Customer Reviews: Transcend 32GB CompactFlash Memory Card 400x (TS32GCF400)
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Size: 32 GB|Change
Price:$29.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 23, 2010
If you need a fast high capacity CF card at a reasonable price, Transcend's 32GB (Blue) card is a good choice. This 400X card has a maximum read speed of 90MB/sec, and more importantly a write speed of 60MB/sec.

Shooting photos at maximum quality (saving both JPEG and RAW files), I was looking for a faster card for my Canon 7D an 18 megapixel digital SLR. The results using this card are excellent. The 7D has a burst rate of 8 frames per second, and the camera's buffer is large enough, so that you can easily shoot a 10 or 15 shot burst, without the camera locking up. Of course it takes some time for the camera to write to the card after such a burst, so I did a quick comparison using the Transcend 400x card, a Kingston 266x card, and a Transcend 133x card. I took a 10 shot burst, and then measured the time between the last shot and when the frame counter in the display stopped blinking, roughly indicating that data had finished writing to the card. The results of this crude test were, that the 400x card took 5 seconds, the 266x card 15 seconds, and the 133x card 25 seconds. Increasing to a 15 shot burst, the results were, 7.5 seconds for the 400x card, 22 seconds for the 266x card, and 37 seconds for the 133x card.

My tests are informal, and your results may vary, but these findings may provide some rough indication of the performance the card is capable of. I have used it on a couple of shoots, and haven't experienced any delays, while the camera writes to the card.

I have heard various professional photographers recommend using smaller cards, usually 8GB, rather than 16GB or 32GB cards. The thinking is that cards will eventually fail, and they feel more comfortable having their images from a particular shoot (usually a wedding), on several cards rather than on one card. That way if a card happens to fail, they will not lose all the images from that one event. While that kind of approach may make sense to someone shooting a wedding, I like having a card with enough capacity to shoot an entire event, and not have to worry about running out of memory or changing and keeping track of cards. Using a 7D, a 32GB card is good for about 950 images, which is great for photo shoots with models, shooting on a trip, or an extended event, like a basketball tournament, or runners in a marathon.

With camera file sizes increasing, "large capacity" is a relative term. So that 8GB card that was "huge" a couple of years ago, is kind of "small" today. Someday soon, the same will probably be true of even 32GB cards. Transcend's new 64GB (Blue) compact flash card may seem excessive, but digital SLR's being capable of shooting high definition video, has raised memory requirements to a new level. And finally, while using bigger cards may be more "risky" for some, for others they are more convenient, and they are generally less expensive per GB.

Due to good performance and reliability over several years, Transcend is a brand that I have come to trust for both compact flash and SD memory cards. Transcend cards are usually less expensive than equivalent cards by SanDisk or Lexar. They have a lifetime warranty, but fortunately I haven't had a Transcend card fail yet. If you do happen to get a bad card when buying from Amazon, replacement is usually a fast and hassle free process. This 400x card is fast, and at this time is a very good deal for under $100.
1010 comments| 231 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 12, 2010
Works perfetly in all Canon EOS 7d HD Movie modes. I purchased two of them along with my 7d and have just ordered a 32 GB Transcend to extend HD movie capacity from 48 min with this 16 GB to 96 min.

May 2011 Update: While this 400x Transcend continues to work perfectly with my 7d under almost all conditions, I have recently found one condition where the faster 600x Transcend MIGHT make a very modest difference. When you are shooting RAW at 8 frames per second with this 400x, the camera slows down to about 1 frame per second after the buffer is full -- about 16 shots. This would also happen at 600x, but I dont know how much it would improve. I just performed an experiment with my 32 GB 400x Transcend/7D and got the following number of shots off in five seconds:
1. Large JPG only: 39 shots (buffer never overloads).
2. Large RAW only: 23 shots (slows down after 16 shots). *
3. Large RAW plus Large JPG: 17 shots. (slows down after 7 shots) *
In summary, there is no reason for 7D owners to spend the big bucks to go from 400x to 600x for video and probably no significant improvement even for 8fps RAW. Check out the table on page 59 of your EOS 7D Instruction Manual and do the math for yourself. High speed (8fps) RAW generates about 200MB/s while the 400x cards and 600x cards handle only 60MB/s and 90MB/s respectively. Also note than if you are shooting RAW + JPEG, you can more than double your burst length by going to RAW only and converting later. Burst capability is therefore much more about the camera's buffer size and processing speed than about card speed. I have concluded that this 400X Transcend is the one for me and find no reason to spend more. If you are a 7D/600x owner who wishes to repeat this test with a 600x Transcend, I would greatly appreciate your reply to this post. For me, it would be an expensive experiment.
* Updated 8-4-2011, Note that this was for the 32GB card, the 16GB card might produce slightly different results.
* Update 2012: Canon introduced a major firmware upgrade this year that significantly improves on these processing times and adds other useful enhancements. If you have not yet upgraded to version 2.0.3, you should do so now.
1111 comments| 149 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 23, 2010
The performance seems to match or exceed the requirements of Canon 5D Mk II and does not cause any problem while taking pictures or shooting HD video. Most demanding picture format on 5D Mk II is RAW + JPEG (Fine+Large), and 32GB card can usually hold more than 900 of those.
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on June 21, 2010
Update: September 2014. Still going strong. I keep thinking I will upgrade to a newer, bigger card but these keep going strong (have 2). My original purchase was 6/2010 for $57. I don't do a lot of video but what I have done has been fine. Shoot, transfer, format in camera and repeat.

Update: October 2013. Almost 3 1/2 years later I am still using this card on a regular basis. I have never lost one photo to it. Still a recommend!

Original Review: While searching for a CF card for my new camera, I didn't find many specific card results. So if you are using a Nikon D300s, this review is for you.

This card works great in my Nikon D300s. Here are my results at 7 frames per second:

RAW-12 BIT - Buffer show 17 frames but shoots 25 frames before buffer fills. Pause for about one second and can shoot for about 5 shots. Pause for 3 seconds and can shoot for 16 before buffer fills. Capacity shows 770 shots available but goes over 800.

JPEG-Large-Fine - Buffer shows 21 but never fills and will shoot at 7fps up to the Nikon limit of 100 shots. It goes down to about 7 or 8 in the buffer but never slows down.
Capacity shows 1400 (1.4K) photos available. I don't shoot JPEG much so I don't know the actual totals. 1400+ is a lot for one card.

I consider myself a serious amateur photographer and this card fulfills all my needs. My photography is mostly HDR, landscapes, and my kids (both at home and playing sports).

Unless you need to shoot in RAW 25+ photos at 7fps consistently, this is a great card for the money. If you shoot JPEG, it will work as fast as the camera.

I purchased this 16GB card for the same price as the Sandisk 8GB card. So for the price of a Sandisk 16GB card, I bought two Transcend 16GB cards. Until this card, I always shot with Sandisk Extremes III sdhc cards.

Shipped fast with Prime.

I will update here if I have any issues.
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on October 15, 2010
Like another poster, this card also failed on me after one month. I used it in a Canon 5DMk2, taking movies, images. I had an important shoot to do for a friend's family (all gathered from out of town). Everything seemed fine while taking the photos. I was able to review them on the camera, etc.

Got home, took the card out, plugged it into the PC's card reader.

Nothing. The computer didn't even see the card. I put it back into the camera. The camera also said that the card wasn't there, or needed to be formatted.

I tried every recovery program I had to find the card and the files. Nothing worked.

I tried formatting the card in the camera, and the camera wouldn't format it.

This is the last Transcend card I'm buying.
5050 comments| 136 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 14, 2011
One minute, I was looking through images from a very important shoot on the back of my 7D and patting myself on the back.

The next minute, after turning off the camera and putting the card in my card reader, I couldn't see anything in Finder.

I turned on PhotoRec and tried to bring the card up. It told me that the card was 31.5 MB, not 16 GB. I tried a couple of other software packages with no luck.

I consulted a forensic expert (seriously, he had a ridiculous, proprietary, homemade card-scanning machine, and does lots of work with data recovery for the legal field) who ended up using a dummy card to bypass this card's controller. He told me that all of the memory on this card contained zeros. And that somehow, this card's firmware was incorrectly reporting itself.

My client's photos can never, ever be recovered. Ever. And this is probably because someone at Transcend wanted to save $5 on this card and bought cheaper, less reliable memory chips than they should have.

I've had no response from Transcend tech support after several days and am never buying one of their products again, even if it's $30 cheaper than the Sandisk version. Even if it's $200 cheaper than the Sandisk version, for that matter.

Don't buy this card! Don't buy anything from this company! And feel free to e-mail me to confirm that I don't work or consult for anyone in the electronics industry. We can even meet for coffee and maybe draw pictures of Transcend CompactFlash cards with crayons and then rip them into tiny shreds.

Cheap memory cards are cheap because margins are cut. And these are not margins that you want cut when it comes to crucial images for your clients.
1515 comments| 93 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 18, 2011
I recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam. I took over 500 photos using this card. When I attempted to copy the files to my pc, I got a copy error.
Then the pc couldn't recognize the card. My camera said it wasn't formatted. I was able to copy about half the files. I took the card to a shop; they told me
the card was faulty. Needless to say, I'll never buy this brand again. Guess I'll have to go back to Amsterdam.
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on September 3, 2010
Loved the price. Warranty on box says lifetime, can't beat that. So since no one else put this information down, I figured I would. In a Canon 7D, shooting in RAW, you can take 25 pictures using high speed shutter setting (8 frames a second) before the buffer fills and you have to wait. Its more than a couple of seconds, but then I could do it again.I would suspect that using jpg would be more than double that and jpg lower quality or smaller size would much,much higher. Since I don't shoot jpg I didn't check. If you own a 7D and do shoot jpg instead of RAW, don't hesitate. Holds ~500 RAW images on a 7D. Since I rarely shoot at 8 frames a second, this card more than meets my needs, see [...]. I was instructed by Neil Cowley to never put all your images on one card in case something happens to it which is why I didn't purchase the 32GB cards. Very good advice from an excellent professional.
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on February 6, 2011
I'd much rather write a good review for a product whose name I have trusted for a while but I won't be doing that for this card. Over the course of a few weeks I took photos on this card and during transfer to my computer I got a message that the drive had been ejected improperly. But wait - I don't want it ejected; I'm still transferring files! I was afraid the card may have fried and when I placed it in the camera to see if it would read or maybe I could reformat it, I got nothing. It's a damn good thing I wasn't shooting a wedding for a client or any other jobs for pay because I would have been severely embarrassed to tell the client I couldn't give them what they paid for. I won't be buying any more Transcend cards, it just cannot be trusted. Looks like it's back to Sandisk exclusively. I see a few others have posted negative feedback on this card and its 32GB sibling and that's why I say I won't be buying any more of them. Unfortunately for me, I may not be able to get my money back since I have had the card in my camera for so long and exceeded the 30 day (today)Transcend 400X - 16 GB Compact Flash Memory Card TS16GCF400 (Blue) warranty period. We'll see how good Amazon's customer service is next.
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on February 24, 2011
Despite the mixed reviews, I bought the super-economical Transcend 400X - 64 GB Compact Flash Memory Card for use in a new Canon 5D Mark II on a Feb. 2011 trip to Yosemite.
After an hour of use and a strong battery, the message "format card for use in this camera" appeared. After removing and reinstalling, the message finally went away and my photos seemed to be intact (when!). Later on, while trying to record a video of a herd of Pronghorn, the card failed again several times, again on a new battery. I was later able to read my images off the card into my computer, but I have zero confidence in this device now. I returned it for refund. I'll stick with the more expensive SanDisk or equivalent cards in the future... no such thing as a free lunch.
22 comments| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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