New Sandisk making its debut

Posted: 8th January 2010 by Jacky Yong in Photography
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have been keeping a very close eye on the Sandisk compact flash cards and its price fluctuations. Reason being I am seriously considering getting myself a new card for my camera. My current 2 x 2 GB cards are insufficient for my workflow. I take mostly RAW files, especially when I am on a holiday. Near the end of November I watched with earnest as the prices of the Sandisk CF Extreme III 8GB, the card that I was aiming for, plummeted to about RM200 per piece, the lowest I have seen in months. I thought that the time was right to purchase it.

Boy was I glad that I was wrong! The Extreme III 8GB vanished completely from stores by mid-December! I thought that it was just a temporary stock clearance, and that I would be seeing it again a few weeks later. I waited and waited, but the Extreme III never appeared again. Panic came over me, what if the card really has been discontinued? Does that mean that I will have to buy the more expensive but unnecessarily bigger cards, or the slower cards?

After more excruciating weeks of waiting, I decided to test the market and I asked a few sellers. They told me that the Extreme III 8 GB are really not in production any more, and that I should buy the cheaper Ultra 8GB. Then I noticed something that wasn’t there before, the Ultra cards are now rated at 30 MB/s!! WTF??

Upon further searching, I realized that the entire line of the Sandisk CF cards has been revamped! The changes include changes in names and rated speed. The changes can be summarized with the following:

  • Ultra II 15 MB/s (100x) → Ultra 30 MB/s (200x)
  • Extreme III 30 MB/s (200x) → Extreme 60 MB/s (400x) (UDMA)
  • Extreme IV 45 MB/s (300x) (UDMA) → Extreme Pro 90 MB/s (600x) (UDMA 6)

As you can see, this is a clear double increase in speed to quench the insatiable thirst for more speed in today’s super fast and high resolution cameras. Add to the fact that cameras nowadays are equipped with HD video! The icing on the cake is even sweeter; the price stays at or around the same as the old price!

Does this mean that I am going to get me the new faster Extreme cards? Absolutely NOT! My camera is already at its fastest at 30 MB/s. Any faster is a waste of technology. Besides, my old camera does not support UDMA. So now I am targeting the Ultra 8GB instead. Which is great news; I just came back from Low Yat Plaza this evening, the price of an Ultra 8GB is about only RM150!

All hail technology!