Tuesday 25 April 2023

Which SD card to use in the Canon R7?

The Canon R7 has two UHS-II slots and relatively limited buffering capacity.  To delay hitting the buffer limits, the ‘no-expense spared’ solution would be to buy expensive well reviewed UHS-II SD cards such as the Lexar Professional 2000x (£154 for 128Gb), ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II V90 300R (£149 for 128Gb) or the Sony SF-G series TOUGH (£189 for 128Gb).  Or perhaps the even more expensive 256Gb versions. However, some of us can’t afford these high-end solutions – hence the rest of this post.

The similarly specified but more modestly priced Kingston Canvas React Plus SD card has also been well reviewed on several camera sites, so I purchased this when the price dropped, briefly, on Amazon UK to £83 for the 128Gb card.  I also managed to pick up two Kingston Canvas React Plus 64Gb micro-SD cards for the ridiculously low price of £12 each from another UK site. These don’t seem to be available anymore – I think they may have realized their pricing error!

Using Crystal Disk Mark v7,  I tested these cards together with a range of memory cards we had in our house. I had no idea how this relates to in-camera use but at least it was objective data.  The results for one subset of testing are given below.

My take on these results was that the Kingston Canvas React Plus 128Gb SD card was to be my primary card for camera use, closely followed by the microSD card version.

However, I tried the Kingston SD card UHS-II and a lowly UHS-I card in my camera (then an Olympus EM1 MkII) using a mechanical shutter noise test, to time when the buffer was hit.  There was a difference but not to the extent visualised in the data i.e., the real-world situation was not so clear cut.

With my recent purchase of the Canon R7, I tried to devise a simple objective test that was a better fit to the real-world situation   This second set of data is time taken to transfer 200 cRAW files (about 4.2Gb) from a fast NVME drive to the memory cards.  The cards were all in the same UHS-II reader and the times were averages of three runs.

Surprisingly the well regarded
 Kingston SD card 128Gb UHS-II exhibited huge variations in transfer speeds during the runs, which significantly slowed it down.

Conclusion (and congratulations if you made it this far)   

  1. I’m going to use the Kingston Canvas React Plus UHS-II 64Gb microSD card and Transcend 64Gb UHS-II SD card in the Canon R7.  
  2. The Kingston Canvas Select Plus UHS-I card looks like an excellent value cheap card to have lying around for emergencies.




Thursday 20 April 2023

Devon, mid-April 2023

I stayed in Seaton for several days in the middle of the month and did some minor-league twitching to Portland for the Hoopoe, Lodmoor for the Garganey and Iford for the Night Heron. I also went on a standard Poole Harbour tourist boat trip, just in case an Osprey or WTE made an appearance and flew near the boat.


3rd Birdwatching Tram Special.  Bird-wise nothing unusual was seen, nor was anything particularly close to the tram, from a photography perspective. There was a distant Whimbrel on BHM, the first that the guide, Gavin, had seen this year.  The best spot from the tram was three Roe deer on Colyford common.


There were the usual Shelduck and Canada geese on the wetlands and the Black-tailed Godwits were in full summer regalia.



Some of the Little egrets had a purple skin colouration between the beak and the eye, this is apparently a breeding season phenomenon.


I had two failed attempts to find the Hoopoe in the horse paddock off Weston Street.   There many LBJ's in the local brambles, particularly Sparrow, Robin, Blackcap and Whitethroat.  There was a Kestrel hunting in the scrub.

Poole Harbour

One hour cruise with City cruises. No interesting raptor spots either from the boat or at the Ham Common viewing platform.


RSPB Lodmoor

A pair of Garganey were on show, together the usual waterfowl. Common snipe were busy feeding on one of the islands. Very pleased to get a few pictures of the Garganey.


Revisited the Dippers, west of Colyton on River Coly.  The pair were busy with feeding in the water and collecting material for the nest.  The Grey Wagtail was also present again, but the surprise was a Treecreeper landing in an adjacent tree.  A great morning outing and a spot to go back to, and to try and get a bit closer to the birds, without disturbing them.



On the second attempt, I caught up with the Black-crowned Night Heron on the River Stour, just west of Iford Bridge. The single bird was easy to spot as there was a group of birdwatchers following its every move.  Unfortunately, it was not really moving at all when I was there i.e. it was sleeping partially shielded by branches. Nevertheless, it was great to see the bird and hopefully there will be a better photographic opportunity next time.

Black Hole Marsh, Seaton

At the end of the trip a single Black-winged Stilt arrived on the Black Hole Marsh.  This caused a huge stir in the local birding world and the car park was constantly busy.  Initially, it was best viewed from the Tower hide, but then it moved to give the birders in the Island hide a good view. It is a medium sized bird and it did not come particularly close to the hide when I visited. Fantastic to get a 'tick' on the Seaton Wetlands.



Slimbridge, late November 2023