UPDATE: All of these cards are now shown as being in stock. The offer only runs until April 2nd. Note that Adorama will probably be closed on April 2nd for Passover, so if you want to take advantage of this rebate program it would be a good idea to place an order ASAP. Remember they are closed on Friday evenings and Saturdays, but open Sundays.
Kingston are offering significant rebates on a number of the CF memory cards. The cards must be purchased from an authorized dealer, such as ADORAMA. Amazon.com isn't included as an authorized dealer in this particular rebate program.
The 4GB 45x card at $24.95 (after $40 rebate) seems like particularly good value. It's the lowest price I've ever seen on a 4GB CF card. I have one on order myself. 45x isn't super fast, but it's not slow either. For most DLSRs card speed isn't really a factor in how fast you can shoot unless you fill up the cameras buffer (which I don't think I've ever done!). Faster cards can download to a PC faster if you use a high speed card reader, but for most of us that's not a big deal. If you are shooting many GB of data and you have a tight deadline, download speed might be something you'd want to pay extra for, as long as you also have a very fast CF card reader.
Here are the results of a very brief test between the Kingston 45x card and a Lexar 133x card. I have a couple of USB 2.0 card readers and I used the faster of the two for the data transfer tests, using an HP pavillion a230n PC (AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 2.08 GHz).
|Kingston 45x||Lexar 133x|
|100MB file read||37s||36s|
|100MB file write||45s||44s|
|20D RAW frames buffer full||6 shots||6 shots|
|20D time to write buffer to card [*]||11.5s||9.5s|
As you can see, very little difference in file transfer speed between the PC and the card. If I had a faster interface and faster card reader (maybe firewire) I'm sure I'd see a bigger difference, but I don't. Both cards allow 6 RAW shots on a 20D before the buffer fills. It takes 2s less time shoot and transfer all that data to the card with the 133x vs. the 45x. A faster camera (e.g. 1D MKIII) might show a larger difference.
The moral of this tale is that while faster cards certainly can increase data transfer speeds in fully optimized systems, in an average system (like mine!), the speed at which the card is capable of reading and writing data may not be the limiting factor on data transfer speed.
|CF/2GB-S||2-GB CompactFlash Elite Pro 50x||$10||$22.95|
|CF/4GB-S||4-GB CompactFlash Elite Pro 45x||$40||$24.95|
|CF/8GB-S||8-GB CompactFlash Elite Pro 45x||$65||$89.95|
|CF/2GB-U||2-GB CompactFlash Ultimate 133x||$10||$34.95|
|CF/4GB-U||4-GB CompactFlash Ultimate 133x||$40||$44.95|
|CF/8GB-U||8-GB CompactFlash Ultimate 133x||$65||$114.95|
The rebate runs from March 1st 2007 to April 2nd 2007 and is limited to two items per household. The full details of the rebate can be found on the ADORAMA website at http://www.adorama.com/pdfs/rebates/kingston_040207.pdf
This seems like a pretty good deal. I've been using a slower 1GB Kingston CF card for about a year now and hasn't given me any problems at all. I now have the 4GB 45x card (it just arrived) and it seems to work just fine too.