Lexar Professional 133x Speed 2GB CompactFlash Card
Rugged construction and fast data transfer speeds for today’s DSLR camera users.Just over a year after SanDisk released its Extreme III line of memory cards, Lexar Media has produced a competing line-up in its Professional range, under the ‘133x Speed’ label. The new Lexar cards offer the same 20 MB/second minimum sustained write speed as the SanDisk cards and include the proprietary Write Acceleration Technology, which allows high-performance DSLR cameras to store images as quickly as possible. Each card also carries a lifetime warranty and gives professional photographers unlimited access to Lexar’s technical support facilities. . . [more]
Just over a year after SanDisk released its Extreme III line of memory cards, Lexar Media has produced a competing line-up in its Professional range, under the ‘133x Speed’ label. The new Lexar cards offer the same 20MB/second minimum sustained write speed as the SanDisk cards and include proprietary Write Acceleration Technology, which allows high-performance DSLR cameras to store images as quickly as possible. Each card also carries a lifetime warranty and gives professional photographers unlimited access to Lexar’s technical support facilities.
The new 133x cards are designed to withstand significant shocks and vibrations. They can be used in temperatures from 0 º C to 60 º C and humidity levels from 5% to 96%. We verified the low temperature and humidity figure by using the supplied 2GB CF card while trekking in Patagonia and also in Antarctica!
For our bench tests, we timed the card’s write performance in the relatively slow (and now superseded) Canon EOS 300D and also in the new Canon EOS 30D, Nikon D200 and Olympus E-330 models. Prior to testing, the card was formatted in each camera, which was set to the manufacturer’s default processing settings. Our test target, which contained a moderately high level of detail, was evenly lit and the camera’s batteries were fully charged. Testing involved two cycles of exposures, the first using raw format and the second JPEG at top resolution and quality. Bursts of shots were taken using the fastest burst speed available in each format and we timed how long it took to fill the buffer memory. Timing started when the camera’s card status light went on and ended when it went off.
For each camera, we recorded 5 burst cycles and averaged the results. Transferring files from the card to a Windows XP computer was relatively fast, averaging 13 MB/second.
Regardless of the capabilities of the memory card you use, data transfer rates are essentially dictated by the camera’s internal processing system. However, even with a slow camera like the EOS 300D, the Lexar Professional 133x Speed card delivered a worthwhile increase in processing speed. This is beneficial because you have to wait until the buffer memory has been emptied before being able to review shots, which can take a while. With faster cameras, the Lexar Professional 133x Speed card allows photographers to take full advantage of the camera’s burst capture facilities. A table showing the write speeds for the four cameras we used for testing the card appears below.
1.67 MB/sec (3.1 MB files)
1.71MB/sec (7MB files)
8.6 MB/sec (5.7 MB files)
9.47MB/sec (12.9MB files)
Canon EOS 30D
8.51 MB/sec (3.6 MB files)
8.63MB/sec (8.7MB files)
7.53 MB/sec (4.8 MB files)
8.41MB/sec (15.8MB files)
Lexar Media ships each professional card with pre-installed Windows and Mac versions of Image Rescue 2.0 file recovery software plus a trial version of Camera Bits’ Photo Mechanic 4.0 image browser. These applications should be transferred to your computer before you format the card for use in your camera.
Image Rescue has been developed by Lexar Media for recovering lost or deleted image files (JPEG, TIFF, RAW) from memory cards, even if the card has been corrupted. It includes a card test that scans the card and reports any hardware errors found, format/erase facilities for restoring usability to corrupted cards, and a secure erase that makes deleted files non-recoverable. As the test card’s performance was impeccable, we were unable to test this software application.
Photo Mechanic 4.0 is a fast, professional-standard browser that lets users view originals full screen, compare similar shots side by side, access and utilise image metadata, apply IPTC stationery, create back-ups. It can work with batches of photos to rename, assign captions and keywords, print contact sheets and proofs, create web pages, resize and email photos. It automatically chooses and sets the correct profile for supported cameras, saving editing time. The application sells for $US150 from www.camerabits.com.
Interface type: CompactFlash Type I
Claimed write/read speed: 20MB/sec
Dimensions: 42.8 x 36.4 x 3.2mm
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