A-DATA 16GB Compact Flash review

thinking about getting the A-Data 16GB Compact Flash? i don’t blame you. at about $130, it’s the cheapest CF you can buy right now, at about half the cost of a sandisk extreme III 16GB card. so what are you missing at half the cost? speed.

this is going to really depend now on what application this CF is going to be used for. if you have a high performance camera (read: Canon 1D type body, for example) then this card is going to be glacierifically slow. how slow you ask? in my Canon 5D, i can burst about 16 RAW images before the internal buffer fills up. after that, i can take another raw picture about once every 6 seconds. just to give a little perspective, the already VERY SLOW hitachi 4GB microdrive can take a new RAW image once every 3 seconds after the internal buffer fills up.

i didn’t bother with JPGs because the 5D can buffer up to 60 images before the card limits you…and i don’t think i’ve ever taken 60 continuous images in a practical application. my camera is just too slow to fill up the buffer when i’m shooting JPG.

so, the question is, is this card worth it? if you don’t have a crazy machine gun-like SLR, absolutely. for point and shoots? if your camera can address that much space, absolutely. for those with inbetween cameras like me, it’s a judgment call. if you need high performance, errr, let’s face it, decent performance from your memory card, this is probably not the one for you. but if you are a casual shooter like me and use some discretion when picking your shots, you should be more than happy with this super inexpensive CF. it’s my primary card, it could be yours too.

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