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Accessory talk Those important extra system components.

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  #1  
Old 11th February 2008
Sam M
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Memory/Storage advice

I'd appreciate any advice and experiences of Compact Flash v XD v Microdrives (which I've never seen). Reliability and write speed probably most important factors.

Current plan to buy a couple of 2GB cards. Currently have SanDisk Ultra II and various XD (Fuji, Oly)

Thanks in advance,

Sam
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Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

Personally I would go for 2 x 4gb Sandisk Extreme III cards. I beleive Compact Flash cards are faster at reading and writing to and from disk than XD cards.

4gb size is ideal in case you want to shoot in raw format.
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Old 11th February 2008
ianc ianc is offline
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

The reason you haven't seen microdrives is because they have a number of disadvantages. They are a miniature hard drive which means they have a spinning disk instead of solid state memory. This means they have to get the disk up to speed before they can write to the drive slowing every thing down. They also use more power and are prone to damage and over heating. When they were first introduced compact flash cards were horrendously expensive, I paid over £170 for a 256Mb and microdrives were a cheaper alternative to large capacity cards.

XD cards are slower than the faster compact flash cards. It depends on which camera you have which card it is best to buy. If you have an E3 I would go for one of the UDMA compact flash cards such as the Lexar Professional UDMA. If you have any of the other E series cameras there is not much point in going for anything faster than the Sandisk Extreme III as the card will be faster than the camera.

I hope this helps.

Ian C.
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  #4  
Old 11th February 2008
OlyFlyer
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

I just got a 4GB Sandisk Extreme IV. It feels a lot faster than the Extreme III I already have. The only reason I see to buy xD is to fill the empty slot in case all CF cards are filled, there is a spare space.

It is a pitty Oly did not made the E-3 with two CF slots instead of the traditional xD + CF. There is no reason to have xD, since there is no support for the pano auto stich function anyway.

Here in Sweden, the price difference between Extreme III and IV is not that big, so I feel no reason to get Extreme III any more. That goes as well for the 2GB versus 4GB. I think it is better to get 4GB than 2GB. I would not buy 8GB cards because if the card dies it may take almost 500 images with it. the 236 images is what I am prepared to risk.
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Old 11th February 2008
seph72
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

Sam

I echo the advice about CF cards rather than Microdrive - the Microdrive uses a lot more battery power, and is also much more fragile because of the need to have a motor inside and a read/write head.

I use Sandisk CF cards, and like others, I tend to keep an xD card in in its slot as a back-up.

It is often considered to be better to use a number of lower capacity cards, rather than very large capacity - if only on the grounds that if one card gets corrupted, then you won't have lost everything.

2 Gb and 4 Gb cards would be fine.

Hope this is of some help.

Seph
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Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

I had a 2G microdrive but I gave it away. I have now purchased a genuine 8G Sandisk Extreme IV card. It it fast and had not caused me any problems.

I would never purchase a microdrive again. It slow, they get warm, the consume too much power and are very seneative to being dropped.
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  #7  
Old 11th February 2008
Sam M
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

Thanks everyone. Really useful. Currently I have an E500 and hoping to buy a second hand E1 for a particular project.
Worth the extra for the Extreme IV rather than the III?
Thanks again,
Sam
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Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

If you intend to purchase a different camera in the future, or if you have one of the new firewire high speed compact flash readers, then you may see an improvement. By the time you think about upgrading your equipment, the prices will have dropped.

For general usage the SanDisk III is probably the better value option.
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Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

Hi, When my local dealer had the E-3 open day, I was asking the Oly rep. a similar question.
From what I remember, his reply was that Olympus feel that XD cards are by far the best in terms of reliability and would be his choice for the most important assignments. They may not be as fast, but they are the least likely to leave you with corrupted, or no images when you get home.
He actually commented to another customer, but in my earshot, that Olympus were committed to XD in the next generation of cameras. I don't know if he meant DSLRs or point and shoots though.

Beware of buying Sandisk cards off ebay, due to the number of fakes. I'm sure there are genuine sellers, butb there's also a lot of dodgy ones around.
Theres a good article here;
http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/FAKE-SanDi...00000001456526

Personally I've used picstop.co.uk & mymemory.co.uk both are in the Channel Islands and so can offer pretty good prices on the genuine article.
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Last edited by peak4; 11th February 2008 at 07:04 PM. Reason: correcting typo
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  #10  
Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

I ordered two 8gb CF cards from mymemory.co.uk today, at a mere 17.99 a piece. Last time I had one of these own-brand cards, it worked about as well as an Ultra II in my E-1. If you don't need to rapid shoot (and the buffers in the newer cameras are pretty good anyway), they're a bit of a bargain. My intention is to be able to shoot RAW+JPEG on my E-400 (big RAW on this camera) in a carefree and uninterrupted way.

I really wonder about the wisdom of using smaller cards to 'not have all your eggs in one basket'. This was true in the days of hihgly unreliable microdrives which had many numerous moving parts inside. These days, it's all solid state, and it's easier to misplace multiple cards; and data recovery software does a pretty good job of cards that crash because of the occasional error.
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Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
I really wonder about the wisdom of using smaller cards to 'not have all your eggs in one basket'. This was true in the days of hihgly unreliable microdrives which had many numerous moving parts inside. These days, it's all solid state, and it's easier to misplace multiple cards; and data recovery software does a pretty good job of cards that crash because of the occasional error.
I have to say that this is one mantra I strongly agree with. Especially in travelling away from home. I've lost 2Gb at the end of the day in the Pyrenees and although I kept the card and threw all sorts of recovery software at the card when I got home there was just not recovery that seemed that it wanted to work. A professional revoery outfit MAY have been able to do better, but then again maybe not.

IMHO it's not worth the risk.

BTW I use Extreme III's and similar spec cards from a number of suppliers - I run about 10 cards at a time so have plenty to work with during a single day.

I work in 2Gb cards which gives me abut 80 shots on the E510 and 99 on the E500 and I work strictly from empy cards in RH pocket to full ones in LH pocket. I never clear the cards in the camera during the day - always at night after 2 backups

call me paranoid, but it works for me


Regards
Andy
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Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by shenstone View Post
I have to say that this is one mantra I strongly agree with. Especially in travelling away from home. I've lost 2Gb at the end of the day in the Pyrenees and although I kept the card and threw all sorts of recovery software at the card when I got home there was just not recovery that seemed that it wanted to work. A professional revoery outfit MAY have been able to do better, but then again maybe not.

IMHO it's not worth the risk.

BTW I use Extreme III's and similar spec cards from a number of suppliers - I run about 10 cards at a time so have plenty to work with during a single day.

I work in 2Gb cards which gives me abut 80 shots on the E510 and 99 on the E500 and I work strictly from empy cards in RH pocket to full ones in LH pocket. I never clear the cards in the camera during the day - always at night after 2 backups

call me paranoid, but it works for me


Regards
Andy
I have to agree with this. In my time working in photographic retail I have seen too many people who have lost their important photos due to a faulty card. These have included holidays, christenings and on one occasion an official wedding photographer who was relying on one large card, if memory serves me correctly it was one 4Gb, boy was I glad I wasn't in his shoes. Most of the time you can recover the pictures already taken by using recovery software but you can't take anything else. I use 1x 4Gb Lexar UDMA card, 1x 2Gb Sandisk Extreme III and 3x 1Gb cards. When I need more storage than that I download to my 60Gb iPod and laptop before formating the card.

Ian C.
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  #13  
Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

I recently purchased two 2GB cards from Play.com - with free delivery.

Here's the link.
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Old 12th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

I have so far been very lucky with memory cards. I think any of the major suppliers' cards are OK. Mine are a mix of Sandisk, Integral and Kingston, mostly in 2Gb and 4Gb. I usually buy the next level down from the top performer, as read/write speed isn't usually that important for what I shoot. I usually have about 20Gb in my bag in a waterproofed, day-glo case that is supposed to float! If I go away, I also have a 20Gb mini hard drive that I back up to. That gives me about 3,500 images with the E510.

I don't have ambitions for larger card sizes. The one time a card did go bad on me was when I had been taking some pictures of an exhibition for a client. I used Sandisk's recovery software and got all but a couple back after some anxious work. The "never put all your eggs in one basket" philosophy appealed to me strongly after that!
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Old 12th February 2008
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Re: Memory/Storage advice

I do tend to agree with comments so far and if I am on a client engagement, I will only usually use a combination of 2Gb and 4Gb cards - if I need to take so many images. If it was particularly critical, then I'd also ensure that (1) I used a 1Gb card for some key images, and (2) I used the xD card for some shots too.

I don't own any cards larger than 4Gb, but would consider purchasing an 8Gb card for use when I am out and about walking, with the family, or snapping away for personal pleasure rather than for a client job.
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