Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Konica Minolta

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 4, 2005, 1:39 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
sjms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,735
Default

reiterc wrote:
Quote:
sjmsrepeated the oft read claim that microdrives are less reliable. I believe the statement, yet (I am a mathematician and naturally test "axioms") find it curious that some solid state CF vendors package the recovery utilities with their devices, and despite the claims of fragileness, I've never heard anyone mention a microdrive failure. I would be interested in hearing about reliability of microdrives from people with more experience than I (2 drives, 30,000+ pictures, no problems), but I am primarily interested in timing tests of burst mode of the A200 using fast CF.

Best, Cliff

the reason that vendors do include thr recovery sofware is so you can get you images back. biggest issue in this type of media is the user.

example: a coworker had a camera and his wife uses it often. on an occasion she accidenty started the erase all cycle in the camera. to add insult to injury unable to turn off the camera (not good as it was to try) pulled the card out. in reinserting the card they both could not get the card to work. he came to me and asked where to get a good deal on a new card after he explained to me what had happened. i told him it would cost 1 Dr Pepper. of course he looked at me somewhat oddly as i pulled out my laptop. put the dead card in the reader bypassed the cards info header FAT Table)and pulled 52 images of the card. he said 52? she only shot about 15. i had recovered images from a few months back too. reformated and revived the dead card and it is still in service. i used a photorescue. no its simple in general i can and have done the same with a MD as long as its spinning and there hasn't been a head crash or two. but if its clicking (coming in and out of park and trying to read) or is not spinning your picture will cost lots more to recover.
sjms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 4, 2005, 1:55 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Stevekin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,611
Default

reiterc wrote:
Quote:
find it curious that some solid state CF vendors package the recovery utilities with their devices,
Fair and ironic observation. But the recovery software that came with my Lexar cards is to assist me in recovering images from a corrupted card. Not a dead one. Logic dictates that a memory card with moving parts, as in the mini hard drive in the micro drive, is more likely to fail than a solid state card. That is what most people are concerned with. The following text I posted last year, but thought it relevant here.

Although I DO NOT recommend trying this at home, this little crumb of comfort comes from the October 2004 (issue 14) of a publication here in the U.K. called Better Digital Photography (same stable as What Digital Camera for those of you in the U.K.)

I quote :

"Worried about losing your pictures if something happens to your memory cards? Recent research by Digital Camera Shopper suggests you should rest easy as most memory cards were found to be virtually indestructible.

Five memory card formats - CompactFlash, Secure Digital, xD, Memory Stick and Smartmedia- survived being boiled, trampled, washed and dunked and left in hot coffee or cola. They were also put through the washing machine, trampled by a skateboard, run over by a child's toy car and being given to a six year old boy to destroy (by jumping, biting, throwing, kicking,scraping and bending).

Even some of the thinner cards that appeared to be fragile fared well in the tests, though most cards did fail to get through two additional tortures-- being smashed by a sledgehammer and nailed to a tree. Even then, data experts Ontrack Data Recovery were able to retrieve photos from the xD and Smartmedia cards!


I can't imagine a micro drive surviving the same.

Regards,

Stevekin.
Stevekin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 4, 2005, 8:03 PM   #13
Member
 
BoneDaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Default

One thing that hasn't been mentioned about the durability of either micro-drives or flash memory is the threat of electro-static discharge.

For all the abuse that either medium can take (the drownings, the beatings, the smashings) the biggest problem they face is ESD. Best to use an electro-static discharge strap (or at least ground yourself first) if you plan on handling that drive or card on a dry winter day when you've been scuffing your socked-feet on the carpet.

:shock:
BoneDaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 5, 2005, 12:08 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
sjms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,735
Default

over the past few hours i did a poll over at FM

the question was: Who here has used Microdrives and had them fail?

out of 82 respondants the breakdown was as follows

58 no problem

16 had 1 fail

6 had multiple failure

percentageswise it maintained a 20-25% failure avg of those responding so far and now at a high of 30%. considering that there are far less MDs being used in cameras then SSCF i would would venture to say thats pretty high failure rate.
sjms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 5, 2005, 1:06 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Stevekin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,611
Default

Not looking good for MD's. I will be interested in the results of your CF poll once it kicks in. I'll check later.

Stevekin.
Stevekin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 5, 2005, 7:59 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

The big advantage the microdrive has over solid state is price. I just checked the prices at Flash-Memoey-Store.com and got the following prices:

4GB Hitachi Microdrive $190
4GB Lexar 80x CF Card $500

Basically you get more bang for your buck with the microdrive. I have 6 microdrives. 3 are 1GB (IBM), which I have had for about 3 years, and the other 3 are 4GB (Hitachi), which I have had for over a year. All drives are fully functional and get used constantly. I have never had a problem with any of them.

But I also take care of them. I don't put them in my pocket unprotected, send them through the washer, toss them over cliffs or play frizby with them. I treat them as I treat my camera, with care.

As long as the price gap remains in favor of the MD, I will continue to use MD's. In a word, they are as reliable as the solid state CF cards, if treated properly. Anything that is missused and abused will fail.

Declan
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 5, 2005, 11:31 AM   #17
Member
 
BoneDaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Default

amazingthailand wrote:
Quote:
The big advantage the microdrive has over solid state is price. I just checked the prices at Flash-Memoey-Store.com and got the following prices:

4GB Hitachi Microdrive $190
4GB Lexar 80x CF Card $500

Basically you get more bang for your buck with the microdrive. I have 6 microdrives. 3 are 1GB (IBM), which I have had for about 3 years, and the other 3 are 4GB (Hitachi), which I have had for over a year. All drives are fully functional and get used constantly. I have never had a problem with any of them.

But I also take care of them. I don't put them in my pocket unprotected, send them through the washer, toss them over cliffs or play frizby with them. I treat them as I treat my camera, with care.

As long as the price gap remains in favor of the MD, I will continue to use MD's. In a word, they are as reliable as the solid state CF cards, if treated properly. Anything that is missused and abused will fail.

Declan
Basically, you need to make sure you are not comparing apples to oranges.

The prices you listed came from only one location. Nobody with half a brain would settle for buying either the microdrive or the CF card from only one source.

True, there is a price difference between the two mediums, but much less than what you've given us for an example.

Pricegrabber.com revealed that you can find the 4GB Hitachi Microdrive for as low as $169, while you can find the Lexar 4GB 80x CF card for as low as $376. That's a price gap of $207 between the drive and the CF card, quite a bit less than the $310 difference you'd used as your example.

More bang for the buck? Possibly. But let's revisit that apples to oranges concept mentioned above.

The performance of the 4GB Hitachi microdrive is comparable to a 40x CF card. That's half the performance of the 80x CF card you are using for your example. You'd have to expect to pay more for the higher performance of the premier line Lexar Professional, WA-enabled, 80x CF card. To get apples to apples, performance AND price-wise, you should compare the 4GB microdrive to a 40x CF card.

You've also stated that you've had your three 4GB microdrives for over a year. The Hitachi 4GB microdrive came out around November of 2003, which means that if you've had your three 4GB drives for over a year, then you must have purchased them shortly after the drives became available. The retail price for the Hitachi 4GB drive was $499 at the time, with street prices in the $470 range. Prices were probably in the $400 range per drive if you bought them online within a couple of months of their debut, higher if you paid for them in the store. Unless you managed to get some incredible discount you haven't told us about, I'm figuring you paid at least $1200 for those three 4GB microdrives, possibly even more. And I haven't even calculated what you must have paid for the three 1GB IBM drives you have.

Bang for the buck? Not what you paid for them at the time. All told, you would've spent roughly $100 per gigabyte when you bought your drives. Today, if somebody chose to go with the CF card, it would cost them about $94 per gigabyte to buy a CF card of the 80x speed. That's roughly what you would've paid per gigabyte for your drives. That's apples to apples.

However, if somebody were to pay for a 4GB microdrive at TODAY'S prices, then yes, they could find themselves a good deal, if they don't mind the slower performance as compared to the 80x CF cards. :G
BoneDaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 2005, 9:29 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

As we were talking about microdrives vs solid state CF, then we are comparing apples to apples. Pricing comparisons are based on current pricing, not pricing one or three years ago. I also did not put forth the prices I found as being the absolute lowest available, just as an example, and the price gap seems to be fairly consistant, with the CF being over double the price of the MD.

One year ago I bought my 4GB MS'd for $199 each (remember the Creative Muvo?), but that is irrelevant. While the selling price for most 4GB MS's at the time was closer to $500, the selling price for 4GB CF was closer to $1200 EACH.

Prices fall over time, that is to be expected. So to compare the price today to the price one year ago is idiotic, other than to see how much the prices have changed.

As for the prices I paid for my 1GB IBM MD's, I don't remember, but I do remember that the equivalent amount of storage in a solid state CF card was considerably more, if there were even any 1GB CF available at the time.

Based on YOUR prices for MD ($169) vs CF ($376), that is still more than double the price for an MD. So I could buy 2 x 4GB MD and have change left for every CF card you bought. Don't think that is good bang for the buck?

Look, I am not here to convinve you or anyone else that you MUST buy MD's. I was just trying to give some perspective as to their reliability. Most people seem to think they are fragile and unreliable, when they are not.

Today they are used in MP3 players as mobile devices. I am sure most of those get much harsher treatment than do the MD's we use in cameras. So if they were all that unreliable or fragile, would they be used in such devices? I think not.

Anyway, YOU can do what you want, I really don't care. If you are so close minded that you do not want to consider them as a viable or alternative storgae device, then so be it. Please, feel free to spend more than double for your storage needs.

Declan
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 2005, 12:20 PM   #19
Member
 
BoneDaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Default

amazing--

Please go back and read the post. Nowhere did I say I was closed-minded to the microdrive as being a viable storage alternative.

Those are your words, not mine.

In fact, here's a quote from the reply I made to john4us: "I'd say if you plan on doing more indoor work, a micro-drive might be a good choice, but otherwise, a flash card is an all-around durable performer."

As you can see, you made an incorrect assumption in light of the fact. Here's a few more incorrect assumptions you made that I'd like to clear up:

You said: "Based on YOUR prices for MD ($169) vs CF ($376), that is still more than double the price for an MD."

First, those aren't MY prices. Those prices were easily found on Pricegrabber.com. If you'd done a bit more research, you could've found the same prices. Instead, you provide us an example that was clearly SLANTED to support your argument.

The example I provided, which anyone could've found, was designed to keep you HONEST in your argument.

Second, at no time did I DISPUTE the fact that the microdrive was cheaper than a CF card, as evidenced here: "True, there is a price difference between the two mediums, but much less than what you've given us for an example."

And here: "That's a price gap of $207 between the drive and the CF card, quite a bit less than the $310 difference you'd used as your example."

Again, don't misconstrue my statements.

I'm am pleased that you were able to find 4GB microdrives for as low as $199 a year ago. However, I would consider your case as not being typical for most microdrive owners. Still, you would have paid $600 for the storage. Since you did not reveal this earlier in your argument (as that is one heck of an unusual deal), I'm inclined to think that this is now a convenient way to bolster your position, (the price of a 4GB microdrive has only dropped $30 in a whole YEAR?). This cannot be verified, of course. But as you can see, I made the best guess I could on what a TYPICAL microdrive purchaser (like you, perhaps?) would've paid for a 4GB microdrive a year ago, with the limited information I had.

You also claimed that a comparison of prices from a year ago to today was "idiotic", except to see how the prices have changed. Can you explain why? Paying $600 for any amount of storage could be considered "idiotic" too. In any case, my comparison in what you shelled out for storage a year ago would be comparable to what a typical buyer might pay today. $600 a year ago, $600 today, it's STILL $600.

Another thing you need to be aware of: You are still incorrect in your comparison of the Hitachi 4GB microdrive to the Lexar 80x CF card. As I stated, the microdrive does not perform at the same speed as the 80x CF card. The Hitachi is twice as slow. You can verify this fact at the Hitachi website, the Lexar website, and Rob Galbraith's website. If you want to make a fair comparison, you need to compare the Hitachi to a 40x CF card.

That being said, the last thing I can suggest to you is to spend more time on researching and developing your argument. Here's why: "I was just trying to give some perspective as to their reliability. Most people seem to think they are fragile and unreliable, when they are not."

OK. Then do it. If you want to argue that microdrives are not unreliable, you don't start out by telling us they cost half what CF cards do!

Hello?

If you want to give us perspective into the reliability of the microdrive, then tell us about Hitachi's improvements to make the drives more durable. Tell us about the shock absorbers and plastic shielding that have been incorporated into the drives to improve shock damage from falls. Tell us how Hitachi rotated the head to the other end of the drive so users wouldn't pinch the delicate components inside, which was a big reason for so many drive failures.

Despite those improvements, the microdrive is still a delicate device, that, like you said, needs to be handled carefully. The microdrive's reliability is not so much in question, but its durability STILL cannot match that of the CF card, as summed up by Rob Galbraith: "Still, if card durability is of paramount importance to you because of the kind of photography you do, you will almost certainly be better served by a flash memory CompactFlash card."

THAT is how you should have started your debate on the merits of microdrive reliability.:G
BoneDaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 2005, 7:41 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

Sheesh!
Okay, I give up. You win.
I have said all I need to say. I stand by my previous posts. I have better things to do than to perpetuate this any further.
I have a life and it's calling me right now. I'm done with you. Bye.

Declan
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:50 AM.