I recently wrote a post about the Lumix GX1 camera, and how I'm learning to take insanely great photos.
I love the GX1. Here's a write-up I posted after my first 14 days using the camera. However, one thing that's frustrated me has been the slow write-speed of the 16 Gig Class 10 MicroSD card I was using. So I set out to see if I could find a better solution.
I purchased a 32 gig 45mbps for $32.95 card, which writes photos 4.5x as fast as the Class 10 card, as well as a 16 gig 95mbps card for $40, which in theory is 9.5x as fast. But how would they perform in real-world tests? And was the faster card worth the extra cost for only half the space?
The answer is that the 45mbps card is a very worth upgrade, but the 95mbps card doesn't add much additional value. Here are the details of the tests I ran:
In this first video, I describe the problem and I show how the different cards perform generally.
In this second video, I run a test to see how many pictures I can shoot and write to the card in a 60 second period. The results were clearly in favor of the 45mbps card:
16 gig 10mbps card: 17 pics in 60 seconds
32 gig 45mbps card: 35 pics in 60 seconds
16 gig 95mbps card: 38 pics in 60 seconds
So while the 45mbps card was 2x as fast as the 10mbps card, the 95mbps card was only marginally better. My hunch is that this likely has more to do with the camera than the card -- the GX1 may simply not be able to take advantage of the faster write speed of the 95mbps card.
In this third video, I test to see how many seconds it takes to shoot and write three sets of 5 exposure shots. Again, the 45mbps card won:
16 gig 10mbps card: 54 seconds
32 gig 45mbps card: 26 seconds
16 gig 95mbps card: 24 seconds
This test produced the same results as the first test -- only a marginal improvement for the faster card.
Interesting. I bet the sweet spot speedwise varies quite a bit with each type of camera. I assume an SLR could better take advantage of the faster card, but who knows. Maybe a chubbier buffer would eliminate the need for a bigger card too.
edit: Just wondering, do you have a decent camera on your phone? I used to have an S90 a few years ago, an awesome camera, but now even with an OK camera on my cell phone I couldn't imagine taking a point and shoot around.
Hey @ANewBike, I did a post about why I'm carrying a separate camera around: http://go.GetSocialize.com/great-pics -- yeah the iPhone5 has a great camera on it.
Re: card speed -- agreed that the camera is likely a very important factor in card speed usefulness. I don't think the GX1 can handle much more than 45mbps effectively.
I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I've hesitated because I thought that it would only benefit the few of us with high end cameras. But when I finally got my Sanyo VPC-WH1, which is the video version of a point and shoot, I realized how important these concepts are, even on that end of the spectrum.
Like anything, understanding how photography works will make you better at it. This guide is intended for people without photography backgrounds who want to understand how to get the most out of their cameras.
Megapixels Don't Really Matter
Want to see more photos I've taken? Visit my photo gallery.
UPDATE 12/13: The Lumix GX7 is the successor to the Lumix GX1 that I review (and love) below. It's pricey ($828 on Amazon or $998 with lens) because it's new, and you can now get a screaming deal on the GX1 (as low as $227). The two big advantages of the GX7 are 25% less noise in pics + wifi capabilities (including app remote control). I haven't made the switch yet, but I did do a more in-depth comparison on the two cameras here. If you do, let me know what you think in the comments below!
My wife and I are on a quest to learn how to take insanely great pictures. We are just starting this journey and I invite you to share it with us if photography is a passion of yours. The picture above is one of our first attempts at taking the kinds of photos that have a "wow" factor that transcends a regular photo. The photo was taken by my wife; that's my friend Keoni on the left and me on the right.