New Gear: Lexar Professional UDMA 4 GB CompactFlash Card

editor’s note:  I’m writing this blog in real-time on Friday, 10 July, when I got the card from B&H.  The post will appear on a later date

Today I got my Lexar 4GB UDMA 300x CompactFlash Card from B&H.  I don’t yet have a UDMA capable camera, but I decided if I am going to buy memory cards, they should have features that I can take advantage of when I finally upgrade my camera (hopefully in 1-2 years).  This is my first Lexar card; until now I’ve been exclusively in the Sandisk camp.  However, lots of people online love to rave about their Lexar cards and they had a much bigger rebate than Sandisk for similar size and speed.  The first thing I noticed is that Lexar apparently doesn’t use those really annoying plastic pakagign cases that Sandisk tends to.  You know, the ones that you need scissors to open.  However, I also quickly learn that I’m not a huge fan of the case holding the memory card.  While it probably has less of a chance of breaking than the Sandisk cases with their (Sandisk’s) latches, I find it a lot harder to open the Lexar case quickly.  I pop the card into my Rebel XTi (400D).  The camera claims 382 photos.  I was expecting a number slightly closer to 400 since my 2 GB cards get 197, but I guess the “missing GB” problem that plagues hard drives is at work here too.

I formatted the card.  It now says 381.  Odd, but not really a big deal.  I do a quick test of burst shooting.  I’m able to get a lot more than just the 9 RAW photos my camera says I should be able to.  So, apparently, even without a UDMA-enabled camera there are benefits.  I’m going to take some photos and I’ll be back to talk about any issues with transfering to the computer.  The transfer worked just fine and not too much faster than the Sandisk Extreme III cards I have.  That makes sense.  The camera doesn’t have UDMA and I figure it’s probably pushing USB 2.0 as fast as it can.  Looks like a pretty good product worth picking up and, at least, on first use is no different than Sandisk.  (While being cheaper)  If it should start acting up, I’ll be sure to update this post.