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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Storage Media...Hello... again. Another question from the new guy... This time, Storage, Compact Flash or Microdrive?? My camera came with an ...
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Old 02-08-2006, 19:48   #1 (permalink)
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Storage Media

Hello... again. Another question from the new guy... This time, Storage, Compact Flash or Microdrive?? My camera came with an IBM microdrive 1 gb which is enough to play with, though a 2nd would be nice. Which is the best?? Is the speed important.. And... where can I get `em?? Lots on ebay.. but too many to pick from.

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Old 02-08-2006, 20:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Storage Media

Hi Andy - you'll get a few opinions on this. I use a 1Gb and 512 Mb CF and a 2Gb MD. Basically a MD is a miniature HDD with moving parts whereas CF is a solid-state card so a MD has more chance of breakage or fault. Having said that I have never had any problems with my MD.

Then there is the question of speeds. You will pay more money for named brands like Sandisk, Lexar than generic cards and you will pay more for faster cards. A 40x card is not as fast as a 100x card. The faster the card speed the quicker it will move data. But....that is also dependent on the speed that you camera can shift the data too. If your camera isn't up to speed then a 100x card won't go any quicker.

I have a 30D. I use generic CF and a Htiachi MD and I have never had to wait for images to write. However if I use burst mode long enough then I may have a problem.

Others will probably have better answers but I hope you've got the gist of it.
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Old 02-08-2006, 20:29   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Storage Media

Microdrives achieved popularity when solid state cards weren't available above 512MB. They were invented by IBM who later sold the rights to Hitachi, and essentially they are a miniature disk drive.

I know of people who, like stepheno, use them without any problems, but the general advice is to go for solid state CF instead, especially as these are now available up to 8GB. Microdrives are much more susceptible to shock and vibration damage. You can drop a normal CF card from a 10-storey building and it will survive, but a MD wouldn't. (Please don't try this. ) Also MDs tend to run warm because of the moving parts, and take more battery power.

All that's not to say that MDs are bad - just that solid state is better nowadays.

As for make, for reliability I'd stick with a well-known brand such as Sandisk, Kingston or Lexar. The premium you pay will seem worthwhile if an unbranded card fails and your pics are lost. Many modern cameras have a fast burst rate which relies on being able to dump the buffer to the card at a decent speed, so it's best to go for a faster one which will also speed up file transfer to a computer. My favourite is Sandisk Extreme III which come with a lifetime warranty, but I'm sure there are others just as good.

Just my 2p as ever.

P.S. DO NOT buy cards off eBay unless you are absolutely sure about the supplier. There are loads of fake 'branded' cards being sold on eBay - especially SanDisk. Get them from MyMemory, Photo Scotland, Warehouse or any reputable UK supplier if you're in any doubt.
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Old 02-08-2006, 20:30   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Storage Media

Ok, so no real difference, we have just bought a load of generic 1gb cards at work for 12.50 each (rated at 60x,) I`ve compared it to a Scan Disk we have no idea of the rate and my own MD (rate???) and I notice no difference other than on repeat/multi shot .. it`s slightly slower. But for 12.50 I was going to get a couple (unbranded, though I think they are Samsung)

Oh and the best place to get a "branded card??"

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Old 02-08-2006, 21:08   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Storage Media

As usual I do the layman's advice and Silkstone gives the correct and technical advice

Your best bet is to shop around, but as said, do not use Ebay unless you are sure it's not counterfeit. Mymemory is good but there are plenty more if you Google.
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