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Old Nov 27, 2005, 7:27 PM   #1
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Owing to memorymanufacturers usual stinginess with meaningful descriptions and specs. on their products, I am very confused.

I should take delivery on Oly SP-350 camera next week (Christmas present for my 20-year old daughter?). In the next few days I also want to get the accessories on order, including a 512MB card.

I am, however confused about the Type M vs. non-Type M cards. From the very cryptic descriptions on the various vendor web sites, I had concluded that the Type M was faster. I was prepared to order the Sandisk Type M 512 MB card when it is in stock again (both vendors I normally deal with ran out of them last week). It costs a little more than the non-Type M (another reason I foolishly assumed it*must* be"better" than the non-Type M).

When I did a search here on "Type M", it appears that some are saying that the Type M is actually *slower* than non-Type M? Also the Type M is necessary to enable Panaorama mode on certain Oly cameras? Is it's only purpose to enable the panorama mode? How strange if that's the case. On their page about xD cards, Sandisk's web site says "Now, with SanDisk's introduction of the Type M xD format, you can get increased storage capacities and higher transfer rates..." (http://www.sandisk.com/Products/Cata...ture_Card.aspx) - which seems to contradict what some have been saying here.

Does Olympus have any information out on what the intent of the Type M is, and can anyone confirm that it is either faster or slower than the non-Type M?

Bottom line question is: Is there *any* advantage in going with the Type M for the SP-350? Or would I be paying a little extra money for absolutely no benefit (or worse, more money for lower performance)?

TIA!
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 12:08 PM   #2
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Type M has nothing to do with Panoramic ability. That is a function of it being a "Genuine Olympic" brand card.

I have an Olympus brand non-type M256MB card I bought when I got my 750-UZ a couple years ago. It supports the panoramic function, and is the reason I got it instead of the Fuji brand one.

This past weekend I picked up a 1GB Type M Olympus (they didn't have any non-type M Olympus cards), and I can't get it to work in my camera. When I power up it gives me two options - Format or Power Down. When I select Format it appears to start to Format, but after about 1-2 seconds it says "Card Error".

I have no idea whether it's a defective card, or just incompatible with my camera, but that's why I came here today. I'll keep looking and see if anyone else has some words of wisdom for me on that.

-dnw-
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 2:28 PM   #3
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dwaldmann wrote:
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...This past weekend I picked up a 1GB Type M Olympus (they didn't have any non-type M Olympus cards), and I can't get it to work in my camera. When I power up it gives me two options - Format or Power Down. When I select Format it appears to start to Format, but after about 1-2 seconds it says "Card Error"...
Click on the compatibility chart link on the right of this page: http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_xd.asp

Then click on the C-series button on the chart page - it shows the 526MB M and non-M as compatible with your 750, *BUT* the 1GB M type as *not* compatible with it, so that is your answer.

On my question, I e-mailed Sandisk and Olympus both about M vs. non-M for the SP-350 as far as any speed advantage. Got a typical modern business non-answer from Sandisk. No e-mail reply from Oly yet, so I called Oly tech support. The guy said that the M and non-M types will work equally well in the SP-350 - no speed difference. He did tell me that they are coming out with a new type - Type H - in early '06 that *will* have a 2- to 3-times faster write speed than the M/non-M.
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 2:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the link. What a bummer. Anyone want to trade a 1Gig for a/some 256/512s?
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