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on May 30, 2013
As of the end of May 2013, the Sony 32 GB SDHC R40 is on sale for under $20, so the card is a bargain in light of its reasonable performance specifications. Note however that to maximize the performance of this card, your host device must be UHS-1 compatible, which means many older devices will find this card to be a poor performer. In newer devices, this is a good card-reasonably fast, waterproof, and with recovery software (if needed) available for download.

After receiving this card, I tested it against a bunch of other SD cards in my personal inventory. Note that there is some room for error (due to hand/stopwatch reaction time). Nevertheless, it's a good relative overview. I tested using a UHS-1 capable reader and files of known size. Here's a summary of the results:

Sandisk Extreme SDHC (45 MB/sec label)
READ: 44.9 MB/sec (with bursts above 50 MB/sec)
WRITE: 34.32 MB/sec

Sony 32GB SDHC UHS-1 R40 (the card being reviewed here)
READ: 39.61 MB/sec (with significant initial burst of over 100 MB/sec)
WRITE: 19.07 MB/sec

PNY "Professional" 16GB, (20 MB/sec label)
READ: 14.78 MB/sec
WRITE: 20.74 MB/sec

Patriot LX Class 10 16GB memory card (from Fry's Electronics)
READ: 11.15 MB/sec
WRITE: 19.79 MB/sec

Sandisk Ultra, with UHS-1 label
READ: 36.76 MB/sec
WRITE: 10.67 MB/sec

And just for fun--here's what a number looks like for an older compact flash with UDMA controller:

Sandisk Extreme IV 4 GB compact flash
READ: Not tested
WRITE: 33 MB/sec

So, as you can see, while this Sony card is not the fastest performing card out there, it's performance is still quite good in the latest gear. Also, a quick word about video and transfer rates. Digital video is recorded in "megaBITS" per second, while these cards are speed rated in "megaBYTES" per second. That makes it a bit confusing. At the moment, digital SLRs from the factory are at about 24 up to 100 megabits/second in terms of their video rate. To convert bits to bytes, divide by that becomes 3 MB/sec to 12.5 MB/second. For most digital SLRs out there, even the Sandisk Ultra is fast enough for video, but if your camera has a high bitrate option, this Sony has enough headroom for sustained file writing. The Sandisks are still king of the mountain, but they do cost more. Sandisk has long underrated their higher end cards; even older Sandisks are often faster than newer cards from other makers (like the older compact flash example above). If you absolutely need the higher performance, go with the Sandisk Extreme or Extreme Pro, but you'll pay for it. From my own numbers, I'm comfortable with the Sony for day to day use for my D800. If I really need speed though, I'm going with compact flash over SDHC.
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on May 12, 2013
I posted this about the Transcend 32 GB SDHC card that was getting trashed in reviews by Canon owners. It also applies to the Sony card (read down), and readers may find it helpful in evaluating SD cards in general.

The 1-star threads on the Transcend are like watching a committee of blind men describing an elephant. Unsurprisingly, no one has the complete picture, but a lot of Canon owners think these cards are bogus. SD card technology is very complex, the Class system is often misunderstood, and there is a long history of compromised cards appearing on eBay -- or even from reputable dealers who have been hoodwinked. Kingston cards are most often faked (or taken from the midnight production run); that's because Kingston has about a third of the flash card market and doesn't forge their own chips, but any manufacturer can be spoofed. It doesn't pay to buy cheap cards on eBay or less reputable sources.

An SD card contains a controller chip and flash memory chips, even the microSD versions. Realize that SD means Secure Digital, and that security comes from crypto managed by the controller (MMC cards didn't have that bloat, but Hollywood DRM requirements made sure they faded). The controller can be pretty powerful: the Samsung SD controller is a 32-bit ARM TDMI chip with 128 k of code space -- that's cell phone power. It handles I/O and fading (when the card slowly wears out its NAND sites after about 100,000 hits so writing is randomly distributed and kept track of), the factory self-test, and a host of other functions, but it can also be programmed to report a false storage capacity. Sometimes the firmware on the controller or its crypto or something else on certain cards leads to problems with certain hardware, as it has, for example, with the Samsung Galaxy III and maybe the Canon cameras. Usually the card is found to confirm to SDcard dot Org specifications and the hardware is to blame, but you never know.

To test the actual capacity of your card, use H2testw, which is free. It writes the full amount of data to the card and then reads it back (this nukes whatever was on the card). This can take more than an hour with a 32 GB card but it tells you if the card indeed holds 32 GB or if it has problems. H2testw also gives you read and write speed numbers, but it's unclear whether the numbers are for random read/write, or sequential read/write or a mix. Sequential write is what photographers and videographers most care about.

Sometimes a Class 6 card might appear to test faster than a Class 10 card, when using computer read/write tests or even in a camera that wasn't designed with higher capacity cards in mind. That's because such cards use smaller block sizes (there's no cache on an SD card). Explaining the significance of this is getting too far into the weeds for an Amazon review, and modern devices and their firmware should not have that limitation.

To test random and sequential read/write speed, use CrystalDiskMark, also free. Run the full suite; it won't take long. CrystalDiskMark requires that the card be formatted, and the most reliable way to do that is to use the free tool from sdcard dot org. A 32 GB card will may report 39.9 GB before formatting and 29.8 GB after; don't worry, you haven't been ripped off.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to read the manufacturer's ID off the SD card, even in Linux, to determine who actually made the card, because you have to have the card connected directly to a motherboard; an SD-to-USB adapter won't work because it doesn't pass through disk data, and that's what's in nearly all computers. But what do you care, so long as the card's as big and fast as claimed?

Now, what about the Transcend 32 GB SDHC C10 card? Here are full test results from CrystalDiskMark:

Transcend 32 GB SDHC C10
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : [...]
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 19.953 MB/s
Sequential Write : 13.786 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 19.618 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 13.827 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 3.003 MB/s [ 733.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.414 MB/s [ 345.1 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 3.491 MB/s [ 852.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.842 MB/s [ 449.8 IOPS]

Test : 50 MB [F: 0.0% (0.0/29.3 GB)] (x5)
Date : 2013/05/12 18:19:47

So you can see that the sequential write speed, what matters to a photographer or videographer, is over 13 MB/s, more than 30% above the C10 spec. The other speeds aren't too shabby, either. There's no way that this card is too slow for a contemporary camera, still or video, that is functioning and designed properly.

Also on Amazon for a very attractive price is a Sony 32 MB SD card. Here are the full CrystalDiskMark test results for it:


Sequential Read : 19.998 MB/s
Sequential Write : 14.115 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 19.772 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 13.173 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 3.682 MB/s [ 899.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 2.302 MB/s [ 561.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 4.517 MB/s [ 1102.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 2.323 MB/s [ 567.0 IOPS]

So the Sony is slightly faster, 40% over spec, on its sequential write. H2testw also reported full capacity and no errors for this card, so they are both top notch (The Sony doesn't come with a little case and the case for the Transcend case is about twice as big as it needs to be and so won't fit in the little pockets in a modern camera bag. Big deals.)

Just for reference, here are the results for a contemporary USB thumb drive:

SanDisk Ultra 32 GB USB thumb drive

Sequential Read : 22.508 MB/s
Sequential Write : 7.985 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 22.365 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 1.767 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 3.719 MB/s [ 908.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 0.520 MB/s [ 126.9 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 3.871 MB/s [ 945.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 0.482 MB/s [ 117.7 IOPS]

As you can see, this USB drive is faster than the SD cards for reading, such as for playing music, running software, or looking up data, which shows that it is nicely optimized for its intended functions.

As an aside, anyone who thinks they have lost data on an SD card can recover pictures using the free tool at z-a-recovery or recover everything(!) with the free PhotoRec tools.

So, if people want to whine about these SD cards in their particular cameras, they should run these simple, free tests and reach their own conclusions about whether the cards are "too slow." The cards test above spec objectively. And they both work flawlessly on my still (not Canon) and video cameras. I think they have gotten a bad rap on Amazon from people who don't have the full picture, so to speak.

I've also posted this as a review on the Transcend 32 GB page. I hope you found it informative.
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on April 25, 2014
My card failed just past Amazon's 30-day warranty. I then spent more than 90 minutes talking to 6 different Sony reps in 6 different departments (and probably 6 different countries), trying to get a replacement card. Most reps didn't know what I was talking about, and all gave useless advice, and argued with me about the warranty. (One said that devices sold by Amazon may be counterfeit, so the warranty is only 90 days. I doubt this is true, but why argue with me about it, when the card is only 44 days old?) I was cut off twice, and had to repeat my info more times than I can count. Absolutely atrocious customer service. So, if you get a good card, great. If you get a bad card, you're SOL.

Update after 2 weeks of playing with Sony: I have now spent at least 3 hours on the phone with more than a dozen different reps, plus several emails, and they all keep passing the buck. I finally got a direct phone number for the Sony Media Storage department (877-440-3453), but when you call that number -- and I've tried every day for the past 10 days -- you get a message saying they're not available now, please leave a message -- but you can't leave a message, because "the user's mailbox is full." Unbelievable. Normally I wouldn't go to this much effort for a $20 product, but now it's a matter of principle. Sony makes some cool stuff, and I've bought a *lot* of it over the past 40 years -- but never again.
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on October 12, 2013
Although the product description leads one to believe that this card is claimed to write at 40MB/s when it certainly cannot do so, for me what matters is read speed and in that respect this card OVERperforms.

I have attached my ATTO Bench 32 results dated October 12, 2013 to this product's Customer Images. You will see that with files in the photo size range of 2048k+ (2MB+) this card reads at 47MB/s! Write speed is about 21MB/s and on par with old school Class 6 or 10 (Class 6 and 10 are the same thing) cards.

My REAL LIFE transfer results are slightly different from the ATTO Benchmark. My average Write speed is about 18MB/s. My average Read speed is about 43MB/s. I use a Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 card reader with TS21 firmware and Mushkin Chronos SATA III Solid State Drive for my testing.

For DSLRs write speed doesn't mean much because they have buffers and their frame advance rate is almost entirely defined by them. Card write speed in the real world for buffered cameras makes a negligible difference in sustained frame rate advance. I've gone over my results on my D7000's frame rate difference between cards ad nauseum in my SanDisk 95MB/s review and won't do so again here. You can check that review out if you like. The real life result was that when the buffer runs out, the difference between a card with this Sony's write speed of about 21MB/s and the SanDisk 95MB/s "King Of The Hill" is 0.7 frames per second vs. the 95MB/s doing 1.5 frames per second with my D7000 shooting highest resolution RAW + Large Fine JPEG. However, your buffer will clear faster with a faster Write card. So the delay between intermittent bursts at max speed is lower with a faster card. If you're shooting JPEG only, particularly at less than "Large Fine" resolution setting, again, the faster card's advantage melts away. If you shoot high resolution bursts A LOT and/or have a camera with no buffer, get a faster card. If not, save your money and get something like this card. But seriously, if you shoot bursts and don't have a DSLR, step up. Pedantic arguments about card write speed regarding fps is ridiculous for a non-DSLR. If you need a real camera with real performance, get one. Simple. Fast card in a low-buffer camera is lipstick on a pig, sorry. :)

I got this Sony 40MB/s* card for my D800E and I shoot in uncompressed RAW + Large Fine JPEG. This amounts to about 100MB (not a typo) each time I release the shutter. I hardly ever shoot burst and when I do I rarely shoot more than 3 or 4 frames in a burst and my buffer can easily handle that so this card's speed means nothing in terms of frame rate for my shooting style. Obviously, in a day or night's worth of casual shooting I can easily put 5GB or 10GB on my card. For a job it could be 30GB+. What matters to me is how long it will take to transfer those files to my computer. That's why for me, READ speed matters WWWAAAYYY more than write speed. I have never been able to get 95MB/s reads out of my SanDisk 95MB/s cards. Really only up to 86MB/s in benchmarks and rarely over 60MB/s in real life transfers.

I must say, I'm very happy with this card and for me it is easily 5-star. However, I have to rate this card for Amazon's customers and Write speed may matter to them and since this card's actual Write speed is only half of its speed rating, I can only go to 4 stars. It is a very low price per GB though and my upload time with this card is approaching what I get in the real world with my way-more-expensive SanDisk 95MB/s cards. Unless you are literally constantly shooting burst after burst, just buy this card. You'll be glad you did. :)
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on October 2, 2014
Bought this 6 months ago. It's been in my Chromebook for 6 months. One day just wasn't recognized. I tried to get it to be recognized by several different devices with no luck. Can't even reformat as it isn't recognized by any device. Called Sony as was on the phone with them for 2 hours only for them to tell me that they don't offer ANY warranty on SD cards as they are accessories. When I asked if that meant that a week after I bought it that I would be out of luck if it stopped working, the answer was "Yes". THEN, the Sony rep started to say that Amazon carries products that SAY that they are Sony products but are not. I asked the tech support person why my model number and serial number made it through their Rescue Program Screener and he dodged the question. Bottom line, Sony has their name on an inferior product and knows it. Shame, Sony was once the gold standard of electronics and is now reluctant to stand by its product. On top of that, they are blatantly stating that Amazon sells fraudulent Sony products. I think Amazon may want to dig into that a bit further.
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on December 29, 2014
I've been buying many accessories for my Christmas Canon SL1 STM camera kit with three lenses and a Canon 430EX 11 flash. I can't think of anything else to buy except maybe someday a macro lens. Dual wireless flash is too expensive. I even bought a new magnesium ball head for my ancient Velbon Mini Pro 7 358 Videomate 11 pan fluid tripod. I'm over $1,000. My kit came with a Focus SDXC 64gb memory card. Not wanting to limit my equipment to one memory card I bought one of each economical 8gb, 16gb, 32gb and 64gb Sony Class 10 UHS-1 R40 memory cards. My Canon SL1 camera is UHS-1 compatible of any memory card size. I decided to buy the extra Sony memory cards while they are in fashion and easy to get. Seems like the newest memory cards are in fashion for about a couple of years. And yes I bought the Amazon #1 seller Transcend 3.0 memory card reader. This equipment is probably faster than my XP desktops or my Vista 64 laptop. For those of you who don't know you need to Microsoft update Windows 7, Vista or XP to read these newer capacity SDXC memory cards. Windows 7 64 6.1-KB976422-x64 Vista 64 6.0-KB975823-x64 XP XP-KB955704-x86 There is also a Internet SD Association 4.0 version update to PC format these newer cards. However even with this new 2013 PC Internet format download update it doesn't mention UHS-1 so if I can help it I'll never format the UHS-1 cards, simply delete. Deleting procedures on the Canon SL1 are normal when I discovered there are two ways to erase, the better erase menu controls and the erase button on the camera. Thanks Sony for these cards. New Years morning edit update. I bought the good price Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM AF Wide Angle Lens. The reviews tell the macro on this thinest of thin lens is excellant and portrait or long distance is good too at a third of the cost of a Canon macro label lens.
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on August 12, 2016
Purchased Oct, 2015 and it worked fine with limited use for 9 months, then when I was mid-vacation in July, 2016 my camera started saying "unable to access file". I tried turning it off & on but it didn't help. Then popped out the SD card and it had literally split in half along the assembly seam. I have always stored the card and camera indoors, and I'm one of the annoying people who tries to take very good care of my stuff, so no...never been dropped, thrown, dirty or wet. Was able to carefully put the card into my laptop and rescued 1100 photos off the card, losing 279 photos which say the file type is unreadable. Camera continues to function perfectly now that I replaced the SD card with a different one. Not at all satisfied with having lost photos that are genuinely irreplaceable.
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on September 5, 2014
I just ordered another of these excellent cards, which I use in both my camcorder and digital cameras. Great storage, fast transfer, always reliable. Never have I had a card fail. Sony makes good stuff, from my camera to my PS4 to my cards. In reading the negative reviews, what I noticed is that many comment not on the card itself but on their apparent inability to read the documentation and select the right card for their device. Before you purchase any accessory you need to make sure it's compatible with your device. Many older devices won't accept and can't read the newer high speed cards. I have a camera that likes a particular brand of card, even though a different brand has the same specs, and another that loves everyone. Devices can be weird that way. Carefully read what your device will accept before making the purchase of any accessory. Store the card properly. Keep the contacts clean and undamaged. Make sure you're buying the right card. You'll save yourself both time and aggravation.
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on November 12, 2016
I've had some big events where I took tons of pictures and all the pictures were lost due to errors. Can you imagine how horrible that feels? Visual memories gone like that. I've gotten errors so many times, and it's only gotten progressively worse over the last year. The malfunction is not with my camera. I'm super disappointed with this product. I have to say that usually when I have less stuff on my card there's no errors--it's when I have big files like video or lots of pictures. And in that case then what's the point of it being 32 GB if I can't even occupy a quarter of the space without my files disappearing? I'm going to order a SanDisk memory card now, I'm done with the Sony one.
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on December 20, 2013
I bought this card for my new Bell & Howell DV1100HDX camera. I place it in the camera and used it 3 months later in order to take my nieces wedding pictures. Then when I went to down load the pictures on to my computer XP program would NOT allow me to do it. The computer will not access the drive (H) so you can find the pictures at all. In addition, it will not format and states Windows will not recognize the drive? How when using the camera it will take pictures and you can still delete them only while using the camera. But you can't download them to any computer. I've tried others. Yes, we have check to make certain the card is unlocked. Therefore, the wedding pictures are on the card, but I can't get them off and down loaded. After many conversations with Bell & Howell tech depart who finally found that it was in fact the card and not the camera (we tried a different 2 GB card and the camera works just fine) told me the card has a blockage on it and needs to be returned. I bought is from Amazon and have a return request in and hope they honor it, even though it has been 3 months. Don't buy this one unless you want to loose you important pictures. I wish I could get the picture before I have to return the card??
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