Review Update: The Hoodman RAW Memory Cards; Hoodman Responds
Last week I posted a field report review of Hoodman’s RAW UDMA high-speed memory cards, and in my report I mentioned that while the cards performed flawlessly for me, and were fast as blazes, I couldn’t find a reason to justify their higher cost vs. similar size and speed Lexar and SanDisk cards (the Hoodman RAW cards run $70 to $80 more per card).
Yesterday, I heard from Lou Schmidt, VP of Marketing over at Hoodman Corporation, who sent this response to my review. I’m publishing his comments in their entirety below, but to cut to the chase, I called out in red why they’re more expensive, which told me exactly why they’re worth every extra penny. Here’s what Lou had to say:
“Thanks for the fine review of our Hoodman RAW CF cards… Thanks too for giving us the opportunity to explain why our customers are willing to pay more for Hoodman RAW memory cards. The RAW line has been in the marketplace for 18 months world wide and we have had ZERO in-field failures. Hoodman RAW is manufactured in Silicon Valley and is the only CF card built in the USA.
Both Sandisk and Lexar memory cards are built in ASIA in huge quantities to support the mass merchant market… Huge production will give you economies of scale which will allow you to lower your price, but there is a significant draw back to huge production runs… FAILURE RATES …which are tracking between 3 to 5% for mass merchant card makers. .
Professional photographers will not see mass merchant card makers supporting educational functions like Photoshop World or regional or national PPA shows because they are mass merchant card makers who can live with a 3 to 5 % failure rate. Which Pro will want to be the 3 -5% failure guy??? Hoodman has just completed exhibiting at 10 shows since January. Hoodman is pleased to give back by supporting educational programs in photography at the national, regional and dealer levels.
… Mass merchant card makers have always played the price game and continue to dump their cards in the marketplace because they are no longer selling well in the Photo Dealer Channel.
Hoodman customer service is manned from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday with live, helpful people… our competitors service systems will send you into endless voicemail loupes and make you wait 2 to 5 days for an offshore call center to get back to you; which is not much help when a customer needs answers now.
Yes, Hoodman RAW does cost more… Pros who can afford US built reliability and do not see memory as a commodity will continue to buy Hoodman RAW because they know us and see us doing our best to make the products that make their jobs easier.
Thanks for your time and efforts to understand the value a RAW memory card offers to the purchaser” –Lou Schmidt, Hoodman Corporation