Can we go Faster, Please? Lexar 1000x CF Cards - Digital Photography School

Can we go Faster, Please? Lexar 1000x CF Cards

This isn’t so much a review as a “I had the chance to use the Lexar 1000x CF cards and wanted to tell you about my experience”

Time is one thing that we’re all finding we have less and less of, so anything that speeds a process up is a good thing. I’ve recently changed my focus (boom boom) in the kind of photography work I’m taking on, and find myself approaching weddings and portraits. Whilst a portrait shoot might be anywhere from 50 to 200 images, depending on what the person is after, a wedding might be 1000 images or even more – depending on the length of the wedding, the locations, the people involved etc… That can be anywhere from 20 to 40gb of images (camera depending, etc) and shifting that data into your computer can be time consuming.

Lexar 1000x memory cards

The Lexar is quick in camera, emptying the buffer more quickly than any of my other CF cards including, but only just, the Sandisk Extreme Pro, but that’s not really an issue for me – I shoot with a Canon 5DMKII and MKIII and the Sandisk and the Lexar are fast enough for burst modes in both of these cameras, despite the newer MKIII being almost twice as fast as the MKII.

Though, this can be an issue when you’re shooting fast events or continually filling your buffer before the card can write that data to its memory. Where the 1000x really came into its own was when transferring to my laptop via USB3 – I’m fortunate to be using a mid 2012 Macbook Air when on a location shoot, and so can transfer my files using the Lexar USB 3.0 card reader and the USB3 port on the laptop. Zoom zoom zoom.

The speed difference between USB 2 and USB 3 is vast…. So, let’s go back to USB 1.0 — 12Mbps then, USB 2.0 at 480Mbps and we all ‘wowed’ so now, USB3.0 is able to transfer at a theoretical 4.8Gbps…..Don’t fear, I’m not going to geek out on you – let’s call it USB2 was fast at roughly 40Mbps, USB3 is about ten times as fast.

So, taking a 16GB card full of images and transferring them via the Lexar USB3 (UDMA7) reader means that your transfer takes no time, when compared with an older card….

My basic test, for you, went like this… Take the iPhone stopwatch, take a 10gb file (Video) and transfer it to the card… Twice… Then download it again, twice!

We’ll start with the aData 16gb ….”not sure of the speed” CF card..

Upload to my aData 16GB card took — 08:11.7
Download from my aData 16GB card took — 04:07.3

Yeah, was like watching paint dry! – That card is a backup for when all else fails!

So let’s go to the Sandisk UDMA 7 Extreme Pro 32GB..

Sandisk Upload — 01:46.4
Sandisk Download —  02:56.3 (odd that up was faster than down, right? Well, this isn’t a lab)

Right then, let’s pop the Lexar 1000x 16gb CF card in… UDMA7

Lexar 1000x upload took — 02:15.8
Lexar 1000x download took — 01:22.6

Yeah, lightning! – That download was the important bit, the upload being plenty fast enough. From 4 minutes down when using the aData to 1:22 of the Lexar 1000x is pretty good.

The Lexar comes with recovery software and is competitively priced. The Lexar 16GB is currently $77 and the Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB is $79. The aData was about ten bucks, it’s true – you get what you pay for.

Lexar Professional 1000x 16GB

SanDisk 16GB Extreme Pro

So, bottom line, do you need to buy the fastest memory card on the planet? Well – A few questions – is your camera new enough to handle a UDMA7 memory card? Are you able to take advantage of USB 3 on your computer? Does your shooting style require faster memory cards? — If you’ve answered yes, then simply click the link above and buy one. (They are affiliate links, and we thank you for your continued support)

Now that you’ve read all this – maybe it’s time to pop across to another article on ‘how to care for your memory cards

Hope that helps some of you umming and ahhhing about the newer faster compact flash cards.

–Sime

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Sime is the community manager of the dPS Forums and lead blogger in our Cameras and Gear Blog. He's a Melbourne based photographer, www.gtvone.com and please feel free to follow him on Twitter

  • prune

    I own two 64G Lexar Compact Flash 800x. While not as fast as the 1000x, I may not really see the difference as both my MacBook Pro and Mac Pro does not have USB3.
    But my D800 and the 36 MegaPixels pictures are really happy !

  • Ashley

    I have two Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64GB at 95MB/s for my 5D MKIII; totally worth it. Using a card any slower just proved frustrating for most circumstances now. I first bought a Sandisk Extreme SDXC 64GB at 45MB/s which turned out to be too slow, so is now a backup or when taking slow frames. On my camera, I can take 1400-1700 frames on a 64GB card, which is great when on vacation :)

  • Nigel Pitts-Drake

    I bought four of these cards for my Canon 1Dx. All I can say is they are lightening fast and if you want to get the max speed performance from your !dx, these are the cards to use

Some older comments

  • Nigel Pitts-Drake

    December 13, 2012 07:32 pm

    I bought four of these cards for my Canon 1Dx. All I can say is they are lightening fast and if you want to get the max speed performance from your !dx, these are the cards to use

  • Ashley

    December 11, 2012 03:49 am

    I have two Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64GB at 95MB/s for my 5D MKIII; totally worth it. Using a card any slower just proved frustrating for most circumstances now. I first bought a Sandisk Extreme SDXC 64GB at 45MB/s which turned out to be too slow, so is now a backup or when taking slow frames. On my camera, I can take 1400-1700 frames on a 64GB card, which is great when on vacation :)

  • prune

    December 10, 2012 03:59 pm

    I own two 64G Lexar Compact Flash 800x. While not as fast as the 1000x, I may not really see the difference as both my MacBook Pro and Mac Pro does not have USB3.
    But my D800 and the 36 MegaPixels pictures are really happy !

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