Monday, December 29, 2014

Sony A6000 mirrorless camera SD memory card speeds



Recently I took the plunge on my first mirrorless camera.  When I took some sport action photography photos over at the local RC airplane field I was surprised how long the camera took to clear it’s buffer.  I was shooting RAW+JPG mode.  I am used to shooting with a Canon 70D camera.

After asking around I didn’t get any solid answers if the Sony would support the higher speed memory cards now available.  When I bought the A6000 from B&H Photo they bundled it in with a Sandisk Ultra 40meg/s (silver sticker) SD memory card.  When using Crystal Disk Mark on that SD card it’s write speeds was a dismal 13 meg/s.  No wonder I felt a lag shooting my action photos.

I tried a few faster memory cards in the A6000 and I was disappointed to discover the camera will not improve it’s write speeds with anything over 45meg/s.   Shooting 22 consecutive photos in scene-action mode peaked at 13 seconds write time with a 45meg/s card or a 95meg/s card.  The 95 meg card shows 80meg/s write speeds when using Crystal Disk Mark.


So save your money if you like those Sandisk Extreme Pro cards, the Sony A6000 won’t be able to utilize the faster write speeds.   


Friday, December 12, 2014

iPod without using iTunes



It amazes me that I have been using iPods sometime since 2003.  I started off with a 3rd gen model.  And then the day came when hell froze over and Steve Jobs released iTunes for Windows.  And here I thought a magical gift was coming my way having iTunes for Windows!  Here we are some 11+ years later and iTunes is still a piece of crap software from one of the largest companies in the world.

The reason I still use iPods are my speaker docks.  I have several and really like them.  The Android world has nothing close to what these old 30 pin connector docks have to offer.

I’m not going to get into what’s wrong with iTunes, the fact that you are reading this means you already know.  Anyways I researched and found an easy way to transfer files to and from your iPod without using iTunes and you don’t even need iTunes installed on your PC!  And this solution is FREE.  Some modules are pay but the music app is Free.

Step into the world of CopyTransManager.  It will also work with iPhones and iPads.

My Windows 7 x64 did not have iTunes installed.  CopyTrans Manager(CTM) complained and prompted that it could install the necessary drivers without installing the fully bloated iTunes.  I was pleased how easy that worked.  After the drivers are installed you get a simple window allowing you to sort/display your music by Artist, Title or Album.  Playlists are also supported.  I had an upgraded iPod Mini ready for it’s first test using CTM.  This iPod mini has a 32GB SD card in it instead of the usual 6GB CF hard drive.  CTM had no issue dealing with the hacked iPod.  It took me no time to understand how it worked.  I dragged a bunch of music from my local hard drive to the CTM window and away it went.  It showed my new music and a display on the bottom of how much space my iPod was using and was available.  I was able to use my favorite file manager Total Commander to drag the music to CTM.

You can finally stick your Apple device on any Windows PC and just copy content to or from the device without any hassles.  It just works.  CopyTrans has separate modules to copy photos, contacts and apps to your Apple device.  Not all these modules are free.  I was not too interested in these modules but I did try Photos.  It allowed me to copy photos but I had to use their file manager.  I was not able to drag photos using Total Commander for some odd reason. 

This wonderful utility makes me like my iPods a whole lot more.  I can finally use my Apple devices on any PC without iTunes or the hassles iTunes is well known for.





Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sandisk Extreme Pro vs Transcend 600x



I recently decided to try some faster memory in my Canon 70D camera for shooting RAW photos.  I take a lot of action photography and RAW files are very big and I wanted faster SD cards to write the files.  I had an assumption that you did not need to pay for the Sandisk name to get decent write speeds from other companies like Transcend.  Well I was wrong.

I used a Transcend USB 3.0 card reader on a Windows 7 system with an Asus Z-97A motherboard with a Haswell Core i7.  I made sure the card reader was using a USB 3.0 port on the computer.  I used Crystal Disk Info 3.03 to test the media speeds.  I was surprised that the Transcend 600x is about ½ the write speed of the Sandisk Extreme Pro.  The Transcend claims speeds up to 90 MB/s vs Sandisk of 95 MB/s.  Both cards were purchased the same day from Amazon on December 2014.  The Sandisk was $45 vs the Transcend being $18.  Both cards are 32GB. 

The read speeds were about the same averaging 80 MB/s.  The write speeds were 80 MB/s (Sandisk) vs 41 MB/s (Transcend).  If your camera is fairly new and can properly take advantages of the high write speeds, you may want to consider paying the premium for the Sandisk name.  It clearly is the winner in write speeds.

Below is a screen capture output from Crystal Disk Info: