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Old May 14, 2003, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default Faster Lexar compact flash. Helpfull???

Hi. I've seen some new compact flash by Lexar. They have some that is rated at 40x. Can anyone tell me what kind of benefit this is if at all? I will be using it in an Olympus 5050.
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Old May 14, 2003, 4:30 PM   #2
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Don't know about your Oly, but in my 602 I'd expect it to be as fast or faster writing than a Microdrive and ideally as fast as Smartmedia, fast on multi-shot mode and saves and run 30fps VGA video until the card fills, without a frozen frame in sight!

However nothing is ever as simple or as guaranteed as you think.
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Old May 14, 2003, 8:15 PM   #3
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What is the rated throughput of a Microdrive? I'm not talking about the older first Generation ones, but the newer 1/2G and 1G ones. I'd be surprised if a consumer camera can write faster than a MD can take. If true, then the faster 40x Lexar would be about the same (a little faster/slower) then a MD but not anything you'd write home about.

Of course, this is said when having no experience with the Olympus 5050 or a MicroDrive. It just seems logical... my logic could easily be faulty due to my ignorance.

I really wish the manufacturers would publish the rated throughput speeds of their cameras. I'm not looking for guarentees, but something like "around 8x" or something... so you know that a 12x might, just maybe, be a little faster, if you're lucky. But a 40x would be a waste of money (if you're only buying for speed reasons.)
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Old May 15, 2003, 7:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
However nothing is ever as simple or as guaranteed as you think.
Well that was the reason for my final line. The Fuji 602 was designed for SM and Microdrive (although CF 'works'). CF architecture, which can be different between manufacturers, may not always give the right marriage to your camera.

So when someone says to me 'it's a 40X card' I think yes, but what does that mean in my cam or anybody elses, or my future cam! My benchmark for comparison will always be the media (SM/MD) around which I believe the cam interface was designed.

So I believe you are right, but it's not just cam makers giving an interface speed though, it's whether they can say there is perfect interoperability and in harmony with the media specification to Guarantee what we want - the end result for cam with any media, where only size and price differentiate!

So are we back to all cam makers building to a common interface standard, to which media manufacturers can work? - and I don't just mean the connector and the number of pins it has!

It sometimes seems like film or vhs tapes are more standardised than CF.

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I'd be surprised if a consumer camera can write faster than a MD can take
I'd like to think that solid state memory (not just flash!) has the potential to always be written to faster than a MD. But if you cut price and build a slow proc. and small buffer into the cam you never realise the potential speed. So in a speed race, filling up the media with multiple files, I'd still expect a cheaper Smartmedia cam to give even MD a run and not be picky about the media spec.
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Old May 15, 2003, 9:37 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, solid state memory (flash) will not always be faster than a microdrive. I've had to write drivers for flash memory. You have to write specific patters to the flash to put it into a write state (which can take a moment or two) and then write to block of memory you just made "writable". Then you really should verify that the write took (don't know if all do that, though.) So I could easily envision a situation where a MD could be written to faster than CF just because there is less overhead for the MD.

Its the classic situation that with fast enough flash, a CF could be faster. But the same logic applies to a MD, and with a MD you don't have the extra write logic overhead, so by sending it less data per write it doesn't have to be "technically" faster, to be "practically" faster (if that makes sense.)
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Old May 21, 2003, 12:40 PM   #6
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The straight facts... using a Nikon 5000 writing a 15mb .tiff file, here are the results. Hold onto your hats.

SanDisk 128mb CF - 80 seconds (slightly less than eternity)
IBM MicroDrive 340mb - 40 seconds
Delkin E Film 512mb CF - 40 seconds
Lexar 512mb 40x WA CF - 26 seconds
Lexar 32mb 8x - 24 seconds

You won't know what card works best unless you time it in your specific camera. You can look at numbers and technology all you want but until you try each card in your camera, you won't really know.
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Old May 21, 2003, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
Unfortunately, solid state memory (flash) will not always be faster than a microdrive. I've had to write drivers for flash memory. You have to write specific patters to the flash to put it into a write state (which can take a moment or two) and then write to block of memory you just made "writable". Then you really should verify that the write took (don't know if all do that, though.) So I could easily envision a situation where a MD could be written to faster than CF just because there is less overhead for the MD...
This man knows what he's talking about... I second Eric! and I'd like to add that each flash manufacturer has a different write algorithm for each of their individual devices. The verify write that Eric is referring to, is to ensure that each device met the different required write times! :lol: :lol: :lol:

You can usually mask out the flash write deficiency by jumping between pages rather than blocks or put in another buffer inside the card between the flash and the camera. You can usually tell this by writing continuous mpeg data until this card's buffer is overwhelmed eventually. ops:
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Old May 21, 2003, 10:54 PM   #8
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Ahh, I didn't think of the buffers. When I had to deal with flash, it was with flash on custom boards, not CF. I bet the buffers are required (and large) to sustain anything near the 40x some of the faster CF cards will do.

NHL

I see "EOS-10D" in your signature. Congratulations! I'm hoping to take possition of mine this week.

seidstep

That microdrive is the older model, so I'm not surprised that it's slow. I do find it a bit surprising that the 8x is that fast. The 128 SanDisk is quite slow, so that was to be expected. How fast was that Delkin?

Thanks for posting thost times, btw. It should be helpful for others as well.
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Old May 21, 2003, 11:14 PM   #9
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That microdrive is the older model, so I'm not surprised that it's slow...
We had a previous posting on this... apparently the Coolpixes do not like the microdrives. On the D7's there's barely a difference between the older 340Mb and the 1G and they sit at ~12s for a raw 5Mp file!
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