PixelFlash 32GB 533x vs Transcend 32GB 400x

The PixelFlash company reached out to me stating that their 533x 32GB Compact Flash cards can outperform the Transcend Compact Flash cards and are available at around the same prices. I don't want to just believe what's written on a label, so I thought i'd give it a go with very a very basic, yet real world test by seeing how many RAW+JPEG images can be stored from the Canon 5D Mark III within a 30 second burst.

Although this may not be an accurate representation, I've also run a few Read/Write tests through a USB 3.0 card reader and using the Black Magic Disk Speed Test software. The results show the PixelFlash to be faster, and 'significantly' faster in Read speeds.

Transcend 32GB 400x Compact Flash

PixelFlash 32GB 533x Compact Flash

For DSLR Video each of these cards will perform equally well since they can maintain the required speed necessary for HD Video. The benefits to a faster card are for higher than normal burst rates, or when dumping the footage back to your computer in a hurry.

Obviously I can't speak on the longevity of these PixelFlash Compact Flash cards - only had them for about two weeks (no issues so far). I have looked through a few positive Amazon reviews (seen here) about the PixelFlash cards, but perhaps some of you are already using this brand? Also wanted to mention that they have a huge following via Twitter (check them out here), so there seems to be a good number of people aware of this brand for still photography.

So far my first impressions are good. This is a faster performing card for about the same price i'm paying now for slower cards. If things hold up well, this is a brand to keep an eye on as an alternative to the other affordable compact flash cards on the market.

PixelFlash Card
find-price-button PixelFlash 533x 32GB 64GB Compact Flash

Transcend Compact Flash
find-price-buttonTranscend 32 GB Compact Flash Card 400X (Blue)

You might also want to check out the PixelFlash 'No-Bend Pin' USB 3.0 Compact Flash Card Reader which claims to be wicked fast. Another indication this company is putting out some decent products, this No-Bend Pin card reader (at time of writing) has over 70 reviews rating nearly 5 stars. (Click Here).

PixelFlash No Bend USB
find-price-button PixelFlash No-Bend Pin USB 3.0 Compact Flash Card Reader

17 thoughts on “PixelFlash 32GB 533x vs Transcend 32GB 400x

  1. Pixelflash was responsive to an issue I had with a new card (which they replaced after I did some testing as per their suggestions.) The replacement worked without issues, and I decided to do a little test.

    Like Emm, I shot 30 seconds and used a stopwatch to see how many photos it took and how long to clear the camera buffer.

    I used: Canon 7D, 100mm f/2 lens (iso:1250, f/2, S:1/200)
    The camera buffer space for RAW was 22 images and 83 for L-fine.

    Take 1: 71 pics (Raw), buffer clear in 13 sec
    Take 2: 69 pics (Raw), buffer clear in 13 sec
    Take 3: 218 pics (L-fine), buffer clear in 10 sec
    Take 4: 218 pics (L-fine), buffer clear in 10 sec

    I was surprised at how consistent the numbers were and am very happy with this product.

    Encouraged by this awesome card that I'd never heard of, I thought I'd try another brand (much to my chagrin) that you shouldn't touch with a 10ft pole.

    It's called the Phoenix Lightning Pro, a 32gb 800x UDMA 7 CF card. Bought on ebay, the label looked like a cheap inkjet printout and the serial number on the side was barely visible.

    I think the card was actually 200x(ish), which they were trying to pass off as a 800x. The buffer took 1 minute and 20 seconds to clear, and I got only 23-30 raw shots in 30 seconds (and an average of 70 L-fine shots.)

    While they did refund the amount, they never wrote back to my inquiries forcing me to resort to ebay's resolution center. It's an appalling product, an unresponsive seller, and you should avoid them both.

  2. edmund

    @Robyn, D800 firmware is the latest. Can u pls help out by doing continous burst on ur d800 ? burst 12-13 frames on CH, AFC , wait 2-4 secs burst the remaining 2-3 frames, repeat for approx 130 frames ?

    Pixelflash support has contacted me and I'm sending in the card.


  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Everyone - BTW, here's an update on my use of the Pixelflash. So far i've used it in a handful of different DSLR cameras and for various projects with hours upon hours of footage. I have had absolutely no problems with the cards, and so far has been great.

  4. Robyn

    @edmund, I have a 5D and a D800 and haven't had any problems with this card shooting raw + jpg. I'd check your firmware.

  5. edmund

    PixelFlash doesn't work well on Nikon D800 (despite being in the supported list). Getting RMA / fixed is a pain - or rather customer service does not respond to problems.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @N Smith - I know there are incredibly fast CF cards on the market, but these are two that fall in this price category. Having said that, looking at that chart, the PixelFlash is performing much like those more expensive cards.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Paul - So far communication with the company has been good. I ran some speed tests on their 64Gb vs 32GB and came up with different results. This is what they came back with:

    "In regards to the 64GB 533x CF Cards vs 32GB 533x CF Cards, and why you will see a difference in their burst speeds; this is mainly a function of the Wear Levelling algorithm. This algorithm assures that all memory on the card is used equally, preventing excessive wear-out of the logical memory locations on the chip - it’s a form of house keeping. A 64GB card has more memory to manage, thus it will take more time to move files around on the card than its 32GB counterpart.

    There are several factors that contribute to the speed of each CF card, these factors combine with one another to produce varying results.
    - Size/generation of the nand flash in card (19nm, 24nm, 34nm, etc)
    - flash memory controller and its onboard RAM (buffer)
    - controller firmware optimization
    - DSLR camera firmware"

    Appears they are pretty responsive and knowledgeable about their products. I know other guys out there are using PNY, ADATA, and other off-brands, and this article may appeal more to them. I can't say the PixelFlash are bullet proof (yet), but at the same time I can't say they aren't any good. I'm putting it through it's paces as we speak.

    I received tons of 'less than favorable' comments about my use of Transcend Cards a few years ago (you can find those all on this blog), but if you look around they have become a standard among many pro DSLR Video guys. Right now, I'm using the PixelFlash whenever I can and only time will tell. I just received a SATA to Compact Flash adapter (found here) to test it as an external drive source on my computer too. Really want to put these things through it's paces.

  8. Paul

    Emm, I haven't found much information about PixelFlash or reviews beyond the fall, while companies like Transcend's and Lexar's customer support have a strong history of glowing reviews. Would you hedge an assignment on these cards?

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