Canon EOS 5Ds SD & CF Card Speed Comparison

by Bret Hoy1 Comment

The humble CF/SD card. Victim of nearly endless abuse and neglect by many is the only thing protecting your images from unreadable and unwriteable corruption.

It may seem dramatic, but it's not untrue.

The space between your camera and your computer is technically, a dangerous places where data isn't yet backed up and is in it's rawest state. The question we must ask then is, “why do we not put more care into our CF/SD cards?”

Massive megapixel count makes massive processing power, capacity and of course, write speed, necessary. The SD/CF card is one of the more ignored aspects of  many photographers rigs. Some might go years without realizing that there are better, faster, more reliable and  ($$$) cheaper options.

The Canon 5DS boasts a 50MP sensor which takes photos at a whopping 8688×5792 pixels. This is fantastic because the amount of detail captured is incredible! What’s not incredible is the size of the images. When shooting RAW, expect your photos to be 75.6MB. Huge. When shooting JPEG, things get a bit better, to the tune of 25.9MB.

Because of these huge file sizes, it’s more important than ever to have CF and SD cards that can actually handle the amount of data being passed through them. The people over at camera have taken this to heart and have come test the write speed of some of the more popular CF and SD cards on the market, when being used in conjunction with the 5DS.

The results are pretty interesting. Without giving it away, I can say this: $$$ =/= Performance.

Canon EOS 5Ds SD & CF Card Speed Comparison

Canon EOS 5Ds SD and CF Card Speed Comparison

Via Camera Memory Speed:

The Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR is capable of capturing stunning detail thanks to its 50.6 megapixel full-frame sensor. Dual DIGIC 6 image processors deliver the performance necessary to process images at up to 5 frames per second during continuous shooting. Its 61-point AF system includes 41 cross-type sensors for precise focus. Dual memory slots include support for one CompactFlash (CF) type I with UDMA 7 and one Secure Digital (SD) card slot with UHS-I.

Write speed of the Canon 5Ds was tested using 75 different memory cards: 57 SD cards and 18 CF cards. The tables below show results in write speed for RAW images and continuous shooting for RAW+JPEG, RAW and JPEG image modes. A detailed analysis contains more information gathered from the tests. Recommended SD and CF cards for the 5Ds are provided for those seeking the fastest card for the camera as well as some suggestions for good value memory card choices for this camera.

Note this is a significant article on speed and we appreciate their research and respect their site, so if you want to see more and the table of comparisons, vice their story: Camera Memory Speed “Canon EOS 5Ds SD & CF Card Speed Comparison”

(cover photo credit: snap from Camera Memory Speed)


  1. It is the same with the 5D Mk III. I haven’t done an accurate test, but shooting sports, the camera is useless with a fast SD card, while a mediocre CF card will shoot much longer before buffering.

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