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Monday
Jan172011

SanDisk Releases the World's Fastest Compact Flash Card!

Got an extra $1,499.99 laying around? That's how much the new SanDisk Extreme Pro Compact Flash 128GB Card with VPG (Video Performance Guarantee) will cost you.



Why would SanDisk build such a big and expensive card?

The simple answer is that newer cameras are being made with the capability of creating still image files that are larger than they ever were...up to roughly 24mb per image currently. Newer models may reach 30+ mb per file very shortly while digital medium format models are already there. Combine that with the introduction of video files, soon to be available in Raw format, as well as cameras made with higher frames per second ratings and the need for big, fast cards grows by leaps and bounds.

Why such fast speeds?

First, what exactly does it mean for a memory card to be fast? The speed of a memory card is measured by how fast images and video can be stored, or written, to it. I shoot with a Canon 7D dSLR which can shoot at 8 frames per second (or 8 fps) and can record HD-quality video files. Also, the Canon 7D is an 18 megapixel camera so if I'm shooting in Raw format and I intend to max out my shooting speed, then I need a memory card that can write data at a speed of:

8fps x 18mp = 144mp per second for still shooting. Shooting video also requires a faster device.

Why would anyone need to take 8 images per second anyways?

Typically sports and wildlife photographers require the ability to take several fast images to capture specific, high speed moments. Having that extra fast burst ensures them of a keeper instead of a need to return the next day to attempt the same shot again. Imagine a football game where the photographer is attempting to shoot the very moment in time where the receiver has already lept into the air and the ball has begun to settle into the receivers arms. The photographer is likely to capture a fast burst of images in order to freeze a one or two second window in 5-15 different images in order to make available the best possible image from a small series of captures.

Why is it so expensive and will the price ever drop?

It's a very expensive card that's likely to attract few buyers for that very reason. It's THAT expensive simply because the technology to cram all of that memory and speed into one little memory card is brand new and expensive to produce. Remember when digital cameras first came out? The Kodak DCS-100 came out in 1991 as one of the first ever commercially available digital cameras. At 1.3 megapixels, this camera sold for $13,000. That's not a typo. Currently, a 10 megapixel camera can be purchased for around $200. As this technology develops and grows while consumer need remains high, the prices will most certainly drop.

Where is it for sale? It is currently not yet for sale on Amazon or B&H; Photo but it can be purchased directly from SanDisk

Visit SanDisk for more information and technical specifications.

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