Review: Lexar 2GB Prof. 133X SD Card

A storage card that will exceed your expectations. (October 10th, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Lexar, a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc

Price: $149.99 US

The Good

  • Card worked flawlessly. Limited Lifetime warranty. Speedy data transfers. 2GB Model includes USB 2 Reader.

The Bad

  • None found. (Not compatible with all cameras, so check the site before you buy.)

While most people opt for the least expensive camera memory card on sale, I have found that it is best to consider what you shoot before investing in a new card. To help me test the 6.1-megapixel Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens and the 10.1-megapixel Casio EX-Z1000 cameras, Lexar sent me a high-speed 2GB SD card to save my photos onto. I had never considered card speed previously, only size and cost. I use digital cameras to shoot family, scenery, events, and local concerts, and little else. My old 3 megapixel digital cameras are suitable for photo pages on the Web, and that was all I needed, or so I thought.

Bigger is Better

Now, armed with cameras that can yield poster-sized prints, my small 32 MB storage card was abysmally unsuited for the task. It stores about 28 photos, which means I either carry multiple cards or buy into the maxim, bigger is better, and in camera storage, the maxim wins. In addition, when I shoot sports, I use my film cameras, but I discovered that the Lexar card and these faster consumer digital cameras allowed me to do some limited action shots too.

The Lexar Professional 2GB 133x Speed SD (Secure Digital) Card gave me more space than I thought needed; until I discovered the video aspects of the cameras. This card easily stored hundreds of photos and a few 5 to 10 minute videos with room to spare.

Store Hundreds of Photos

My daylong shoots were worry free because I never ran out of space on the card. One camera let me save over 1000 photos, while the other accommodated over 350 pictures. I only shoot in high-resolution JPEG mode, so expect to save a lot more if you use a lower resolution. Lexar states in one support document, "There's no exact standard amount of photo capacity on a memory card because it is based on content, compression, and file type, all of which can vary." The card never faltered and I was able to format it for either camera without any glitches.

Go For Speed

I assumed saving photos to the camera's built-in memory would be faster than saving to an external card, but that was not the case. I noticed no difference, which is probably due to this card's speed rating. The Lexar 2GB Professional 133X SD Card is capable of sustained write speeds of 20 MB per second. It also has a tiny switch you push to prevent accidental erasure. The simple High-Speed USB 2.0 reader included in the box with the 2GB card is light, easy to use, and fits in any tiny pocket. Instead of using software to off-load my pictures, I just dragged and dropped them into a Finder folder. This made reviewing my photos in Preview an easy task.

Rescue Software Included

The card includes Image Rescue and a demo version of Photo Mechanic. Image Rescue recovers lost or deleted photos from the card. It includes features to read card information, reformat, or update the card, and to test it. I am happy to say I never needed to use it. Photo Mechanic manages photos, plus allows you to tag your pictures in a variety of ways. MacNN will review both products in the future.

Lexar Teaches You How

I was surprised to find a number of very useful articles on the Lexar web site. As an added benefit for us digital photographers, their Tips + Lessons area includes basic how to shoot different types of scenes and objects, from camera to print articles (now referred to as the Digital Work Flow), a blog on shooting concerts, fixing your photos, and how to shoot like a Pro photographer. These articles are written in understandable, non-photo speak. I enjoyed reading them over articles I've found on other photo-help sites. Reading the impressive array of information and tips is an evening worth spent.

Worth the Price?

Is adding almost half the cost of a camera for a storage card worth the added expense? After using this card for three months, I have to say definitely yes. It made spending a day in the field worry-free, plus I can store days worth of pictures when I do not have time to off-load, edit, rename, and process my work.

by Ilene hoffman, Reviews Editor


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