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Lexar 300x Professional UDMA CompactFlash Card

Lexar Professional UDMA FireWire 800 Reader and Professional Dual-Slot USB Reader
Lexar's new CompactFlash cards offer minimum sustained write speeds of 45MB/sec

When it comes to memory cards used in high-end D-SLR cameras, speed is king. SanDisk and Lexar typically battle it out for the speed crown in the professional sector, but today Lexar has just kicked things up a notch.

The previous speed king was SanDisk's Extreme IV CompactFlash series which offer up to 40MB/sec sequential read and write speeds thanks to Enhanced Super-Parallel Processing or “ESP.” Lexar has now struck back with its 300x Professional UDMA CompactFlash cards which offer minimum sustained write speeds of 45MB/sec. According to Lexar, the new cards offer a 125% performance increase over its previous 133x Professional CompactFlash offerings.

"Our new Professional UDMA 300x speed-rated cards dramatically improve the photographer's workflow by reducing the time needed to download images after a shoot. Working in conjunction with one of our new UDMA-enabled CompactFlash card readers, a photographer instantly benefits by having more time to capture, manage, and share his or her images," said John Omvik, Director of Professional Product Marketing for Lexar.

The 300x Professional UDMA CompactFlash Cards will be available in capacities of 2GB, 4GB and 8GB starting in April. At that time, Lexar will also introduce a new Professional UDMA FireWire 800 Reader ($79.99) and Professional Dual-Slot USB Reader ($49.99) to take full advantage of the Professional UDMA 300x CompactFlash cards.

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RE: Target Market
By vgermax on 2/21/2007 4:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
Provided you aren't using budget flash cards, the card itself is rarely the bottleneck. The camera, more often than not, is incapable of writing to memory quickly enough. The high speed readers, and cards are more intended for data transfer into the workflow.

Check out for test results for camera-to-card, and card-to-computer. The fastest cards can transfer at nearly 40 MB/s, while the fastest camera-to-card transfers are still under 10 MB/s.

These Lexar cards are shown to have approximately 4 MB/s advantage over the Sandisk Extreme IV cards.

RE: Target Market
By mindless1 on 2/22/2007 2:51:01 AM , Rating: 2
If the fastest camera transfers are under 10MB/s and these cards show a 4MB/s advantage, is that not an extremely good result still? If it is true, then obviously it does matter, the card itself is in fact a bottleneck, even if not always the primary bottleneck. In the end all we care about is, is it actually faster in use, and does that difference justify the price difference. Or to look at it another way, if you buy a big enough card you may find it still useful with the NEXT camera you buy, and some are now capable of far faster speeds than the older models and non-CF2.0 flash cards Rob G. tested in the past.

You really can't cite aged benchmarks, flash chips evolve quite rapidly and after 6 months you might as well pretend a benchmark didn't exist.

RE: Target Market
By vgermax on 2/22/2007 12:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
mindless1, you must really look at the site, and properly read the posting. The cameras tested are the current Nikon, and Canon SLRs, and the computers are also current models (Mac Pro 3.0 w/OS X 10.4.8 or Windows Vista). With respect to the cards tested, Rob G has results for the Sandisk Extreme IV as well as the just announced Lexar subject cards.

If you consider the Extreme IV transfers at 38 MB/s (in a very specific reader/computer setup), then having the Lexar cards come in at 42 MB/s is not "an extremely good result" if consideration is made that the Extreme IV has been on market, and represented a 50% improvement over fastest cards prior, whereas the Lexar represents a more modest 10% improvement.

Again, with a half decent card, the camera to date has always been the bottleneck. Even with the recently announced EOS 1D Mk III improving the write speed by 30% to CF, and 100% to SD as compared to the , the card is not the bottleneck. The 1D Mk III would represent write speeds of approximately 12 MB/s to CF, and 20 MB/s to SD, which are both well below the transfer rates of a decent card-to-computer. To think that a $300 P&S would have faster camera-to-card transfer rates than a $4000 current SLR is naive to put it politely. Given the improvement rate of camera-to-card performance over the past 3 generations of SLRs, it is nearly as naive to think the NEXT camera you buy would possibly take advantage of a 42 MB/s flash card.

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