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-   -   Speeds... CF card vs. MicroDrive (

ShtrBug007 Aug 1, 2002 4:32 AM

Speeds... CF card vs. MicroDrive
- My friend has bought a Canon S30 and purchased an extra 128M of CF card memory. How much slower would a 1G MicroDrive be for taking still pix?
- From reading the forums it looks like movie creation performance with slow data writes would be terrible. But what about continuous shutter speed for stills, say HQ JPG.
- Comments? Thoughts? I'll ask Canon too. I've read their specs, but data from Canon on the S30/MicroDrive pairing is a bit thin.

NHL Aug 1, 2002 5:22 AM

The microdrive is only slower when the camera is 1st turned on (ie it needs to spin up from rest), after that (1 to 2 seconds) it's as fast or faster than flash depending on each camera implementation. If one uses this device in a laptop where the full ATA specs is implemented for example, the microdrive is way faster than any flash out there, especially on very large files! High speed shooting is the same as the movie mode, as long as the number of shots 3, 5, 7 etc... doesn't fill up the camera's internal buffer it's fine; otherwise, the camera will lock up until its buffer is emptied to the microdrive (or flash).

ibm 1gig microdrive versus lexar pro 24x...

also see here for the different flash types, and how they work.

There's a caveat though... while every camera with a CF-2 slot can take a microdrive. The camera's battery is the limiting factor in the number of shots one can make with one...

[Edited on 8-1-2002 by NHL]

KCan Aug 1, 2002 11:46 PM


Originally posted by NHL
The camera's battery is the limiting factor in the number of shots one can make with one...

well a big PoWeRpAcK at the waist will help adding a prolook :D

anyway , 3 or 4000 mAh NiMH AA's are coming soon :D

NHL Aug 2, 2002 5:42 AM

Yea, like theses upcomingrayovac

[Edited on 8-2-2002 by NHL]

BTW anyone having a MindStor, a Digital Wallet or a DataBank can try it too. Both download and upload speed to the flash (for the same files) are noticeably slower on the flash cards than the microdrives !!!

[Edited on 8-2-2002 by NHL]

ShtrBug007 Aug 4, 2002 1:28 AM

Thx for feedback : recommending MicroDrive
- Thx to you both for the feedback. Especially the info/feedback on batteries. My friend is transitioning from film to digital and he had already purchased a battery pack on top of the kit the S30 comes with.
- Its nice to know people are pushing the NIMH technology, I'll tell him to keep his eyes peeled.

NHL Aug 9, 2002 4:28 PM

Microdrive is the Fastest !!!
Here we go folks, this is what I've been stressing all along:

... write is what count... and not the advertised read speed when one's take a picture!

BTW this test was done through a Firewire reader which relies still on some driver overhead... Try it in a true laptop ATA interface and the microdrive'll truly spread its wings (and not limited by each individual camera implementation!). The larger the files is, the faster it'll be !

[Edited on 8-10-2002 by NHL]

sjms Aug 9, 2002 7:51 PM

the transfer speed outside the camera environment to me is the most misleading test of read/write performance for digicams. as it has been agreed that the camera has as much to do with the xfr to the card as the card controller in the drive. why do we care how fast it xfrs to my laptop/mediavault/nixvue. 5min 20min-it's out of the camera and not in my shooting workflow. i already have another card in the camera ready to go. i care when i'm trying to clear the buffer and shoot my next shot. thats camera dependent and thats where the speed is needed. not bulk xfr to storage.

[Edited on 8-10-2002 by sjms]

sjms Aug 9, 2002 8:03 PM

"the best of the x24 flashes which Lexar has OEMed from Toshiba. "

taken from a 6/15/02 statement about the lexar 24x /microdrive speed issue. the memory may be from toshiba but the controller is of a lexar design not to be confused with a toshiba controller so it is not truely oem fom toshiba.

NHL Aug 10, 2002 7:07 AM

Toshiba OEM CF flashes to everyone:

I guess Lexar figured it's smarter to buy the wafers, shear them into indivifual dies, make their own controller, bond the two separate dies to the subtrate, and package the whole deal together without a microelectronic factory to compete against the like of Sandisk (and the 'noname') with all the corresponding fallout in the yield. That's a real smart business decision !!!

Beside the denser memories have the controller embedded as part one die (too labor intensive and costly otherwise...)

NHL Aug 10, 2002 7:10 AM

Yea, the cameras slow the microdrive down:

- From a 4.2Mb/s IDE speed (the true PC/laptop hardware only interface, ie the CF+ ATA standard)
- 3.247Mb/s Firewire speed (highest driver dependent transfer)

to an EOS-1D - 2.345 Mb/s
to an EOS-D30 - 836kB/s
then to a crawling 995 - 510kB/s
and I'll bet everyone it'll be different again for a D7(i)...

The problem with all theses measurements are they are timing the slowness of each camera's firmware and has no bearing on the actual Flash (or microdrive) real speed !!! In fact it has more to do with each flash internal block/page size matching with a particular camera buffer's transfer, and they vary from one camera to the next (ie faster on one doesn't mean it's going to be faster on yours as well, but quite the opposite sometime!)

[Edited on 8-10-2002 by NHL]

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