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Old Aug 21, 2006, 4:47 AM   #1
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I will most likely be getting a dSLR in future with a Microdrive slot+ CF card slot. However, I am interested in the microdrive format and would like to know which brand produces the most reliable microdrives. Is Hitachi the one? Iam interested to invest in the 1 GB to2 GBrange of high speed microdrives.

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Old Aug 21, 2006, 8:05 AM   #2
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It's probably just got one slot that is compatible with both CompactFlash Type I (used by most CompactFlash Cards) and CompactFlash Type II (used by Microdrives).

It's unlikely that it would have two CompactFlash slots (I'm not aware of any cameras that do; although you sometimes see another memory card type with a separate slot).

As inexpensive as flash based CompactFlash Cards are, I'd probably stick to electronic versus mechanical drives. But, some users like Microdrves.

If you're only buying 1 to 2GB drives, they're relatively inexpensive without going to a mechanical drive.

You do tend to see fewer problems from Hitachi drives versus some of the other brands. Steve has some info here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/microdrive.html


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Old Aug 21, 2006, 8:16 AM   #3
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Hi JimC,

I actually meant CF card slots that also accepts microdrives Such as cameras like the Sony R1 fix lens, Olympus E-500 dSLR, and the Nikon D70s etc...I heard that they also accept microdrives.

BTW, is the 1 GB and 2 GB version of microdrives non mechanical then? I am also curious to know how much does a high speed 1 to 2 GB one (microdrives) cost. (I actually prefer mechanical microdrives IMHO)

Regards.

Thanks for the link btw. Is Sony microdrives any good compared to the Hitachi one? I also noticed that there are 512 MB versions for Hitachi.





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Old Aug 21, 2006, 8:31 AM   #4
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All microdrives are mechanical.

As a general rule, they're slower than the faster CompactFlash cards and use more power.

CompactFlash media is getting to be pretty inexpensive anymore. For example, Outback.com recently had 1GB Lexar Pro CF 40x Cards on sale for $19.95 including shipping. ;-)

You can buy some of the off-brand 4GB cards for under $100 now at some vendors. That's the way I'd go if it were me.

I haven't seen any reports from users of the new Sony drives.

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Old Aug 21, 2006, 8:37 AM   #5
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Allright, thanks JimC.

I think I will go with the CF cards instead.

Regards.
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 9:15 AM   #6
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That's what I would use (solid state media with no moving parts). Make sure to check for any compatibilty issues when you choose a camera (some models are limited to 2GB since they don't support a 32 Bit FAT).

If you decide to go with a Microdrive, make sure to read the specs carefully when looking at speed. Some of them are rated Mbps (Megabits per Second) versus MB/second (Megabytes per Second), so the specs can be misleading since there are 8 bits to a byte (divide Megabits by 8 to get Megabytes).


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Old Aug 21, 2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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Oh, alright I will see to that JimC. :-)

I might or might not actually be getting an SLR with a CF slot due to some change of plans/advice from a different section in here...I might be going for the D50 that uses SD cards. :-)

Nevertheless, thanks for your useful informations.

Regards.
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 7:35 PM   #8
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I have used microdrives for years, since about 2000, and all of mine are still going strong. It used to be IBM was the one to get (it also used to be the ONLY one available). Hitachi bought the IBM microdrive business some years back. So if buying a microdrive I would stick with Hitachi.

But, as stated, the cost of solid state media has dropped considerably. It used to be that the cost of equivalent solid state storage was 4 or 5 times the cost of a microdrive. But no more. The solid state media is now very competitive, price wise, with microdrives. I expect we may even see the price cross over so that solid state becomes cheaper than microdrives very soon.

Today, unless you get an exceptionally good deal on a microdrive, I would go with a solid state card.
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