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Panasonic's 32GB SDHC Media  (Source: Panasonic Corp.)
With great speed comes great capacity in Panasonic's new SDHC offering

A few days ago, SanDisk announced a 32GB SDHC flash media which boasted not only the highest capacity on the market, but also the fastest speeds -- the Ultra II 32GB SDHC memory card will have a maximum read rate of 15 MB/sec and a write rate of 10 MB/sec.

Today, SanDisk does not have the fastest 32GB SDHC card on the block as Panasonic has announced its own 32GB SDHC flash media within the Class 6 speed bracket. There are 3 classes of speed associated with SDHC cards. Class 2 specifications list transfer rates of at least 2 MB/sec or higher, Class 4 specifies a speed of 4 MB/sec and up, and a Class 6 memory card would have speeds of over 6 MB/sec.

Though SanDisk's recently announced product falls under the Class 6 specifications, Panasonic's RP-SDV32GU1K 32GB SDHC card boasts maximum data transfer rates of up to 20 MB/sec under optimal conditions. It also states, since this 32GB card is manufactured using industrial-grade memory, the RP-SDV32GU1K can withstand a wider range of temperatures; -13 F to 185 F as opposed to 32 F to 158F of typical consumer-grade SDHC media.

Panasonic's RP-SDV32GU1K will be available in April, according to the press release, and will be aimed at shooters of high-definition video and professional photography. Pricing has been set at a whopping $700, twice the amount of SanDisk's 32GB offering.

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price point
By loomis2 on 2/13/2008 4:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
Who is something like this marketed for? Cause $700 a pop is expensive no matter who you are or what business model you have. It just makes more sense to wait. I guess what I'm wondering is how many of these does Panasonic plan to sell, cause if it makes more sense for the consumer to wait, then wouldn't it make more sense for the producer to wait until they can get the price lowered?

RE: price point
By Cullinaire on 2/13/2008 4:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Pro photographers maybe? They are used to paying obscene amounts of money for their tools after all.
Granted though, with how small SD cards are, what's carrying two 16GBs or even 4 8GB cards instead?

RE: price point
By tdawg on 2/13/2008 5:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, most photographers, pro or otherwise, would cringe at the idea of a 32gb card storing all of their work for a shoot. Most photogs want several smaller cards so that if one dies, only a portion of the days work is at risk of being lost.

This makes more sense for videographers that use this type of media to record to, though it still seems outlandish at $700 a card.

RE: price point
By Zoomer on 2/13/2008 11:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not if one is a action photographer. Miss a shot when changing memory cards? That's just a no-no.

RE: price point
By xsilver on 2/14/2008 3:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
I also think having 1 card is better, since these cards are so small, it would be easy to lose them and that likelihood is much higher than one failing.

the nikon d3 has 2 card slots for redundancy and I see this filtering down to the consumer models in the future.

RE: price point
By Xenoterranos on 2/14/2008 12:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
I was just about to mention the D3. That's exactly who this is for: The Pro Photographer for whom the best shot is worth any price.
I've seen photographers come back with multiple SD cards all maxed out only to see them chunk all but a handful of photos, while still being miffed that they didn't have more space at hand.

RE: price point
By Lonyo on 2/13/2008 4:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
When you can pay $700+ for a lens, $700 for a memory card isn't that outlandish.

RE: price point
By PandaBear on 2/13/2008 5:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
It is when your competitor is only 1/2 the price.

RE: price point
By tdawg on 2/13/2008 8:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
Even if I spend $1000 on a lens, which I can imagine doing, I can't see myself spending more than $50 on a memory card. Lenses last forever and retain their value (if they're 1st party lenses).

RE: price point
By Zoomer on 2/14/2008 6:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, pro photographers usually shell out big bucks for the best lenses. Even 10 grand isn't outlandish.

RE: price point
By hadifa on 2/13/2008 5:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
... aimed at shooters of high-definition video ...

RE: price point
By Samus on 2/14/2008 2:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
Right, my JVC records directly to SDHC, and my 4GB fills up fast (30 minutes) so 32GB could record full length movies with no interuption, great for bootlegers ;)

RE: price point
By marsbound2024 on 2/14/2008 10:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
Good call-out on that one. It will certainly be a welcome addition for those prosumers/professionals looking to store a couple of hours of high-definition content on a SDHC card if their camera only supports that card format. Of course then I start to wonder about cameras with CF, or better yet, internal hard drives. I do suppose each has its advantages and disadvantages though, but at the initial cost (the cost of some pretty decent cameras... maybe not for pro use though), if I were to buy a camera today, I'd probably go with one that did not use flash memory... but for my every day usage I wouldn't mind as I could settle with lower capacity flash memory for my digital videos (not necessarily high def).

RE: price point
By Omega215D on 2/13/2008 6:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
Who knows... maybe PNY or SanDisk will come out with a cheaper card (they usually do compared to Panasonic) and then it can be a nice upgrade for the Asus Eee.

$700 Now, $50 Next Year
By MasterTactician on 2/13/2008 7:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Whoever buys that is going to kick themselves when they see it priced under $50 in a year or two. Rule of thumb for storage, especially flash: NEVER buy the highest capacity products unless you are shameless.

RE: $700 Now, $50 Next Year
By josebl on 2/14/2008 12:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
This technology is aimed toward users of Panasonic's P2(solid state) based professional video cameras and their new P2 based field recorder.

When a standard DVCPro HD, HDCam, or HDCam SR tape costs between $60-$170 and really isn't reusable it makes sense to pay $700 for the card(s). Tape decks to play these formats can also be $100K or more. The P2 deck is $15K.

With solid-state video capture it's simpler and cheaper. Record to solid state (initially more expensive), dump to hard drive (drastically less expensive), archive to LTO tape (less expensive than using camera original tapes for archiving).

This isn't a consumer device.

RE: $700 Now, $50 Next Year
By winterspan on 2/14/2008 3:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
exactly.. people say "who would buy this at $700" and I say "wait six months.. then buy for $200"

RE: $700 Now, $50 Next Year
By melgross on 2/14/2008 9:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
It won't get to $50 in a year, maybe two.

But the pro business is not the amateur "business". Pro's take the cost of purchasing tools, which this is, off their taxes, to an extent, making it less expensive than it appears.

Also, a client gets billed for a certain percentage of doing business. That includes the purchase of the tools. The card is amortized. It's much less expensive than film, processing, messengers, or FedEx.

I was spending this amount on multiple cards (per card) a few years back, and so was every other person who needed the capacity, and who could figure the cost into pricing schedules.

The only problem with this card is that 20MB/s is too slow for the latest cameras, and most pro cameras need compact flash, not this. I use 4 Gb and 8 GB SanDisk Extreme IV cards, and the Firewire 800 reader, as do most others I know.

RE: $700 Now, $50 Next Year
By MasterTactician on 2/14/2008 1:51:39 PM , Rating: 2
It won't get to $50 in a year, maybe two.

Maybe not in terms of MSRP, but considering one can already get 16GB SDHCs for $50 NOW, it's reasonable to assume that these will drop in price like an anvil from a skyscraper as well.

By Slaimus on 2/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: Slow
By quickk on 2/13/2008 7:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
Class 6 memory card would have speeds of over 6 MB/sec

Panasonic's RP-SDV32GU1K 32GB SDHC card boasts maximum data transfer rates of up to 20 MB/sec under optimal conditions

RE: Slow
By mikeyD95125 on 2/13/2008 7:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
6MB/s and up.

The extra speed is very useful for shooting long bursts.

RE: Slow
By PrinceGaz on 2/13/2008 10:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Class 6 is the highest official SDHC speed. They do really need to add some new classes: a scale like 8, 12, 16, 24, 32 etc would make sense.

RE: Slow
By melgross on 2/14/2008 9:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
Re-read the article, or read it through for the first time.

By Clauzii on 2/13/2008 5:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe for a hundred..

RE: Hmmm,
By mindless1 on 2/14/2008 5:36:01 AM , Rating: 3
and that may be about what it costs in 12 months considering the recent density doubling certain players have attained along with associated speed increases.

What I don't understand is the race for speed using SD cards. Any serious professional shouldn't be buying equipment that uses SD cards at all when CF is superior in every important way except the fraction of an inch cubic space it takes over SD.

PRO photographers?
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/14/2008 8:40:22 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think so.
Fastest CF cards have much higher speeds than these, and for a pro shooting RAW in burst mode, 10mb / sec won't cut it to get near the 3fps most pro DSLRs out there can yield continuously.
So you could basically loose shots because of the memory card's poor speed.

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