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Old Dec 13, 2002, 3:39 PM   #1
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Default smart media card

hi,
i was thinking of buying a fuji f601z .....one of the deterents is the sm card they use.ihave seen the highest capacity cards at 128mb. are higher capacity sm cards available/any news when they shall be available.
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Old Dec 13, 2002, 4:00 PM   #2
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The highest capacity for the SM card is 128mb. You shold be able to save around 200 pics to your camera in the HQ mode on F601.
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Old Dec 13, 2002, 5:29 PM   #3
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Development work on Smartmedia has stopped in favor of sD and MMC, and I doubt anyone will see anything higher than 128Mb. One can get 512Mb sD now, but their prices are obscene compared to CF. My recommendation is if you get a new camera now make sure to get a camera that can support CF as an alternative (and rechargeable NiMh AA).

http://www.ssfdc.or.jp/english/

However if you can get the 601 for a good price, the 128Mb limit wouldn't be such a big deal since they are still widely available, and will suit the camera just fine... It looks like MemoryStick is questionable now as well:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/diginews.html#memsticky
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 12:50 AM   #4
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One thing that most people overlook when comparing flash memory is that Compact flash has a built in controller. Smartmedia does not. This allows a camera that uses Compact flash to use any size card available. A camera that uses Smartmedia has the controller built into the camera and can only use a card up to whatever size the controller was designed for.

So then Compact flash is better, right? Not exactly. Since the controller is built into the camera for smartmedia, any card will work at the same speed. With Compact Flash the real bargain cards are usually slower than the more expensive cards. Capacity is not the only variable for Compact Flash. So, in order to have maximum speed with Compact Flash you will have to spend more for faster cards.

Also, the 128 limit is not such a bad thing. I would prefer to have several "small" cards. A 128 holds a ton of pictures with a 2, 3 or even 4 Megapixel camera. If a card becomes defective, which has happened to me, I would rather replace a $40-50 128 card than an expensive 512MB card.
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 7:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Since the controller is built into the camera for smartmedia, any card will work at the same speed. With Compact Flash the real bargain cards are usually slower than the more expensive cards.
Compact flash is better, right? Any smartmedia card will work at the same speed as the camera...

The control circuit is always in the camera regardless of SM or CF. This is why the exact same flash card speed, regardless of SM or CF, varies from camera to camera. In most cameras, because of cost, the controller is simply a firmware routine. The speeds depends mostly on how the camera organizes its picture (or video) buffer size to match that of the card which it can do independently with SM media. With CF however the camera's controller is usually a hit or miss because we have another controller inside the card involved (as well as another internal buffer/memory organization). This is why some camera is fast with one brand of card while other are slow with the same card. The controller in all the camera is the limiting factor, another variable that most people neglect!

In more expensive cameras where a hardware controller is actually implemented (ie not a firmware) the CF cards will blow away SM, even the slow ones (ie the 'x' factor in CF)! The best way to verify speed is to try a PCMCIA adapter with an SM card and a PCMCIA with a CF in a computer or laptop...independent of the camera.

Also think long term, you can load up on 128Mb SM, but will your next camera upgrade still use SM? 128Mb was fine for my 3Mp camera but very restrictive on my 5Mp and even 256Mb... especially in raw! Some newer camera brands that formally use SM, will allow you a migration path to faster media, but people will quickly realize the benefit of CF (mainly cost and also speed) and will switch over as a preference to other media.
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Old Dec 14, 2002, 7:24 PM   #6
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The controller in all the camera is the limiting factor, another variable that most people neglect!
OK so if you buy SM, its only 128MB BUT the prices are falling quicker so you can afford to buy buckets. It's not like putting megabucks into say microdrive. But this might be a good option to consider as prices fall.

The fact that the cam contains the control and buffering is an advantage, since speed becomes a cam function independent of the brand of SM card. If the cam is designed for continuous/multi-shooting/or movie - it will work with all SM. That's a big confident plus to know that! The cheaper your media as prices fall, the less you should worry about compatibility with your next cam - as long as you have enough SM in case it goes obsolete!
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Old Dec 15, 2002, 12:45 AM   #7
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I still say Smart Media is dying. Personally, I would avoid a camera that does *only* SM. If it does XD (the very new and apperant successor to SM) *and* SM, that's cool. You can go with the SM cards until XD gets cheaper (if it ever does).
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Old Dec 15, 2002, 8:33 AM   #8
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I would still purchase my C4040 even if it only takes the smart media. I can take 130 pics before I need to download the card. I can usually delete 25 to 40 percent off the camera because I was a lousy photo shooter. Now my number has increased to near 200 photos. SM cards are not dead.
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Old Dec 15, 2002, 8:59 AM   #9
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Dying is too strong of a term. The problem is all the original members of the SSFDC organization, which maintains the SmartMedia standard, are outdoing themself with competing formats, MMC, sD, and xD to reverse the CF and Sony tide. Royalties per card is what all theses companies are after, and SmartMedia is an open standard! They could have stayed together and grow SM to 256Mb and beyond if they choose to...(even the serialized copy protection touted by the various new formats)
http://www.samsungelectronics.com/se...hite_paper.PDF

Afterall all theses different flash cards all start with the same NAND structure. SM is already better than the serial MemoryStick @ 8-bit width (CF can be accessed with either a camera dependent 8-bit or 16-bit IDE bus width)... and it looks like Sony needs to remedy this situation soon, but in the end greed among members will harm SM more than any consumer could!
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Old Dec 15, 2002, 12:16 PM   #10
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THANX A LOT.
that puts me into a wait and watch situation . i am banking on 2 ideas :
1) either the people at sm return and continue with it . that would make me buy f601 coz i am much interested in the 640*480 movie it takes .
2) else, the next cam i hav on choice list is s602 frm fuji stable itself . now the only deterrent to this cam is its sheer size . so i am waitin 4 fuji ppl 2 bring out similar to 602 camera but in a more pocketable size.

KEEPING ALL MY FINGERS CROSSED - INCLUDES TOES TOO :lol:
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