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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    I'm thinking of investing in a new digital camera and wonder if anyone has any comments to make on the two types of media I can use - either an IBM 512Mb/1G MicroDrive or a 512MB CompactFlash Card.
    I'm mainly concerned with the write time, as I'm guessing this would define the 'ready-for-the-next-shot' time, but views on the overall merits of either appreciated.

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    I would have thought that the "write time" of an electrical device, even one so comparatively slow as a Compact Flash card, must be much faster than a mechanical device. Also, there's the question of just how often you are going to drop the camera -- I reckon the Microdrive, although a miracle of engineering, has less shock resistance.

    These are just some of the reasons I recently bought a couple of USB memory "hard drives", 512 MB and 128 MB. (But this has nothing to do with your question...!)
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Hi Leif,

    I haven't worked with Digital cameras for a while, but I thought I would share my experience with you.

    I used a Casio QVC-3000 with one of the original MicroDrives (before large CompactFlash cards were available and affordable). When the batteries were full it would allow you to take a second picture while it was still writing the first image to the disk. However, when the batteries were less-than-completely-full it would force you to wait until the first picture was written to the drive before allowing you to take a second picture. The write time on the model I used was completely unacceptable!

    Also (as John mentioned), I found out the hard way how fragile the MicroDrive really is. The drive had become stuck in the camera somehow, so I used tweezers/pinchers to pull it out. When it finally released from the camera, it came out so quickly that it dropped to the floor before I could catch it. Unfortunately, this was enough shock to break it. Thankfully, the camera was new enough to be under warranty...

    Everyone I've talked with lately has raved about CompactFlash cards - especially the larger ones. I have not heard of any downside whatsoever. The next digital camera I buy will be with either 512 or 1GB CompactFlash card.

    Good luck!

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    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Leif,
    Why do you mention the MicroDrive and Compact Flash? Are they the memory on the cameras you're seriously looking at? This year I bought my first digital, 1.2Meg, and a 125MB Secure Disk chip. The SD chip is a bit more $ <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15>$. It takes three seconds to cycle/write the largest photo into memory. That hasn't bothered me tooooo much.

    However, buy the largest chip you can afford. My 128 MB SD chip hold over 700 large format photos. You get your whole vacation without having to change film! <img src=/S/groovin.gif border=0 alt=groovin width=21 height=21>

    Errol

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    I've found that it varies from device to device as well as having a correlation to the size of the pictures you are taking. My sister's FinePix sometimes has problems with the high resolution setting, and takes far longer that I would be comfortable with. My Canon, however, doesn't behave in this way and has a much higher output - on the same media. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15> Test the models first, and see what you think.
    -Mark

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    I bought a Sony 4 megapixel CyberShot about a year ago. Of course it came with only a 16 meg flashcard so I bought a 128 meg and have been quite satisfied so far. I'm only a casual user. The "delay" when I take a pix is about a second or two and I have no idea if it's write time, battery level as Mark mentioned, or the "recharging" of the flash. Whatever it is, it doesn't get in my way since I haven't had a need for speedy shooting and usually spend MUCH more time composing my next shot than the delay. I reset the default image size "down" to 1280 x 960 and the camera user manual estimates that I could get about 200 or more images on my memory card.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Interesting.
    From what I've been reading it appears that the speed at which the camera can write to the media also plays a part.
    What I'm a looking to buy is the Coolpix 5700 - mainly because of the zoom capability - so I may be limited to getting what I get.
    However, it appears that the concensus is to go for CF rather than MicroDrive mainly for reliability but also it can be faster. It's a pity that it is nearly twice the price of the Microdrive in this country!

    Thanks all for the feedback.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    "They" are paying for it <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Anyway, I should imagine an original Box Brownie in good condition would be worth more than that now!

  9. #9
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Blimey! Coolpix 5700!! They're paying you too much! I could only afford a Box Brownie!

    Even the 512 MB Compact Flash is nearly 80 quid!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  10. #10
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Sadly the one we had about forty years ago was very battered, and got dustbinned when the film (black & white) was no longer available...

    And come to that, what do "they" want you to do with all those megapixels??
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Very occasionally I need to take a picture of one of our products.
    Quite frequently I need to take pictures for personal use.
    I guess that's one of the advantages of "them" and "me" being the same entity.
    <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

  12. #12
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    For that price you could probably get David Bailey to come out and take an occasional photo of one of your products!!

    (PS: I'm willing to do it for half price with our Kodak CX4230 that we got "free" with our new Dell, last November...)
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  13. #13
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    There are relative timings on http://www.dpreview.com/ for each camera they test that can take a MicroDrive.

    There also are lots of posts saying "I dropped my MicroDrive 3 feet onto concrete and it works fine" and the opposite.

    Given choices of media, I find 256MB quite large for a 4 MP camera, and having two of those might cost you less than one 512, with the advantage that if you ever have to give someone your CF card (e.g., photo printing shop) you still have one to use.

  14. #14
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Jefferson, Leif is clearly on an MNO job, so he'll probably get half a dozen 512MB cards!

    PS Love the new userpic, but surely that dates from the '70s not the '80s? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Oh, "MNO"=Money No Object...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: MicroDrive or CompactFlash?

    Thanks for the link - just the sort of info I was after! Using multiple smaller CF cards seems the best option too.

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