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Author Topic: Microdrives, Compact flash, SD cards ... ???  (Read 1964 times)
Jonathan Wienke
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« on: January 23, 2004, 12:44:12 PM »
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Storage cards are highly reliable. Most problems are due to external events, like the camera running out of battery power while writing images. I've shot about 35,000 images with digital cameras, and the only images I've ever lost were with a Kodak DC4800 running out of battery before saving an image. I've shot 27,000 frames with a 1Ds and Microdrives with zero card problems. Some of the very cheapest cards may be kind of flaky, but all the major brand names (Lexar, SanDisk, IBM/Hitachi) are very reliable, and have decent warranty service if you do get a lemon.

Microdrives are generally cheaper than flash memory cards, but are more delicate. Treat them like a hard drive (don't drop them on hard surfaces, or squeeze them in the middle of the case) and they will perform reliably for a long time.
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Hank
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 01:18:37 PM »
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We're shooting several Fuji S2's in our business and consequently own cards and microdrives (all 1gb) by the handful.  We've had two microdrives fail and none of the cards, but they lead a pretty rugged life so that is probably more a measure of our lifestyle than the quality of the media.

A noticeable difference for us relates specifically to the way the S2 operates.  The postview only displays for two seconds, and if you want a longer look you have to wait for the image to download from the buffer before you can pull it up to review.  Then since the S2 does not display thumbnails, you have to wait for the entire file to load before it will display.  If you shoot a sequence of photos, you have to wait for all to download before you can preview any of them.  All that adds up to some serious time waiting when you are shooting the largest files.

In that context, the extra speed of the card over the microdrive is very noticeable and welcome.  Depending upon the specific camera you use and its internal "logistics," speed may be an issue.
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 10:32:31 AM »
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Hello all, much ado has been written about camera specs, lenses, etc., but so far I have not seen much on storage media.  Sure, comparisons between brands producing the same thing such as SD cards, but what I would like to know is what is the best in-camera storage (besides FILM!) for decent capacity and decent safety from losing images due to malfunctioning of the medium itself.  Now with most D-SLR's accepting most forms of these variant "cards," I am at a loss as to which direction to go.  Microdrives have moving parts which to me means they would probably be more prone to damage than media with no moving parts, but what do I know about it? NOTHING!!! That is why I am asking for your august opinions on this topic.
Thanks,
Bill
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dbarthel
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2004, 12:53:39 PM »
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I second Johnathan's comments. I only have 4 microdrives, no solid state. And 0 knock on wood problems so far. With that said, there is a microdrive product to stay well away from. It is not from IBM/Hitachi, and is 2.2GB. Postings have been uniformly bad from people who bought the device because of it's very low cost. Stick with the original and you'll be OK.

Dan
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victoraberdeen
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2004, 12:19:53 AM »
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One issue that I see little talk of is the effect of static electricity, you need to protect any of the devices from static. With Microdrives avoid magnetic fields, they maybe could wipe the files off.

The hardes uses of the cards is from the photojournalist community and there is a site run by Rob Galbraith that has a CF Database and links to software that will help you recover images from a damaged card. I have had only had problems with SD cards the compact flash cards just keep working.

One tip that everyone seems to do take a copy device or laptop computer so you can backup the photos quickly. I found it a good way to get a starbucks on a long shoot
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