks.

    We are headed back to Africa next year for 3 more months traveling with our little tent to bush camps and national parks to photograph wildlife.

    Have finally gotten a fairly fast internet connection so am now watching the Canon how to videos and look forward to taking videos and switch to stills. Read in several places where folks used cards that were fast enough for video if they did not switch to still and then try to switch back.

    Just ordered a 233X Pixleflash off ebay. After reading your post now I wonder if I should have bought a faster one….

  4. I am always happy to spend other people’s money 😉 Best of luck with the 7D. You can thank me later…

    As for the CompactFlash card, the Transcend 600x cards are a bargain. I spoke with the Marketing Director for Sandisk at PhotoPlus Expo, and Sandisk has no intention of dropping their price in the near future.

  5. i´ve two lexar cards:

    600x 8Gb, 300x 16GB, 8 pics continuous, then small pauses (RAW+S)
    faster card -> smaller pauses

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