Delkin Black - Virtually unbreakable!

22nd July, 2018


A memory card is something a photographer should choose very carefully. It is the film of digital cameras. If it gets corrupted, if it breaks, if it gets damaged, all photos are gone. Those moments, those memories will never come back. And specially if it is a wedding or a commercial project or a once in a lifetime event, it could become a disaster if the photos are lost.

Ever since I started photography, I have been using SanDisk Extreme Pro cards. They are the benchmark standard in the industry for being fast, reliable, and durable. They are designed to withstand extreme weather. They are shockproof, temperature-proof, waterproof and X-ray-proof.

There are other reputable brands as well who manufactures durable cards. Sony for one, have some great memory cards. They officially holds the fastest UHS-II card speeds. They offer the same durability, and made with good memory chips to ensure smooth operations and compatibility.

These cards are durable in many ways, but there is one issue. All these cards are made from two pieces of plastics sonic welded together, sandwiching the memory chip. These plastics do not last very long and wears out. It causes issues outside the card's durability parameters.



Examples:

You can see a small piece of plastic missing from each of the Extreme Pro cards. One broke off from the top, one broke from the slope. Extreme PLUS card have almost all of the top ridge missing. (Extreme PLUS photos provided by Chris Dodkin)


The cards, they still work. The Extreme Pro cards were only about two years old. I've never managed to fill them up. I handle them with care, I gently push them in or out of memory card slots or memory card readers, never used excessive force. This is the first time this happened to me and I was curious to see if this happens frequently. To my horror, this is a very common issue with memory cards.

First time when I noticed a small bit of plastic is missing is when I took the memory card out of my Nikon D810. I immediately hold my camera with the card slot at the bottom and shook the camera, and the small plastic bit came out. I was lucky. It could've been lodged in one of the slot pins, damaging the slot which could have been a several hundred dollars fix with the manufacturer, and I'd be without a camera for the duration of the RMA.

This happened to many photographers. Many ended up with a damaged memory card slot because of broken plastics from SD cards. Newer cameras have dual slots so they will still work without the possibility to backup photos until it gets fixed.


But why should we risk our expensive cameras? We waited, saved our hard-earned money to buy an expensive camera, only to damage it with poor quality memory cards?



In search for the perfect memory card (If there is such a thing)


I kept looking trying to find a physically durable memory card. I have found some industrial grade memory cards, but they are very rare, not from any reputable brands and only available in 8/16GB capacities. SanDisk makes some industrial grade cards, but they are very difficult to find, and most sellers have them on special order.


I found one manufacturer Hoodman who makes Hoodman Steel SD memory cards. They uses a thin layer of steel plate where the memory card sticker is to make it durable. That is great, except we need durable pins and ridges, not just the body. Nevertheless, a good initiative.


Other industrial cards, which are very hard to find and the Hoodman Steel steel plated SDXC card.



Delkin Black


And then I found out about Delkin Black cards. Chris Dodkin explained to me in detail why he uses them. Like the prestige symbol of credit cards that offers the highest possible privileges, Delkin Black cards were made with one thing in mind. Virtually unbreakable.

Delkin Devices supports the retail shops and one can only purchase their Black cards in retail camera shops. I managed to found some online by sheer luck as I do not reside in USA. I've ordered them without thinking twice, and I finally got them.



Delkin Black 128GB UHS-II SDXC

Finally got the Delkin Black cards. Black sure looks good.


Delkin Black cards are designed to be the strongest, toughest memory card ever built, and designated to be virtually unbreakable. The card do not use two pieces of plastic, but rather a unibody structure of industrial grade solid molded plastic enclosing the memory chips and the connectors. This makes it three times as strong as normal memory cards, also single molded structure gives it waterproof and dustproof rating, along with extreme temperature. It can be submerged in water for 72 waters.



Physical comparison

Comparison between three different cards: SanDisk Extreme Pro, Sony M Series, and Delkin Black.



As we can see, from the first photo: Sony and SanDisk both have the write protection switch lodged between front and back plastics, where Delkin Black is locked on a plastic ridge, confirming the fact that it is indeed a single molded plastic.


Second and third photo shows the top and bottom ridge of the memory cards. We can clearly see the welded part of the Sony and SanDisk, but the Delkin Black does not have it, again confirming it's unique build.


That is all good, and now let's see the performance. The Delkin Black cards are rated for 100MB/s write, and 300MB/s read. I used a Sony MRW-S1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 UHS-II card reader. I simply copied 118GB of files to the memory card and moved it from the card to check read and write speeds. For comparison, I tested the speed of Sony M series card too.


Read and write speed

Photos

Read and write speed of 128GB Delkin BLACK UHS-II V60 SDXC (Rated for  100MB/s write, 300MB/s read)

Photos

Read and write speed of 128GB Sony SF-M128 UHS-II SDXC (Rated for 100MB/s write, 260MB/s read)



Compatibility


I formatted and used Delkin Black briefly in the following cameras and they worked without any issues:


* Fuji GFX 50S (Supported list does not mention Delkin)

* Nikon D810 (Supported list does not mention Delkin)

* Sigma sd Quattro (Supported list does not mention Delkin)


Here is a video of the card strength test made my Delkin:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLdnE91O2BY


So far so good. Let's see how long these bad boys will last. But physical appearance is very assuring, and it feels very solid. Now only time will tell.



Manzur Fahim


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