Sony SDHC UHS-1 Memory Card Shootout

I’ve been using SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards with Sony a77 and NEX-7 cameras since their introduction. Mike Kahn, director of Sony Alpha Camera Systems, sent me a couple of Sony’s new SDHC UHS-1 memory cards to try out, so I put them to the test against the SanDisk Extreme SDHC and Sony Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX memory cards in my kit.

SanDisk Sony Memory Stick Sony SDHC

To put the these cards through the paces, I started out by testing the number of continuous 12fps frames I could shoot at a burst with a77 before it hit the buffer. None of these cards come to a hard stop when you fill the a77 internal buffer – rather the fps rate slows down as the buffer writes to the card. Notes: For my purposes I tested what I shoot most often RAW & Jpeg Large ExtraFine, but you can get longer continuous burst with every card by switching from Jpeg (L) 24mp to (M) 12mp or (S) 6mp or reducing Jpeg quality to Fine or Standard.


12 FPS Frames Until Buffer Slowdown RAW Jpeg Xfine Large
SanDisk Extreme SDHC 11 14
Sony Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX
11 14
Sony 32GB SDHC UHS-1 13 15


Results are pretty close, but you do get an extra frame or two with the faster SDHC US-1 cards. Next is a test of how long it takes to clear the buffer once it fills up with RAW or Jpeg images measured from the final shot until the red (image writing) light goes out.


Time to Clear Full Buffer RAW Jpeg Xfine Large
SanDisk Extreme SDHC 19.3 sec 13.2 sec
Sony Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX
17.5 sec 10.7 sec
Sony 32GB SDHC UHS-1 10.6 sec 7.1 sec


Download times are subject to a lot of factors, including the speed of your connection and the write speed of the HD you’re downloading to. These times will vary depending on those factors, but to keep this consistent, I conducted these tests using Sony USB2 card readers into the same MacBook Pro. USB2 is notoriously slow on Mac so expect faster times on Mac with FW800 or on PC with either USB2 or USB3.


Download times 100 RAW 100 Jpeg Xfine Large
SanDisc Extreme SDHC 2:32.4 min 1:09.6 min
Sony Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX
1:43.6 min 1:07.1 min
Sony 32GB SDHC UHS-1 1:43.7 min 0:46.4 min


Conclusion: If time and performance is no object then pretty much any card will do just fine. But since I view time as money and want the best performance out of my cameras, I ordered two more Sony SDHC UHS-1 32 gb Memory Cards


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  1. Pingback: Sony Unveils Industry's Fastest Memory Cards With New XQD S Series | PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS

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