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Canon 5D3 memory card choices


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#1 Drew

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:32 PM

I've been using the 5D3 for a few months now with several different cards. I can confirm that firmware version 1.12 still has the slow write speed for the SD card slot. There is no support for UHS-1 (unlike the new T4i/650D) so there is no benefit to using the fastest SDHC/XC cards like the Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s. There seems to be a ceiling of about 22MB/s so any card that is up to 3045MB/s is fine.
I'm not sure if the slot can be firmware upgraded to handle UHS-1 but it is definitely a silly thing Canon did and a negative for the camera.
As for card sizes, a 32GB will take over 1100 images or 44 minutes of ALL-I clips. The battery can last up to 2000+ shots so 64GB cards would be the best capacity to get for topside, non-stop shooting. Hope this info helps.

Edit: In the 5D3 manual, the minimum speed for SD cards for ALL-I video codec is 30MB/s. At 90+mbps, the speed of the ALL-I codec shouldn't be more than 15MB/s.

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#2 nathanm

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:36 PM

Great information.... I have been using mine with older cards so far and was going to step up. Now, maybe not...

#3 Timmoranuk

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

Thanks Drew. Considering a future Mk3 purchase I have contemplated a couple of fast 64gb CFs to store Raw and video files and to use the SD slot to separately keep low res jpgs. My rationale is that I can triage the images using the jpgs which will be possible on a lower spec laptop or image viewer. I've still got a bunch of 4gb SanDisk extreme III SDs left over from my days with a G9. In this context do you think the performance of the SDs will prejudice the Raw write speeds and burst rate?

Thanks, Tim
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#4 Drew

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:38 AM

Tim, I usually shoot for the quickest buffer just RAW to CF since historically the SD slots are slower than the CF. With the 5D3, it's really much slower. If you look at the tests, 22MB/s means maybe 1 fps after buffer is full with the SD slot. So I've decided to use that slot for video and shoot stills with the CF card when I need speed. When there's no need for fps and buffer clearance, I shoot as you say. The fps rate is much slower when recording RAW and JPG to separate cards obviously. I haven't bothered to test the speed.
Switching between cards is easy with "Q" Info screen, although the D800 is better in that one can set Movie recording separately from stills, which is wise because the more to change is recessed deep in the menus!
One thing I did forget to mention is that even if the SD slot is slow, downloading from the card is going to be faster with a faster card. My Extreme Pro SDXC cards download at 40-60MB/s vs the older cards using a E34 card reader, vs 20-30MB/s with the slower cards. I don't mind the wait since I can keep myself busy but some people don't like to wait. To each their own.

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#5 Timmoranuk

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:58 AM

Thanks for your thoughts Drew. Mostly, I'll be shooting strobe lit so I don't expect recycling will outpace writing a low res jpgs to SDHC (30 mb/s IIRC).
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#6 TonySuber

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:19 PM

Potentially silly question to which the answer may be "go back and read the manual again" but . . . I'd swear that when I recorded videos the only card that receives the file is the "primary" card selected for playback. The RAW files are written to both cards.

I had the camera setup to record to both cards.

And as an on topic response I love the delkin devices CF and SD cards and picked up several CF700 cards when B&H had them for $80 or so, I use them in conjunction with a 64GB SD card so I don't have to do much card swapping.

#7 betti154

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:38 AM

Thanks for the info.

I just ordered a 5d3 and was plannig to run CF primary, with dual write to the SD for backup. Might consider otherwise now if the speed compromises the type of shooting I plan to do.
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#8 Timmoranuk

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 10:42 PM

With a 5D3 imminent, I've been looking at the CF card options. I've always been a Sandisk fan and latterly have been using 16 gb Extreme Pro (UDMA 6) in my 7Ds. However a supplier has suggested the Fuji 600x as a very competitively priced alternative and they carry a 10 year warranty. With an identical write speed as the Extreme Pros, I'm tempted. Has anyone any input on this?

http://www.fujifilm....ilmproducts_pi1[accessory]=1&tx_fujifilmproducts_pi1[prev]=4275&cHash=272c2e1cc5f53ccd158d70b67f86a7ad

As an aside, I recently contacted Canon UK technical support for their advise on the most appropriate cards for the 5D3 as was told that they do not recommend UDMA 7 cards, only UDMA 6s.

Edited by Timmoranuk, 19 August 2012 - 10:46 PM.

· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
· INON Z-240s & Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros
· SmallHD DP4 monitor & NA-DP4. Fisheye Aquavolt 3500s & 7000s
· Zen DP-100, DP-200 & DP-230

#9 Drew

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:49 AM

Maybe they were reading from the Mk 2 screen by accident! LOL
In every press junket and release, the UDMA 7 is noted as the card to have for the fastest performance. I've had no issues using the UDMA 7 cards. I've even had up to 3-4fps when buffer is full at 1600ISO. The SD side, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.

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