Compactflash recommondations

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by puckhead193, May 8, 2006.

  1. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    I want another card for when i got to China. Since I have an 8 MP camera i and something big so i was thinking of 1GB cause i have a 1 GB card already.
    Whats up with microdrives? are they any good?
    Also i notice them have speeds. The more speed the faster it write to the card? I think i currently have a lexar professional 80x 1 GB card. Will this do.
    Incase it helps I have a nikon Coolpix 8800...
    Also since i'm posting. How should I shoot?
    obc. i'm gonna shoot at the highest resolution bit i can chance image quality?
    it gives me:
    Raw
    hi
    extra
    fine
    normal
    basic

    Do these settings really make a difference.
     
  2. Wes Jordan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    #2
    RAW give you the best ability after the shoot to edit anc correct. You can easily change color balance without losing quality as well as set a white balance. it has been said that you can get get about two stops more light out of the picture with RAW. RAW files are large however, and shot-to shot times can slow drastically, but many feel it is worth it. The post processing time may also take longer as it takes special software to view and edit the files.

    If you decide to shoot RAW, you may be interested in buying an Extreme III card from Scandisk. I have a 2 gig version and I think it is fantastic. I cannot atest to the speed difference between the Ulta II and Extreme III, but I only paid about $120 for my card from Adorama. I'm sure B&H would have similar prices as well as other stores.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #3
    That would make sense since most cameras with RAW give you 36 bit color information instead of 24 bit, and that's two factors of two per color. ;)

    puckhead. Get the fastest card you can find/afford. Then as Wes implies, use the highest quality mode you can to support your desired shot-to-shot time. Personally, I find RAW excellent for shots which I can take time composing, otherwise I leave my camera in "Fine" mode to be able to catch he kids in action on the fly.

    Ultimately, the higher the image quality stored on the card, the more postprocessing you can do to it, and the larger a print you can make.

    B
     
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #4
    Transcend makes a great 8GB flash card for cheap (given $/GB) -- they also make a 4GB card. 120x -- gotta love it.
     
  5. Wes Jordan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    #5
    I know this is a little off topic, but with my 20d I noticed that sometimes th buffer doesn't fill to the stated 23 JPEG files. I know that possibly some files are larger than others, but I find I usually get 21, sometimes 16. Should I be concerned? Is there some option I have selected that would cause it to write more info to the buffer? I have no idea....should I just accept this as normal?
     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    I definitely recommend the SanDisk Ultra II and Extreme III cards but you have to have a camera which writes quickly enough to really push them to their limits and a Nikon Coolpix 8800 doesn't require a lot of speed. The Ultra II would probably be plenty but the Extreme III would be overkill for that camera.
     
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #7
    I agree totally. :)
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #8
    I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but I wouldn't mess with Microdrives. They are cheaper per GB than Flash, but they also are far more delicate. I know a lot of people who have hundreds of shots wiped out because the drive gets dropped or banged around.

    [recap of my big find: 8GB flash card for $309 at Datamem.com -- search for Transcend. ]
     
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #9
    You're right. Microdrives are great for cameras that don't move. If someone leaves a camera on a tripod that almost never moves, a microdrive will be just fine.
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    Keep in mind that Microdrives have been used in the iPod mini, and these IMO are on the move.

    IMO Microdrives have a value for some users. For my $ I would rather go solid state.
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #11
    iPod Minis were the most replaced iPod model (other than 40GB models.) :D
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #12

    Never saw it our store level. I also have a 4gb Microdrive that still goes strong.
     
  13. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #13
    The CP 8800 already has agonizingly slow shot-to-shot and read-to-card times; I'd think the LAST thing someone would want to do with that camera is shoot in RAW unless they're shooting static subjects that don't move and if they have a lot of time to spend during the shooting session.

    The CP 8800 has a wonderful lens on it and can produce some outstanding macros but for me it was an exercise in frustration every time I tried to shoot with it. That was what propelled me into getting the D70 last year. Maybe that was Nikon's intent all along.... LOL!
     
  14. puckhead193 thread starter macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #14
    yea i have mixed feelings about the camera. It takes really good static pictures but try doing sports/motion forget about it...
    Should have gone the DSLR route, maybe in a year or 2 i'll upgrade..
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    Yes, and from what I've heard of the frequency of repairs on them, I wouldn't use one at all. Those 1.8 inch Toshiba drives in the standard iPods are frail enough.

    Microdrives are great for studio work.
     
  16. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #16
    microdrives a tad slow and cant take the same abuse as solid state media

    either flash or sd

    lexar and sandisk both give good waranties and offer image recovery software (if you need it) free with the pro lines
     
  17. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #17
    You're thinking of taking only 2GB total?

    FWIW, had you been shooting film, how many rolls would you have planned to take on this trip? (10 - 20 - 30 - 40 - more?)


    The I/O speed of Flash Media has two places where it bottlenecks.

    The first is when you take the picture...this can factor into how many shots in a row (quick succession) your system may be able to take. How often you need to take a burst depends a lot on your subjects ... ie, wildlife action needs it, but landscapes don't :)

    The second bottleneck is when you're downloading the card onto your computer - - with slow cards, it can be a looooooooong wait (10+ minutes) while you're sitting there impatiently waiting for the results.

    My personal rule of thumb is to definitely not get "standard" speed. While the Extreme, 80x or newer still 120x cards are obviously better, I'd get at least an "Ultra II" speed rating or equivalent (40x). You can find this speed sold today at under $50 per 1GB.


    RAW will give you the maximum image potential. The problem is that it eats up storage like mad. IIRC, on my 20D (also 8MP), when I save each shot as RAW+JPG, it eats up around 13MB per image, which means that I only get around 75 photo's per 1GB card - - - that's the equivalent of 2 rolls of 35mm film!

    With 2GB in CF cards, I'd expect that you'll be carrying only enough for 150 shots before you need to download your cards. How many photos you'll shoot in China is up to you, as well as what you plan to do when your cards get filled.

    YMMV, but with film, I've been able to shoot over 300 images/day when on vacation (Alaska). Translating that into a GB equivalent with an 8MP RAW consumption rate, it means I would have used 4GB per day.

    What all this means is that depending on how much you expect to shoot, how long your trip is and if you're planning on carrying a laptop with you, you might want to consider some storage alternatives, such as a pair of Hyperdrive HD80's.

    This is one of the downsides that I've seen to digital - - how are you going to manage what do you do when you're "away from home" (the computer you're going to download to) for an extended period of time?


    Because CF cards are reusuable, it is easy to get by with just 1 or 2 of them when kicking around at home. But the problem is when you don't have the home desktop, Digital Wallet, Laptop (or time out of your vacation to go search out a store who will burn them to CD for you, etc) to get the data off your cards so that you can reuse them: this determines how many GB you need to get through the demand, and it just becomes one more thing you have to plan for.

    FWIW, I'm getting organized for my first trip to Africa, and I'll be taking an 8MP 20D and shoot in RAW+JPEG. I figure that to be reasonably safe, I'll want to have 4-6GB worth of cards for it in order to be able to get through each day, maybe more, and due to weight restrictions, I'll be carrying a pair of HD80's (for redundency) instead of a laptop. If there's an opportunity to burn to CD's en route, I'll do that too, so as to have another backup copy. The cost of buying two HD80's and a couple more GB of cards is cheap compared to the rest of the trip, so its worth doing.


    -hh
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    Today 1GB is the almost a smaller card. 2GB are afordable

    Microdrives are being passed up by flash memory. Now that flash can do 4GB there is less need for a micro drive.

    Speed: You can't by a slow CF card anymore. "50X" is about the lowest I've seen so this is almost a non-issue only a very fast DSLR isgoing to over drive a 50X card.

    The biggist bottle nect is if the data has to go through a USB 1.0 interface. You can't
    do much if the camera is UBS1 but you can make sure all the hubs and readers are
    USB2 (Note that ther Apple keyboard port is USB1.)

    Those setting fine, raw, ... allow you to trade image details for file size. CF cards are cheap now. Go for big files and big CF cards.

    The best advice is to buy several cards. Don't keep all photos on one card. Better to have a set of 1GB cards then one big 8GB card. Less is lost if a crad fails. Swapping out a CF card every two days is not that much of a hassel. Also do NOT take new untested equipment with you. Shot with watever you buy for a few weeks near home. Go through a few cycles of shoot, download, erase card, shoot...... Find problems NOW when they matter less and are easier to fix.
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #19
    Good advice, though if the camera allows for it, I use RAW+JPEG mode.

    According to the Time & Sizes page over on DPR (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp8800/page11.asp), there does not appear to be any advantage of faster cards. Also note that RAW allows for only 81 images on a 1gb card, verses 129 in the Extra Fine JPEG mode. That being said, many users are just as happy shooting in JPEG mode. They have little desire to spend lots of time "fixing up" their images.

    IMO the only reason to spend money on a high speed card is to be better set on a future camera purchase.

    You are right. At the shop I work at the Sandisk Ultra II 4gb CF cards are only $199.99 now. For that same price you can get a 6gb MicroDrive.

    Very strong advice there. About multiple memory cards - one would never go out with just one roll of film. One would always have s second one on hand, just in case.

    I have had some memory card issues in the past (solid state) where I was only getting half the storage. Getting a new card solved the problem.
     
  20. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

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    #20
    There is a big different between read and write.
    I don't think you can corrupt data by reading it.
     
  21. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #21
    I have used SanDisk CF for 5 years in different cameras and have yet to have one crap out.
    Now, I only shoot about 1500 pictures per year (currently Nikon CoolPix 5400), but this is with traveling, beach photos, etc.

    I will stick with them. I am getting a 2gig Ultra II now, going on vacation for 8 days with no computer, so I wanted extra space. And I hope to get a D50/70/?? in about a year, so I wanted something with some decent size.

    I would get the camera sooner, but trying to process photos on a G3 iMac is just painful :), gotta get that MacBook first.
     
  22. ikonq macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    #22
    I'm not huge on actual CF cards themselves, as i survive on the 512mb one i have in my dads EOS350D.

    That said, Think about a 60GB iPod + iPod Camera Connector. It works out that 60GB of CF memory would cost about AUD$9000+ (from what i worked out using 512 cards :p), whereas the iPod and the camera connector clocks just under AUD$650.

    I use it and have had no problem with RAW files, other than that i cannot preview them on the iPod. They transfer fine though. You can sometimes tell your camera to take a RAW and a low res jpeg (for previewing on ipod) at the same time...
     
  23. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #23
    But, you go through half of your camera's battery and most of your iPod's battery in the process...:rolleyes:
     
  24. puckhead193 thread starter macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #24
    I got a 2GB sandisk extreme III, (they didn't have the II) this was the only way to go. I got GB. i'm bringing my powerbook so if i need more i'll have that to result in. (i'll bring some CD-R/DVD-R to back up) How come when the camera is in full auto it says it will take about 257 pictures. but when i change to M,A,S or P i get like 85. Why is that? :confused:
     
  25. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #25
    The resolution for those modes is probably a LOT higher -- maybe RAW; it appears to be 3x the resolution of the "full auto" mode.

    Can you clarify which camera, what size CF card, and the resolution you are using?
     

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