With the ever changing technology of the photographic industry leading to faster frame rates, hi definition video and larger image file sizes, the demands placed on our memory cards have never been greater.
The new Lexar 1000x UDMA CF cards that I have been using certainly stand up to the test, and comfortably so. I use two of these cards side by side in my 1dx – with a write speed of 145 MB/s they are incredibly fast. In practical terms, that camera / card combination is probably quicker than I will ever need. I can hold my finger on the button at 12 frames per second and the camera just keeps firing like a machine gun – no delay – for much, much longer than I would ever need it to in a real shoot environment, but it’s nice to know the performance is there if I did.
As a travel photographer, the very nature of my work tends to put all of my equipment to the test, whether it be minus 40 in the Arctic, salt spray with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa, 50 degrees C in the Sahara, or 100 percent humidity in the jungles of Borneo… These cards simply don’t miss a beat!
Lexar provides a lifetime warranty, plus free dedicated professional tech support with these cards – although I imagine the tech guys must have a lot of time to sit around eating doughnuts and drinking coffee as in all of the years that I have been using Lexar products, I have never had a glitch or even lost so much as a single image due to card failure!
Having fast and reliable equipment gives me one less thing to worry about and allows me to concentrate on the creative process.
Because I often work in harsh environments and very remote locations, the larger capacity of these cards allow me to be away from a computer longer (I currently use 64GB cards). While the super high speed transfers (150 MB/s via the Lexar USB 3 card reader to my computer) means a huge time saving in my workflow. Everybody knows how important this can be in any situation but on location it is even more critical – faster download time means less demand on my computer’s battery reserves.
I can’t emphasise enough the value of top quality memory cards for professional photography. We put our heart and soul into the images we are creating, often in situations where you don’t get a second chance, and at the end of the day recording and reliably saving those images is a key part of how we make our livelihood.
But to really illustrate the true value of a quality memory card… On a recent shoot in Botswana I was working alongside a great wildlife photographer who is based out of Zimbabwe. Tech resources are not easily available and he was low on cards for some of his longer shoots. I had plenty of cards with me so agreed to sell him one when I left Zimbabwe to head home… The price? Well Dana Allen – the photographer in question – was willing to pay One Hundred Trillion Zimbabwe dollars for my quality Lexar card. And no, I am not joking…! This is the largest bank note ever printed in the world (unfortunately the current exchange rates mean I’m not suddenly a wealthy man), but it is a great keepsake and it was even better being able to help out a friend!
All images copyright Chris McLennan.