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Old Jul 4, 2004, 12:51 PM   #11
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Might your results suggest that the A2 can utilize "Write Acceleration" in the Lexar 40 x WA or maybe the capacity could have something to do with it ? I understand that Minolta test with Lexar, if that is so then perhaps the answer to the question has always been there!

What do you think ?


Hopefully someone will test their "normal" speed card the same way, letting us know the make, speed & capacity.

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Old Jul 7, 2004, 2:58 PM   #12
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CastleDude, got my A2 delivered today ! Borrowed aCF card (before final decision).

Following all of your test conditions and, thankfully, updating the firmware to 112e successfully i used a 256mbBytestor, that's it, no other markings but do know from the owner itwas very cheap so would imagine it to only be something like 2x or 4x at most.

At first i frightened myself with it's blinding speed, returning times of 12 seconds!!!..........Then realised i was shooting Fine quality :?

Did it again set to Raw and double checked your list of settings and got a more realistic average of 66.6 seconds from three attempts(66, 67, 67).

At this point it seems that the faster cards would be a better purchase but i think we would like a bit more input if possible from all you A2 owners out there.

Again, since your test i am leaning towards the Lexar 40x although i appreciate it onlyjust shades the Sandisk UltraII, but because apparently Minolta test with Lexar.

Still not had a response from Konica Minolta but then i only emailed them 2 weeks ago!



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Old Jul 8, 2004, 7:33 PM   #13
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I contacted Lexar, Minolta, and Sandisk. Lexar.

Lexar gave the consise answer

"The Minolta Dimage A2 camera will support Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards, Microdrive (170MB, 340MB, 512MB, 1GB, 4GB) and you can use up to 24x cards.

The camera doesn't support WA technology, "

If there correct, than a 24x Lexar should work the best. THen again, Im not sure how much testing they do.
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Old Jul 9, 2004, 2:22 PM   #14
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LVJCohen, you are right about the A2 not supporting WA.

I contacted Konica Minolta and was told that" Konica Minolta is not part of the Lexar Write Acceleration (WA) scheme, so there is no performance gain from these cards", and a personal preference of the contact (not of Konica Minolta) was for Sandisk Ultra II. This seems pretty cut and dried......or is it? As CastleDude's test showed, the Lexar out performed the Sandisk.

Unfortunately i received this info after i had already bought a Lexar 40x wa but i got a good price plus the jump shot lead & image rescue included. when my local store hasa Sandisk in stock i can try that and if the performance is similar i'll have that one as well and stop beating myself up about it and get on with playing with my A2.

Thanks for every ones input.


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Old Jul 12, 2004, 5:53 AM   #15
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UPDATE

Have now conducted CastleDude's test on Lexar 40x wa, and got average of 36 seconds. Awaiting delivery of Sandisk Ultra II then i'll let you know about that one.
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Old Jul 16, 2004, 6:20 AM   #16
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Nice man at Jessops let me try Sandisk Ultra II 512mb even though it was in a sealed package.

Following CastleDudes' test (see above) it returned average speeds of 45 seconds!! As you can see from my last post the Lexar 40x wa 512mb did it in 36 seconds, so , although both cards performed the test slower in my camera than CastleDudes', we are at least getting fairly consistant time differences between cards(well, nearly!)

Maybe the state of the battery charge could have an effect on the result (although my battery wasn't any where near drained) but i did test my Lexar againat the same time as the Sandisk.

Cards may well perform differently when conducting another task (better at one thing than another) and in different A2's, but i am going to order another Lexar. But if you already have a Sandisk Ultra II card (and for that matter if i already owned one) i wouldn't be too concerned at the difference and consign it to the waste bin ! I personally have chosen the Lexar based on this test but only because i didn't already have a card!

The end........................................or is it ?
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Old Jul 16, 2004, 10:30 AM   #17
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I'm curious Stevekin, have you upgraded your firmware?The other onethat would effect the speed isthe autofocus.

The new firmware does speed up the writes (according to the dpreview people)after doing my test I found a thread over there where they are doing a similar test and getting similar numbers.

My camera does probably have better battery performance than yours since I have the optional grip that holds two batteries. But I doubt that has an effect.

From the posts over on dpreview the sweet spot card is the Lexar 12x it gives about the same performance as the 40x card but costs less. All the reports are showing the Sandisk Ultra II as being slower than the Lexar. Suprisingly a lot of people are reporting the Sandisk standard card is faster than the Ultra II (not as fast as the Lexar). Kingston, PQI are not performing well at all (at least if you want to shoot raw).

Overall the write speed of the A2 is about the same as the Canon 10D/300D. The Nikon D70 smokes us. It writes about 6x the speed of the A2.


I am still looking for some posts of the Hitachi 2G drives. The 1G drive shows about 70 seconds for the benchmark.

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Old Jul 16, 2004, 4:02 PM   #18
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CastleDude, yes i have upgraded the firmware (first thing i did when i got the camera), it is 112e. With regards to 12x V 40x, a lot of the sites over here,(U.K), charge pretty much the same for each speed only a few pounds difference with most so i prefer the 40x for writing to my Hard Drive.

Since you mention autofocus, i wonder if i may have a problem with mine. Having said that, it doesn't seem to be having a problem in general but there is something that i am concerned about. Whenever i half press the shutter release while the Anti-Shake is switched on i do get the confirmation beep and everything on the display is showing the right things but i can hear a constant noise almost like an electrical contact shorting out. No unusual sounds when Anti-Shake is off. To be honest i'm not sure if AS is actually working or not! Do you or anyone else hear a similar sound ? It also sounds similar to the focus struggling to lock on, but again only when AS is on. Any ideas.
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Old Jul 16, 2004, 6:48 PM   #19
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Short answer no I never have noticed any noise.

There is a setting for continuous autofocus could this be on and causing a focus seek? I've personally never used that feature.

The fastest way I can tell you to see if the AS is working is to set the camera to "Aperture priority" mode then set the aperature to f11 in a darker than normal area. Try a shot of something with about 1/30 of a second with it on and offdon't be afraid to zoom in. The difference is pretty apparent even on the viewfinder.


BTW Way off subject but if you haven't tried it .. Try focalbladeat www.thepluginsite.com it works really well with the A2.
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Old Jul 16, 2004, 10:07 PM   #20
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Hi CastleDude, firstly no, the Focus mode switch is pretty much always set to Single-shot AF.

Secondly, i set the A2 as you suggested and just happened to lay back with my arms resting partly on my chest with the camera pointing up towards the curtains. This position meant that the beating of my heart rythmicaly shook the preview image without AS, but with AS it immediately steadied the image. I'm quite impressed !

Thirdly, i have heard of Focal Blade and will have a look soon, thanks.

Getting back to my mystery noise, i have to say that i can only hear it mostly when i hold the camera close to my ear. In Continuous AF the sound is a rapid high, and low, alternating pitch. The sound i hear with AS on, half pressed shutter release, is more a steady sort of pitch, still sounding a bit like electrical interference or a fizzy drinks bottle with the lid not quite tight enough, not a whoosh but a gentle fizzing.In Continuous AF and AS on , youv'e guessed it, i get both!

Could you have a listen to yours, close to the ear, and hopefully dispel any fear i may have of a duff A2 ?

Thanks
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