Photography News 69

Photography News | Issue 69 | photographynews.co.uk

58

First tests

Lexar Professional SL100 Pro Portable 1TB SSD £229

Specs

Price 1TB £229, 500GB £124 In the box

Image file sizes aren’t getting any smaller and with more and more people shooting 4K video too, the need for portable, big capacity and reliable hard drives is greater than ever. This Lexar hard drive could be just the ticket. It is an SSD (solid state drive) so, unlike traditional hard drives, there are no moving parts and mechanical reliability should rate very highly. Build quality helps too, and this sleek drive is presented in a robust aluminium shell and its brushed finish gives it a great look. It is designed to perform in harsh temperatures and to resist vibration and knocks. I used the drive for a couple of weeks and has no reliability issues at all. That, of course, is not time at all, but with its build quality I would be disappointed if it didn’t manage several years of sterling service. Reliability is one benefit of SSDs and, of course, another is performance and the spec of this drive, with its USB-C 3.1 interface, claims a read speed of 950MB/s and a write speed of 900MB/s. These are impressive figures, which I tested using the Blackmagic Disk Speed app and practically by shifting 40GB of image files around using the supplied cable With cameras gaining in megapixel count, coupled with higher continuous shooting rates and 4K and 8K video, the need for high- speed card performance has never been greater. Lexar recognises this and has added to its card family and launched the Pro 667x SDXC UHS-I and the even higher performing Pro 1667x SDXC UHS-II cards – it already has 633x, 1000x and 2000x SD cards in its range. The Pro 667x is UHS-I and offers a read speed of up to 100MB/s and a write speed of 90MB/s, and a Video Speed Class of 30MB/s. It comes in 64GB, 128GB and 250GB capacities and are competitively priced – the 128GB version sells for £39. With its performance, the Pro 667x is fine for most still photographers and, with its V30 rating, it’s good for 4K video shooting, too. More suitable for 4K shooting and 8K ready is the Pro 1667x SDXC UHS-II card, with its faster read performance of 250MB/s compared with the 100MB/s rating of its sister. The write specification of both cards is 90MB/s (except for the 1667x 64GB card, which has a write speed of 80MB/s). The Pro 1667x family also comes in 64GB, 128GB and 250GB, with the 128GB priced at £53. I tried both 128GB cards in a 45.7-megapixel Nikon D850, which

1xSSD, 1xUSB-C cable, 1xUSB-A cable, includes DataVault Lite software to protect files Availability 500GB, 1TB Interface USB 3.1 Type-C Speed 950MB/s read, 900MB/s write System compatibility Mac OS X 10.6+, Windows 7/8/10 Operating temperature 0°C to 70°C Dimensions (wxhxl) 55x10.8x73.4mm Weight 70g Contact swains.co.uk

Verdict

The Lexar Professional SL100 Pro Portable SSD is a remarkable piece of kit, reliable and with super-fast write/read speeds for those with USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 – if you have the latter, then you’re in for a treat. If you’re an image-maker on the move, this SSD represents a good buy, and £229 for a 1TB SSD is good value for money. This is a sound investment for a first- rate, high-performance and very portable hard drive.

Above The brushed aluminium finish is gorgeous and gives this unit a first-class look and feel. There is only one port, a USB-C 3.1

and a 3.1GHz Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and Thunderbolt 3 ports. The latter offers data transfer rates of up to 40GBps, which is four times faster than that possible with USB 3.1. I also used a Mac Mini with USB 2.0. Using the Blackmagic test app, read speed was 849MB/s and write speed 619MB/s, which are impressive speeds, and theywere borne out by the practical test. Writing the 40GB data from the Lexar SSD to the computer took just 46 seconds, which is a very

impressive 869MB/s, and the return journey took 85 seconds, which works out at a write time of 444MB/s. With the older USB 2.0 Mac, I got a read time of 127 seconds, which is 314MB/s, and a write time of 588 seconds, which is 68MB/s. Supplied on the SSD is DataVault Lite 256-bit AES encryption to protect your content from corruption, deletion or loss. Obviously worth using just in case your SSD falls into the wrong hands. WC

Pros Very fast, great looks Cons Runs warm

Lexar Pro667xand 1667xSDXC cards From£24

Specs

Specs

Lexar Pro 1667x SDXC UHS-II Prices £32 64GB, £53 128GB, £110 256GB Speed class 64GB Class 10, UHS-II (U3), V60 128GB Class 10, UHS-II (U3), V60 250GB Class 10, UHS-II (U3), V60 Performance 64GB read up to 250MB/s, write up to 80MB/s 128GB read up to 250MB/s, write up to 90MB/s 250GB read up to 250MB/s, write up to 90MB/s *Highest transfer speeds with SD-UHS II reader Operating conditions 0° to 70°C, 25% to 95% humidity Contact swains.co.uk

Lexar Pro 667x SDXC UHS-! Prices £24 64GB, £39 128GB, £80 256GB Speed class 64GB Class 10, UHS-I (U3), V30 128GB Class 10, UHS-I (U3), V30 250GB Class 10, UHS-I (U3), V30 Performance 64GB read up to 100MB/s, write up to 90MB/s 128GB read up to 100MB/s, write up to 90MB/s 250GB read up to 100MB/s, write up to 90MB/s Operating conditions 0° to 70°C, 25% to 95% humidity Contact swains.co.uk

has a continuous shooting rate of 7fps and its SD slot is UHS-II compliant. With the camera set to shoot Raw and JPEG, I checked how many shots I could get before the shooting rate slowed up and how long the buffer took to clear. With both cards I got 21 shots at 7fps before it started slowing up, with the buffer clearing in 18 seconds with the 667x card and 15 seconds in the case of the 1667x card.

With obvious performance difference in read speed, I loaded data onto the card and timed how long it took to transfer across using a 3.1GHz Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Data of 11GB took 120 seconds to write across with the 667x card and just 48 seconds with the 1667x card, giving read speeds of 93MB/s and 229MB/s respectively, both close to their quoted specification. WC the more

Verdict

The storage card landscape is rather busy (to put it mildly) and there’s no lack of choice for still and moving picture creators. Lexar’s latest additions, the Pro 667x SDXC UHS-I and Pro 1667x SDXC UHS-II, are high-performing, competitively priced, very capable SD cards and well worth adding to the shopping list.

The Pro 667x is fine for most still photographers and, with its V30 rating, it’s good for video shooting, too

Images Lexar’s SD cards offer great performance and value for money, too

Pros Reliable, fast performance SD cards Cons Nothing

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