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Old Jun 11, 2003, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default Compact Flash advantage

Hi, (my first post)
I'm trying to understand a few things, before I rush out and treat myself to a digital camera.(old school SLR user)
I'm considering both the Canon S400, and the Canon S50.

I see that Compact Flash cards are availailable in numerous speeds. x20 x40 etc.

Initially I have a few concerns/questions.

#1 - what is 1-speed compact flash, (in real kb/s) && is this the same for read and write?

#2 - Does anyone have data on how fast a compact flash card the two canon cameras mentioned(s400 and s50), can utilise. I can't seem to find anything in the specs on this. && is there differnt speed required, for still images, and movie mode?

#3 - Which USB 2.0 CF readers are available, and will that allow faster downloading of images to PC. I'm assuming buying faster CF cards, will be advantageous here, even if the cameras can't utilise the speed during write.

Thanks in advance..

Perhaps somene can shed some light on this.
Cheers,
Iodine.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 11:22 AM   #2
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I can help with some of this. First off, you might find this link interesting and helpful. It doesn't cover the specific camers you want (only very high end DSLRs costing $1,500+USD) but its still has good info which applies about CF and cameras in general.

1) I believe a 1x speed card is... I couldn't find it. Sorry, someone else will have to tell you. It is not the same for read and write. Write is really what matters, as you are writing when the camera takes pictures. The vast majority CFs reads quite fast.

2) Try asking in the Canon section of the forums for specific information. The general rule is that unless you purchased a really expensive DSLR (look at the link I gave above) you probably don't need faster than about 8-12x. And even then, you'll only see the benefit from a movie mode. JPGs write so fast, and many cameras can write to the CF while you take pictures that for how most people shoot pictures, even that speed might not be necessary.
3) USB 2 us a huge win over usb 1. That isn't really a matter of the card as it is that USB2 is just so much faster than attaching a consumer-level camera directly (USB1) or a USB1 card reader.

Check out this link for more info about some readers:
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...id=7-6191-6217
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 11:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
1) I believe a 1x speed card is...
... 150kb/s :P

Also Eric, remember read is not a problem (ie flash read can be as fast as any other memories) it's the write cycles (and drivers) that you're so familiar with... :lol: :lol: :lol:

I highly doubt that a x40 read any faster than a x4!
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 11:48 AM   #4
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ok, right, 1x means the same as CD speeds. then... units of 150kb/s.

Interestingly the results from the (READ) test, on that rob galbraith website, seem to indicate that the read speed of the cards is about the same.
I haven't seen any write speed tests there, as yet.

and it looks like usb 2 has lots of reserve capacity.
usb 2's Max is 480Mbs, so that's 60Mbyte per second. (max theoretical)

Lexar Media 512MB 24X
3890K/sec
5811K/sec
5411K/sec
2385K/sec

Lexar Media 512MB 40X Write Acceleration
3931K/sec
5867K/sec
5447K/sec
2380K/sec


no discernable differnce in read speed, in a given card reader.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Interestingly the results from the (READ) test, on that rob galbraith website, seem to indicate that the read speed of the cards is about the same.
How true... That's what I said :lol:

It's how they are made, Flash reads are just like a ROM reads... It's the write cycles that the limiting factor! The manufacturers can shadow it with a RAM, or buffered it, but eventually when a file is large enough and Kaput, they'll choke... and there's your wait! ops:
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 12:25 PM   #6
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If they have 40x write speed out now, this appears comparable to the read speed.
40x150kb/s =~= 6Mb/s

I wonder if they will get much higher, or they might have hit a plateau, for a while.

I suppose if anyone uses CF cards for generally moving data around, then the write speed might be of higher importance.


what is the reliability of CF cards like?, I keep seeing posts of people sending them back, and people choosing to have 2x256's instead of 1x512 (for reliability reasons...)
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 1:13 PM   #7
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It should be as reliable as any other type of NAND flashes: sD, MMC, xD, MemoryStick, Smartmedia etc... They only differ at the inferface level.

The CF are more like hardisks with the same miniaturized IDE/ATA type of interface with 8/16-bit transfer while the others are more or less serialized with 8/4-bit or totally serial like on the older MemoryStick.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 1:39 PM   #8
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time to go digital then...
seems like Canon are sticking with CF, even tho they are putting SD into the ultra small cameras.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 3:40 PM   #9
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FYI... and going faster (B as in Byte)!!!

http://www.compactflash.org/pr/030302a.pdf
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 4:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
It should be as reliable as any other type of NAND flashes: sD, MMC, xD, MemoryStick, Smartmedia etc
CompactFlash has more I/O and data control pins than Smartmedia with fewer gold flash surface contacts and CF contains a processor in each card to manage the interface. Reliability of CF can depend on how you handle it.

Smartmedia is just raw flash memory, with processing to the memory done in the camera. Which is why there is no write speed problem with SM - all brands work the same, as speed is determined by the camera.

However, SM is a format small in max Mb going out of fashion, as cams get more and more memory hungry.
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