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compact flash or microdrive?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by paulc1, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. paulc1

    paulc1
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    I have been looking on ebay for a 1gb card, and I am a bit unsure as to the advantages of each card, other than knowing that a microdrive has moving parts.
     
  2. mr jones

    mr jones
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    microdrives eat batteries
    ive heard reports of dataloss on them and error messages


    im also pretty sure CF is quicker as well
     
  3. Vection

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    What equiptment will you be using it with paul? IMHO the differences are very small unless you are using top quality equiptment. The read write times on a CF card will be faster in most cases but unless you are taking shots in raw format or are doing action photography I cant see even this being much of an issue.
    My experience with microdrives is limited but I learnt that you do need to be more careful with how you treat them.
     
  4. unklerosco

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    I've been using a microdrive for nearly a year now and have had no problems with it... I've had a few problems with cf cards n loosing pics on them, only thing i don't like is the speed of them(they is slow)
     
  5. paulc1

    paulc1
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    I will be using it with a nikon d70, and speed isn't such a great factor, but I want something reliable and robust, I have never had a problem before with compact flash, so I may go down that road.
    thanks for the replys.
     
  6. dejongj

    dejongj
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    A bit late perhaps, but as you are using a D70 I would suggest that speed is THE great factor...One of the big differentiators between the D70 and for example a Canon 300/350D is the speed with which it can take pictures...This will be severly limited by the type of CompactFlash you use...Unless you are happy to introduce a bottleneck in your camera and effectively cripple it...I would recommend you don't get anything slower that the Sandisk Ultra II series for example...
     
  7. paulc1

    paulc1
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  8. SeaneyC

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    Correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm pretty sure the speed differences between the 350D and the D70 are negligable. That said, the 300 is really the competitor to the D70, the D70s is out soon, will be interesting to see the spec on that :)
     
  9. dejongj

    dejongj
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    That sounds like a decent price...I've been too stingy and think the 512Mb ones are offering better value for money (we are talking only a couple of pounds here)...But more importantly it give me that feeling of changing the 'film' more regurarly and hopefully not loose anything...

    The D70 is still very much so faster than the Canon 350D although it has improved a lot compared to the 300D.

    Interesting to learn you see the 300 as the real competitor. I guess it all depends on how you look at it...For me everything upto £1000 was fair game...I'm not in the MP game, though I do wish for the USB2.0 port...But then again my card-reader is USB2.0...
     
  10. tomson

    tomson
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    I thought the D70 and the 350D were both 3fps? I could be wrong though.


    I just received an Ultra II from mymemory - pretty good service, might use them again.
     
  11. severnsource

    severnsource
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    The 350d will do 3fps for 8-9 frames with large, fine jpgs, and 3 fps continuously for medium, fine jpgs. It also has no perceptible start up delay or shutter lag. In other words it operates, for normal photography, as fast as a mechanical camera, which is plenty fast enough for me. Obviously it is not fast enough to capture smooth motion, but I doubt that the Nikon will do that either.

    I rather think that dejongj is suffering from a slight bias towards the Nikon.
     
  12. dejongj

    dejongj
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    @severnsource: Of-course I have a bias towards the Nikon, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. So yes I will give you that...However I don't want to drag this into a mine is better than yours thread...

    The fps totally depends on the format one is shooting in, as you are comparing two different formats in a single sentence I don't think there is much point in continueing this...

    Just glad to see that Paul, who is using a D70, bought the Ultra II version...
     
  13. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Interesting that a recent magazine review of CF cards demonstrated that no cards on the market will introduce a bottleneck to the D70 and that the cheapest cards will therefore be as fast in real-world conditions as the most costly.

    As a test I tried an Ultra 2 vs a standard Kingston and could see no difference - continuous in RAW would fill the buffer in around 4 shots, continuous in JPG Fine would see both cards happily filling as fast as each other.

    Transfer speeds to a PC are another matter entirely, but in-camera I've seen little to suggest that the additional expense of a faster card is worth it. YMMV.
     
  14. dejongj

    dejongj
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    That is very interesting Radiohead...Could you alter your test slightly as the CF card or microdrive should have no impact indeed on how quickly the buffer is full! It should make an impact on how it behaves after that...For example how soon after a full buffer is the camera ready to take another burst? Or after the initial buffer fill and you keep shooting continously what is happening then....
    Unfortunately when filling up the buffer you don't actually write to the cards...
     
  15. paulc1

    paulc1
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    I use 2 128mb cf cards with the D70, and on the top control panel when the shutter button is half depressed, you can see how many shots can be sent to the cameras own buffer, before being written to the cf, ....between my 2 cf cards, I have a Canon one that emties the cameras buffer at great speed, and allows more shots to be taken quickly, and one, an unbranded one that takes a life time to clear the cameras buffer,....so cf speed makes all of the difference...check this link.

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007-6816
     
  16. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Looking at that link it appears that the file type being written has a larger impact than the card speed. Of course if absolute speed when shooting continuous is your priority then get the fastest card possible and pay the (often wallet-crippling) premium. But a standard CF card will, IMO, be plenty fast enough for most scenarios. Indeed, even with a manic 2 year old daughter as my target I've yet to run into problems related to CF write speed.

    To answer the OP's question though - I wouldn't use a micro-drive.
     
  17. paulc1

    paulc1
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    Just slightly off topic, but if any members have a D70, make sure that the noise reduction feature is turned OFF in the shooting menu,..because it is staggering at how much slower the D70 is with it enabled...I mean shocking!!
     
  18. severnsource

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    Quite, but if you read my post you will see no criticism of the Nikon, I have no reason to criticise it, therefore there is no possibility of this becoming a "mine is better than yours" thread. You and a number of other people have criticised the Canon 350d, usually on the basis of personal preference, such as size and build quality, which is fine, personal opinion and unexceptionable.

    On this thread and in others you have made the statement that the Nikon is a significantly faster camera than the Canon. This is a factual claim which can be tested and when tested you will find that it is not true. I was merely pointing out that it was not true and in no way does this imply a criticism of the Nikon.

    And to get back on topic, I would use CF cards rather than microdrives, for no logical reason, but I just don't particularly like the idea of unneccesary moving parts when large solid state storage is readily available at reasonable prices.
     
  19. tomson

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    just out of interest - how is the nikon at continuous shooting? Looking at the Rob Galbraith results it's not the fastest at reading/writing to the card (something i presume will be addressed in the imminent new model(s)) but from what i've read it's continuous shooting it pretty good. Does it clear the buffer really fast or what?

    I only ask cos i've been firing off shots in continuous to see how my new Ultra IIs perform... think I hit 31/32 in large jpeg before there was a slight slow down, which was far better than other (non 'pro' type) cards i've tried.
     
  20. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Shooting RAW sees the camera run off 4 frames and then there's a delay writing to the card, obviously a quicker card helping but there's a delay regardless. Shooting JPEG Fine sees around 28-32 frames before any delay and JPEG Medium sees no delay at all with a standard 8x Kingston card.

    It does appear to clear its buffer very quickly - compared to my old 300D it's a huge difference.
     
  21. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Thanks Paul, I was starting to feel on my own here ;-)

    I came across that test as well but couldn't remember the URL...In addition there is a wealth of information on this subject on dpreview...
     
  22. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    I typically use Lexar 80X, though i've never had any problems with microdrives the odd ocassion i've used them either.
     
  23. dood

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    One criticism I have of my 300D is terribly slow speed at which it transfers shots onto PC. It is USB 1.1. I have a card reader which is also USB 1.1 and although this is slow, it is considerably faster than the 300D. I have just bought a USB 2.0 card reader hoping this will be significantly faster but I'm yet to try it out.

    One thing though that does worry me is the flimsiness of the card readers. Am I likely to damage my 1 gig CF card after repeatedly slotting it in and out of the card reader?
     
  24. tomson

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  25. wbessada

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  26. severnsource

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    I use both usb and PCMCIA card readers and have had no problems. The CF cards are reasonably robust and I don't think you are likely to have problems as long as you are reasonably careful - don't try and force the card in upside down for instance.
     
  27. dood

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    My microsim USB 2.0 card reader is significantly faster than my No name 9 in 1 USB 1.1 card reader (as expected).
     

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