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Old Jan 30, 2006, 12:19 PM   #1
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I think I picked the wrong media type....

I got the a85 when CF was still pretty strong in the market, and invested in a couple of CF cards (128mb, 512mb, 2GB)

Now looking at grading my a85 and to my dismay everything is SD...

even some of the newer DSLR are going that route now...

What I am wondering with SD already leading in read/write speeds, and quickly matching CF storage capacity (with the new 4GB max for SD cards) Will camera makers like Nikon and Canon continue to use CF, or will they forgo compatibility with older cameras to jump to a media that bring increase performance in a smaller size?

Wondering what are peoples thoughts areon this subject, should everyone be thinking of jumping the CF ship for the smaller faster SD cards (of course this is all in reference to all DSLR because if you are using anything else that ship has already sailed...)

Thanks a lot

Justapix
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 12:27 PM   #2
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The trend is for consumer digicams to go to SD with the exception of Fuji and Olympus who are locked into their own (rediculously slow) xD-Picture Card format. The pro SLRs will probably continue to use CompactFlash Type II card slots and the entry-level SLRs will go to SD cards.
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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Tell me about it. I hate it. CF is such a robust (hard to smash) card format and I have so MANY cards already.

My whole family owns only CF cameras, and now I'm seeing all these nice cams as SD only.

Hell! If only the S2 IS came in CF...
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 2:18 PM   #4
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steve wrote:
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...The pro SLRs will probably continue to use CompactFlash Type II card slots and the entry-level SLRs will go to SD cards.
First it is my understanding that SD is faster then CF type I or II
example: I/II http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-7345
as compared to http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-7344

Professionals will always go where the performance is, and I believe that CF format is starting to show its age where SD is just coming into its maturity.

I understand that CF still has the greater capacity and that is as important as performance, because it doesn't matter how fast your card is if you have to change cards in the middle of a shoot you could lose a shot, and as the image size increase's storage will always be an issue. But I believe the industry already has a solution to this problem.

we have already seen dual media camera's why not instead of excepting both media, just have multiple slots for SD cards, this would give you the performance of SD with out having to compromise on storage, because CF type II card is as big as 4 SD cards...

I also if I was in the DSLR market I would be staying away from the microdrives, for the simple fact that it has moving parts and there for more prone to failure, and also damage from ruff handling...

I do understand that CF is an entrenched media in the DSLR market right now, it would take sometime for people to make the full switch, but it would seem to me that the industry would lead toward performance.

What do other people think?

Thanks again for reading

justapix
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 3:23 PM   #5
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justapix

The CF speeds you linked to are camera dependent - i.e. it depends on the design of camera interface and not the actual CF bandwidth which can be higher (i.e. 16-bit wide vs a nibble for SD)

Check the actual CF to PC for example when a correct throughput is implemented :idea:
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 4:19 PM   #6
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NHL wrote:
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justapix

The CF speeds you linked to are camera dependent - i.e. it depends on the design of camera interface and not the actual CF bandwidth which can be higher (i.e. 16-bit wide vs a nibble for SD)

Check the actual CF to PC for example when a correct throughput is implemented :idea:
Well the way I look at it, I am always more interested in real world result then theoretical throughput, Because if the theoretical limits where the bench mark for the world then USB 2 would be faster than Firewire but in actual implementation, firewire is normally faster and more reliable

Another point is the Rob test I believe you are referring to is just the transfer speed of a card,
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...?cid=6007-6894

what it does not deal with are write speed in those test, which is what is really critical in the DSLR market, transfer speeds are just a "nice to have" but I would take faster write times any day. And that is the reason Rob did these tests, not show what the Possible throughput is, but to show how each camera performs and in regards to the write speed of the CF or SD media, and looking at these tests the SD cards are doing better in a head to head comparison.

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Old Jan 31, 2006, 4:54 PM   #7
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justapix wrote:
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What do other people think?
That you're wrong in over half what you writed.

First of all there's bigger than 4GB solid state CFs from multiple brands, it's just that how much there's demand for over 10GB cards?
And even 4GB cards are reasonably priced, even Sandisk Extreme IIIs.

And because CF is considerably bigger they can pack more cheaper to produce smaller capacity memory chips inside it instead of one/few big capacity and expensive/harder to manufacture chips. Already previous CF standard version had size limit of 137GB!
(bigger physical size also enables making them more durable for rough handling)
And it's still small enough, actually smaller cards are just much more harder to handle. I don't care if they use 5x5mm sized cards in ultracompact Point&Prays but if you want to have real working controls in camera CF card doesn't make it anymore bigger than what's needed for good controls... unless camera is capable to reading your mind and you can use your thoughts for controlling it!


And when it comes to interface/signalling of CF card it's basically similar to ATA interface used by PCs.
Current CF standard goes up to 66 megabytes per second speed (that's 440x while SDs are limited to 133x) and in PC's ATA standard went up to 133MB/s without any problems in signalling with long cables and without long cables that limit would be surely much much higher.
Main reason why parallel ATA wasn't developed further was that tens inches long cables makes using parallel transfer harder and other reason was airflow problems caused by wide flat cables. But without long distance cables parallel transfer works very well even with higher clock speeds, as example memories of graphic cards achieve their ~50 gigabyte/s speeds by using 256 bit wide bus and higher data rate... for comparison transfer rate of PC's normal/RAM memory used by operating system and software is ~5GB/s.
Same way CF cards wouldn't have problems for using parallel transfer with very high clock speeds/data rate per connector.


Also CF is only card type in which memory controller itself is in card. (which is similar to ATA (IDE) bus/interface)
This enables very big versatility in selecting memory chips which offer best speeds, capacity, are easier and cheaper to make because device using card doesn't itself see/directly access memory but just storage device on other end of data bus. (same reason why you can connect so different devices as HD and CD-ROM to same connection)
So if there's new type of memory chip it can be easily embedded to CF cards by just using right controller between CF card's interface and memory chips.

Now other memory cards have memory controller inside camera so if there's faster/bigger capacity/cheaper to make new technology memory chip they can't use it in those cards because it requires changing whole interface/card standard which means new cameras with new memory controllers inside camera and new card type.


So in any aspect CF is superior to other card types.
(unless you need to have matchbox sized automatic Point&Pray toy)


As side note SD standard appears to be layed with patent mines and royalty fees.




justapix wrote:
Quote:
what it does not deal with are write speed in those test, which is what is really critical in the DSLR market, transfer speeds are just a "nice to have" but I would take faster write times any day.

but to show how each camera performs and in regards to the write speed of the CF or SD media, and looking at these tests the SD cards are doing better in a head to head comparison.
Other card types have reading speed in speed rating equally much!
Memory chips used in them are mainly same ones.

Also don't blame card if camera maker is stingy and limits speed by using slower camera components.

Actually CF has highest speed, check Nikon D2x... also I wouldn't keep results of "engineering sample" cards as real unless proved by cards available in shops.
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Old Feb 1, 2006, 7:49 AM   #8
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justapix wrote:
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what it does not deal with are write speed in those test, which is what is really critical in the DSLR market, transfer speeds are just a "nice to have" but I would take faster write times any day. And that is the reason Rob did these tests, not show what the Possible throughput is, but to show how each camera performs and in regards to the write speed of the CF or SD media, and looking at these tests the SD cards are doing better in a head to head comparison.
As you can tell several folks here do this for a living

-> The write cycles are limited by the actual flash devices and not the interface (see timing below)! It doesn't matter if the same flash die is bonded to a CF or an SD shell. With an internal controller E.T points to you that a cache write can also be implemented if need be to parse out the slower writes to the actual flash dies inside the CF... Not so with SD

http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semi...K9WAG08U1M.htm
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Old Feb 1, 2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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One thing I like about SD is that you don't have to worry about bendng pins, and can easily clean the contacts on the card.

But, they are a bit tiny (CF is easier to handle/keep track of).

If you believe some of the rumours, we may start seeing higher end cameras shipping with no card slots at some point (enough internal memory built in so that you don't need extra memory cards).

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Old Feb 1, 2006, 1:32 PM   #10
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JimC wrote:
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One thing I like about SD is that you don't have to worry about bendng pins, and can easily clean the contacts on the card.
I don't know how anyone could get those pins bent without abuse, slots of card readers/cameras I've seen have been designed so that card can be pushed in only from right direction/position.

And now when you pointed that... those contacts actually cause considerable challenge for longevity of card... such visible contacts are "dream inputs" for even lowest voltage static electricity.
For comparison CFs are encased inside metal and inputs aren't visible.




PS. They better go for something like 20GB if they intend to drop card slots, otherwise I'm going to tell them my uncensored opinion where they can stuff whole camera.
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