Canon A540 - what speed for SD card ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gene, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Gene

    Gene Guest

    I'm getting a new 6MP Canon PowerShot A540 today.

    I have a PQI Hi-Speed 60 2GB SD flash memory card.

    QUESTION: Is this 60X (9 MB/Sec) 2GB card fast enough for this camera?

    I am assuming that the camera will store the image in internal memory first,
    then copy it over to the SD card. I am assuming that the time to "copy" is
    the speed problem. The speed of the SD card should not influence the speed
    of
    the CCD, etc.

    QUESTION: If I am only taking still shots about every 5 minutes, does
    the faster SD cards buy me ANYTHING? I can see where video & rapid
    fire shots would be a problem. But stills every 5 minutes?

    I can't find any data from Canon on the required speed of the SD card
    for the A540.

    THANKS,
    Gene
     
    Gene, Nov 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. Gene

    bongo Guest

    "Gene" <> wrote in message
    news:EA06h.7$...
    > I'm getting a new 6MP Canon PowerShot A540 today.
    >
    > I have a PQI Hi-Speed 60 2GB SD flash memory card.
    >
    > QUESTION: Is this 60X (9 MB/Sec) 2GB card fast enough for this camera?
    >
    > I am assuming that the camera will store the image in internal memory
    > first,
    > then copy it over to the SD card. I am assuming that the time to "copy"
    > is
    > the speed problem. The speed of the SD card should not influence the speed
    > of
    > the CCD, etc.
    >
    > QUESTION: If I am only taking still shots about every 5 minutes, does
    > the faster SD cards buy me ANYTHING? I can see where video & rapid
    > fire shots would be a problem. But stills every 5 minutes?
    >
    > I can't find any data from Canon on the required speed of the SD card
    > for the A540.
    >
    > THANKS,
    > Gene
    >



    if the card you buy is to fast, it will be handy in a couple of years time
    when you upgrade again.
     
    bongo, Nov 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Gene

    say now Guest

    "Gene" <> wrote in message
    news:EA06h.7$...
    > I'm getting a new 6MP Canon PowerShot A540 today.
    >
    > I have a PQI Hi-Speed 60 2GB SD flash memory card.
    >
    > QUESTION: Is this 60X (9 MB/Sec) 2GB card fast enough for this camera?
    >
    > I am assuming that the camera will store the image in internal memory
    > first,
    > then copy it over to the SD card. I am assuming that the time to "copy"
    > is
    > the speed problem. The speed of the SD card should not influence the speed
    > of
    > the CCD, etc.
    >
    > QUESTION: If I am only taking still shots about every 5 minutes, does
    > the faster SD cards buy me ANYTHING? I can see where video & rapid
    > fire shots would be a problem. But stills every 5 minutes?
    >
    > I can't find any data from Canon on the required speed of the SD card
    > for the A540.
    >
    > THANKS,
    > Gene
    >

    An every five minute cycle time is very easy to achieve. I've got the A540
    and have not tested the rapid fire auto repeat mode - this is where SD card
    speed can affect overall pictures per unit time throughput on the D50 DSLR
    I've got.

    By the way, don't try the expensive lithium AA batteries in the A540 - they
    are good for about 15 flash shots and take forever to recharge the flash (at
    which time the screen on the back is blanked). I've got some of the new
    sanyo eneloops (NiMH) to try this week. Both these and the lithiums are
    very low self discharge and make for a good power source for my use as an
    infrequently used car camera.
     
    say now, Nov 13, 2006
    #3
  4. Gene

    say now Guest

    One more thing about SD card speed - it will not matter to performance at
    all if the camera does not run a speed test on the card and then use that
    information in it's write cycle; of course there is no way to tell if the
    540 does this by reading the Canon spec sheets.

    I'm betting that low end and P&S cameras don't bother with a speed test. No
    way to make a good guess about what different speed cards will do except by
    empirically comparing performance of the feature you are interested in by
    using different speed cards.
     
    say now, Nov 13, 2006
    #4
  5. Gene

    Dave Cohen Guest

    say now wrote:
    > "Gene" <> wrote in message
    > news:EA06h.7$...
    >> I'm getting a new 6MP Canon PowerShot A540 today.
    >>
    >> I have a PQI Hi-Speed 60 2GB SD flash memory card.
    >>
    >> QUESTION: Is this 60X (9 MB/Sec) 2GB card fast enough for this camera?
    >>
    >> I am assuming that the camera will store the image in internal memory
    >> first,
    >> then copy it over to the SD card. I am assuming that the time to "copy"
    >> is
    >> the speed problem. The speed of the SD card should not influence the speed
    >> of
    >> the CCD, etc.
    >>
    >> QUESTION: If I am only taking still shots about every 5 minutes, does
    >> the faster SD cards buy me ANYTHING? I can see where video & rapid
    >> fire shots would be a problem. But stills every 5 minutes?
    >>
    >> I can't find any data from Canon on the required speed of the SD card
    >> for the A540.
    >>
    >> THANKS,
    >> Gene
    >>

    > An every five minute cycle time is very easy to achieve. I've got the A540
    > and have not tested the rapid fire auto repeat mode - this is where SD card
    > speed can affect overall pictures per unit time throughput on the D50 DSLR
    > I've got.
    >
    > By the way, don't try the expensive lithium AA batteries in the A540 - they
    > are good for about 15 flash shots and take forever to recharge the flash (at
    > which time the screen on the back is blanked). I've got some of the new
    > sanyo eneloops (NiMH) to try this week. Both these and the lithiums are
    > very low self discharge and make for a good power source for my use as an
    > infrequently used car camera.
    >
    >
    >

    I've got an A95, installed eneloops in mid September. Never charged and
    still in camera at 640 shots and they work well. I shoot mainly with lcd
    off, quite a few flash shots but mainly outdoor shooting. These seems to
    take care of the self discharge problem.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Nov 13, 2006
    #5
  6. Gene

    Guest

    I got my new A540 yesterday. I bought 2 SanDisk 1GB Ultra II about $24
    each on Ebay, including shipping. At that price, why go slower?

    I am having battery problems with 2100mAhr batteries. Just a few
    minutes of use and I get a low battery indicator. I have good batteries
    - when I put them in my charger to "recondition" they still had 1.190
    volts (while being discharged) after 5 hours. These batteries were not
    depleted, but it may be the Canon A540 is not happy if the voltage gets
    low. I had a Minolta Z5 that would suck the batteries dry before it
    complained.
    Oh, here's some battery facts:
    http://www.nimhbattery.com/techfacts3.htm

    I'm thinking of returning the camera...

    Rob

    Gene wrote:
    > I'm getting a new 6MP Canon PowerShot A540 today.
    >
    > I have a PQI Hi-Speed 60 2GB SD flash memory card.
    >
    > QUESTION: Is this 60X (9 MB/Sec) 2GB card fast enough for this camera?
    >
    > I am assuming that the camera will store the image in internal memory first,
    > then copy it over to the SD card. I am assuming that the time to "copy" is
    > the speed problem. The speed of the SD card should not influence the speed
    > of
    > the CCD, etc.
    >
    > QUESTION: If I am only taking still shots about every 5 minutes, does
    > the faster SD cards buy me ANYTHING? I can see where video & rapid
    > fire shots would be a problem. But stills every 5 minutes?
    >
    > I can't find any data from Canon on the required speed of the SD card
    > for the A540.
    >
    > THANKS,
    > Gene
     
    , Nov 26, 2006
    #6
  7. Gene

    ASAAR Guest

    On 26 Nov 2006 15:45:10 -0800, wrote:

    > I got my new A540 yesterday. I bought 2 SanDisk 1GB Ultra II about $24
    > each on Ebay, including shipping. At that price, why go slower?
    >
    > I am having battery problems with 2100mAhr batteries. Just a few
    > minutes of use and I get a low battery indicator. I have good batteries
    > - when I put them in my charger to "recondition" they still had 1.190
    > volts (while being discharged) after 5 hours. These batteries were not
    > depleted, but it may be the Canon A540 is not happy if the voltage gets
    > low. I had a Minolta Z5 that would suck the batteries dry before it
    > complained.


    The A540 should do much better than that. Canon's manuals have
    Battery Capacity information, and the A540 is normally able to take
    90 pictures using alkaline batteries and 360 pictures using NiMH
    batteries. It doesn't state what capacity NiMH batteries were used,
    but they're probably the Canon NB4-300 AA NiMH batteries mentioned
    on the previous specifications page. I assume that they're no
    greater than 2,500 mAh capacity, so if your 2,100 mAh batteries are
    in good condition (and your "recondition"ing test indicates that
    they are), they should be good for about 300 shots. Note that this
    is a fairly conservative and demanding specification, as they're not
    just outdoor shots that use little battery energy, but require that
    the flash should be used for every second shot and that the LCD
    monitor is turned on. If the flash isn't used and the viewfinder is
    used instead of the LCD monitor, the camera is rated at 600 shots
    using a pair of alkaline AA cells and 1,000 shots using NiMH cells.
    I'd suggest putting a pair of fresh alkaline cells in the A540 and
    try to either duplicate the "tough" CIPA procedure spelled out in
    the manual on page 122 to see if you can get about 90 shots, or
    alternatively, if you can get about 600 shots using only the
    viewfinder and not using the LCD display. That'll quickly tell you
    whether your camera has something wrong with it or not.

    One question though. If your 2,100 mAh NiMH cells are standard
    design NiMH cells, they would have been manufactured a couple of
    years ago and probably have much less than the original 2,100 mAh
    capacity, and unless you know the discharge rate of your charger's
    "recondition" circuit or have a battery tester designed to evaluate
    the battery capacities, you won't really know what the condition of
    your NiMH batteries are. If the A540 doesn't pass the test using
    alkaline AA cells, you should immediately return the camera for a
    replacement and your 2,100 NiMH probably will probably work
    satisfactorily in it. If it does pass the test (more than 60 shots
    using the CIPA test procedure or more than 300 shots using without
    using the flash or the LCD monitor) then one or both of your NiMH
    cells are defective. Does your charger display the voltages while
    it reconditions, or did you use a separate meter to measure the
    voltages, either while in the charger or after removing them?
     
    ASAAR, Nov 27, 2006
    #7
  8. Gene

    Guest

    You have made some good observations, ASAAR. I did little science,
    rather I relied on my experience with these batteries in other cameras,
    and my experience with the charger. The Specs for my MAHA MH-C204F
    charger say the discharge rate is .24A
    If my 5 hour observation was accurate, that would be 1200mAhr remained
    in the batteries after the camera flagged them. I think I am taking
    their (and your) advice and getting some higher capacitiy batteries.

    I actually sent a note to Canon, and got this reply within one busines
    day! Having grown accostomed to boiler plate replies when using online
    support, I am impressed with the level of detail, and how well it
    addresses my problem:

    ~~~~~~~~~~ from Canon Support ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dear Mr. robert:

    Thank you for contacting Canon product support. We value you as a
    Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you. I am
    sorry to
    hear that your A540 camera is using battery power too quickly.

    The A540 camera was shipped with Panasonic Gold AA-size alkaline
    batteries. According to the product catalog, one set of these
    batteries will provide sufficient power to the camera for 90 images
    when using the LCD display and 600 images if not using the LCD display.
    If you use the Canon NiMH rechargeable batteries to power to the
    camera they should
    work for 360 images when using the LCD display and 1000 images if not
    using the LCD display.

    Canon has done some limited testing with other brands of batteries and
    has found that the Panasonic Gold Alkaline and Duracell Ultra brands
    are approximately equal in providing power to the camera. Other tested

    brands showed less endurance, including (in decreasing order of
    endurance) Valt, Energizer, Ray-O-Vac, and non-alkaline Duracell.

    Canon is not endorsing any particular brand of batteries, but camera
    owners should be advised that different battery brands might provide
    more or less endurance. Other factors are use of the LCD display (as
    previously mentioned) and ambient temperature. At lower temperatures,
    batteries provide significantly less endurance.

    You may need to clean the battery contacts inside the camera to correct

    this issue. To clean the battery contacts remove the camera batteries
    and set aside. Rub the battery contacts inside the camera body gently
    with a clean pencil eraser. Before reinserting the batteries, wipe the

    battery terminals well with a dry cloth. Oil from one's skin or other
    dirt may cause a considerable reduction in the number of recordable
    images or reduced usage time.

    If the camera does not perform within an acceptable variance of the
    specifications noted above, regardless of the batteries used, then
    unfortunately, the unit will need to be examined by a service
    technician. We do apologize for this inconvenience. You can check with

    the dealer the camera was purchased from to determine their return or
    replacement policy or you can send the camera to our Factory Service
    Center for evaluation.

    Please mail your digital camera to the Factory Service Center shown
    below. When shipping your camera, please be sure to remove the memory
    card and batteries. You are not required to send any accessories or
    manuals when shipping the camera. Be sure to include your name, street

    address (no P.O. boxes, please), telephone number, and a letter
    describing the issue with the product. Since it has been less than one

    year since the camera was purchased, we ask that you also include proof

    of warranty in the form of a copy of your sales receipt.

    As we do not provide RMA numbers for service, we suggest using a
    trackable and insurable service (i.e. UPS, Federal Express, Priority
    Mail) to ship your camera. Please package the camera very securely in
    a sturdy shipping box to prevent damage during shipment.

    Please send your camera to the following address:

    Canon Factory Service
    1440 Chase Ave.
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

    Telephone: (630) 250-6500
    Business hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Central) Monday-Friday

    Upon arrival at the Factory Service Center, your camera will be logged
    in to our repair database and assigned a repair number. Next, the
    camera will be examined and you will be advised of the findings. If
    the required repairs are covered by the warranty, the repairs will
    begin
    immediately, and you will not be contacted. When the repairs are
    complete, the camera will be shipped back to you via Federal Express.
    The length of time for the repair will be dependent upon the nature of
    the repair and availability of parts, if needed. Usually, warranted
    repairs are completed within approximately ten to fourteen business
    days of the camera's arrival at the Factory Service Center.

    All decisions regarding warranty coverage are made by the Factory
    Service Center at the time of repair. If the repair entails something
    that is not covered in warranty, a written estimate will be sent to you

    at the address that you have provided. The repairs to your camera will

    not begin until you approve this estimate and make payment
    arrangements. If, after receiving the estimate, you do not wish to have
    the camera
    repaired, please inform the Factory Service Center of your decision as
    soon as possible. If you decline the estimate, the camera will be
    shipped back to you unrepaired.

    Once you have confirmed with your shipper that the camera has been
    delivered, you are more than welcome to contact us for repair updates.
    Please include your name, address, and telephone number, as well as the

    serial number of the camera, in all repair status inquiries. If you
    prefer to check the repair status by phone, please call the Canon
    Customer Care Center at 1(800)828-4040. Agents are available Monday
    through Friday, from 8 AM to Midnight ET, and on Saturdays from 10 AM
    to 8 PM ET. Again, please have the serial number of the camera
    available
    when you call.

    We hope this information is helpful to you. Please feel free to
    contact us again if you have any other questions or concerns regarding
    your A540 camera.

    Thank you for choosing Canon.

    Sincerely,

    >snip<

    Technical Support Representative

    Special Note: Certain issues are very difficult to resolve via email.
    If your question remains unanswered after you have received this email,

    you may call our special toll-free number for email customers with
    unresolved issues and speak to a technician by dialing 1-866-261-9362,
    Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 midnight ET, and Saturday 10:00 a.m.
    - 8:00 p.m. ET (excluding holidays).

    If you prefer to continue to communicate via email, reply to this
    message and we will respond as quickly as possible.



    Original Message Follows:
    -------------------------

    WWWSSS Form Message
    Product Type: PowerShot A540
    Product Model:
    mercury: 1118B001AA
    category:
    description:
    WSS0: Camera Basics
    WSS1: Battery performance
    WSS2:
    WSS3: Please refer to the following information.
    WSS-LENGTH: 4
    Product Serial Number: <snip<
    Date of Purchase: 11//06
    >snip personal<

    q01: USB_connection
    q02: Windows_XP
    q03: No_Power
    INQUIRY: Camera will not operate unless NiMH batteries are fully
    charged. Camera shows low battery warning after .5 hour of on time (LCD

    on) and 10 flash photos.
    3 sets of freshly charged 2100mAhr batteries were used. On pair took
    more than 5 hours to discharge in my MAHA MH-C204F charger. Terminal
    voltage of the batteries (in the charger, during discharge, after 5
    hours )was 1.190 V using Tektronix DMM914. The batteries were not
    discharged!
    I think the camera gives a false battery low reading.
    I want to return it for a replacement.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ End Quote ~~~~~~~~~~~~~



    ASAAR wrote:
    > On 26 Nov 2006 15:45:10 -0800, wrote:
    >
    > > I got my new A540 yesterday. I bought 2 SanDisk 1GB Ultra II about $24
    > > each on Ebay, including shipping. At that price, why go slower?
    > >
    > > I am having battery problems with 2100mAhr batteries. Just a few
    > > minutes of use and I get a low battery indicator. I have good batteries
    > > - when I put them in my charger to "recondition" they still had 1.190
    > > volts (while being discharged) after 5 hours. These batteries were not
    > > depleted, but it may be the Canon A540 is not happy if the voltage gets
    > > low. I had a Minolta Z5 that would suck the batteries dry before it
    > > complained.

    >
    > The A540 should do much better than that. Canon's manuals have
    > Battery Capacity information, and the A540 is normally able to take
    > 90 pictures using alkaline batteries and 360 pictures using NiMH
    > batteries. It doesn't state what capacity NiMH batteries were used,
    > but they're probably the Canon NB4-300 AA NiMH batteries mentioned
    > on the previous specifications page. I assume that they're no
    > greater than 2,500 mAh capacity, so if your 2,100 mAh batteries are
    > in good condition (and your "recondition"ing test indicates that
    > they are), they should be good for about 300 shots. Note that this
    > is a fairly conservative and demanding specification, as they're not
    > just outdoor shots that use little battery energy, but require that
    > the flash should be used for every second shot and that the LCD
    > monitor is turned on. If the flash isn't used and the viewfinder is
    > used instead of the LCD monitor, the camera is rated at 600 shots
    > using a pair of alkaline AA cells and 1,000 shots using NiMH cells.
    > I'd suggest putting a pair of fresh alkaline cells in the A540 and
    > try to either duplicate the "tough" CIPA procedure spelled out in
    > the manual on page 122 to see if you can get about 90 shots, or
    > alternatively, if you can get about 600 shots using only the
    > viewfinder and not using the LCD display. That'll quickly tell you
    > whether your camera has something wrong with it or not.
    >
    > One question though. If your 2,100 mAh NiMH cells are standard
    > design NiMH cells, they would have been manufactured a couple of
    > years ago and probably have much less than the original 2,100 mAh
    > capacity, and unless you know the discharge rate of your charger's
    > "recondition" circuit or have a battery tester designed to evaluate
    > the battery capacities, you won't really know what the condition of
    > your NiMH batteries are. If the A540 doesn't pass the test using
    > alkaline AA cells, you should immediately return the camera for a
    > replacement and your 2,100 NiMH probably will probably work
    > satisfactorily in it. If it does pass the test (more than 60 shots
    > using the CIPA test procedure or more than 300 shots using without
    > using the flash or the LCD monitor) then one or both of your NiMH
    > cells are defective. Does your charger display the voltages while
    > it reconditions, or did you use a separate meter to measure the
    > voltages, either while in the charger or after removing them?
     
    , Nov 28, 2006
    #8
  9. Gene

    ASAAR Guest

    On 27 Nov 2006 20:20:18 -0800, wrote:

    > You have made some good observations, ASAAR. I did little science,
    > rather I relied on my experience with these batteries in other cameras,
    > and my experience with the charger. The Specs for my MAHA MH-C204F
    > charger say the discharge rate is .24A
    > If my 5 hour observation was accurate, that would be 1200mAhr remained
    > in the batteries after the camera flagged them. I think I am taking
    > their (and your) advice and getting some higher capacitiy batteries.
    >
    > I actually sent a note to Canon, and got this reply within one busines
    > day! Having grown accostomed to boiler plate replies when using online
    > support, I am impressed with the level of detail, and how well it
    > addresses my problem:


    <ha> I think that the first support tech. that read your message
    bumped the support request up to second level support after reading
    your detailed information, whether he/she actually knew what your
    Maha and Tektronix equipment was. It is nice to know that sometimes
    there's actually a competent human on the other side, since it's not
    uncommon for a message such as yours to get a boilerplate reply
    asking for some of the same information already given.

    One point about Canon's suggestion to make sure that the battery
    contacts are clean. Others have mentioned that too, and it's good
    advice. But short of having actual crud on the contacts from
    battery leakage, I've never had a problem with dirty contacts on the
    device's side. On the other hand, the metal casing used for the
    negative contact on some brands of NiCD and NiMH batteries have
    occasionally needed cleaning. I don't know what caused the problem,
    but the cells stood out if carefully examined, with the metal having
    a dull appearance, and just a few swipes with a large eraser (the
    ink side of a dual ink/pencil eraser) quickly cleaned it, resulting
    in a shinier surface and much better contact.
     
    ASAAR, Nov 28, 2006
    #9
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