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Dual memory card slot DSLR vs single memory card slot DSLR

A couple of readers recently sent a message to my Facebook page asking the usage of dual memory card slot DSLR cameras. Most of the professional cameras have dual memory card slots, one as Compact flash and other as SD card. Some DSLR cameras have dual SD slots as well, but they are used by very few people.


Example of dual memory card slot DSLR cameras from Canon include:
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 7D Mark II
Example of dual memory card slot DSLR cameras from Nikon include:
Nikon D300S
Nikon D3S
Nikon D5
Nikon D800
Nikon D800E
Nikon D7000
Example of dual memory card slot DSLR cameras from other manufacturers include:
Pentax 645D
Pentax K-1
Fuji X-T2
Panasonic GH5
Sony A9
Olympus E-M1II


Single vs dual memory card slot DSLR camera
Shot taken with a single memory card slot DSLR
The bigger question here is why do we need dual memory card slot DSLR cameras and what's the advantage? Let's try to find the answer from a user perspective. Professional cameras have 2 memory card slots for a variety of purposes, although the ability to use both cards at same time varies from brand to brand. The major reasons can be broadly summarized into three categories:

Better Redundancy: Same image across multiple memory cards. This offers to mirror same files, which in turn serves as back up. As a professional photographer, the worst scenario would be a failing memory card in the middle of a wedding. Professional photographers charge money, and clients expect them to be reliable no matter what happens. The camera writes twice in this scenario, as it has to mirror the same exact file. 

Different file format to a different card: This can save a lot of buffer space and improve the speed by a major gap. You can write RAW files to one memory card and JPEG files to the other. This saves a lot of time as it prevents the double passing of data going through the camera every time. If speed if your top priority for a dual card slot camera, this method works wonders. 

Auto Switching: 
This category applies to users who are more relaxed about the redundancy and speed of capturing photographs. It basically means the camera switches to the second card once the first card is filled.

Lastly, every manufacturer is coming up with unique ways to store different format data on multiple cards. Some Nikon DSLRs allow users to write video to one memory card and photos to the other. Canon allows a user to use both compact flash type I and II cards in some DSLR cameras. Also, the ability to use existing memory cards when upgrading bodies is another way to save some decent amount of money.

Do you think the flexibility offered by dual memory card slot DSLR cameras is worth the price?

Comments

  1. Thank you for this piece of tutorial. It is so informative and educative.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this piece of tutorial. It is so informative and educative.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this, I needed it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I Just bought a second hand D5500 Nikon and I am starting to learn to shoot with it. I have been using my phone to record and take pictures. So now I will have to start from the bottom again. Love this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy you bought a dslr, you can do so many things with it. Hope you will enjoy the content of my blog. let me know if you have any requests for content you want to see. :)

      Delete
  5. Sd vards are so easy to break. Once had a cover damaged. Card was coping everyting very slowly, but happily worked. If I do important shoot I always take friend's 5d m3 along with my 6d

    ReplyDelete

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