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Old Sep 13, 2006, 3:13 PM   #1
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My 7900 displays "this card cannot be used" message when I am trying to use a brand new 4GB SanDisk Extreme III card. The camera will not allow to format the card. I formatted the card with the Panasonic SD formater utility under WinXP, but the message persists. What is the maximum card capacity which can be used with the 7900? Does it accept FAT32 formatting ? Please, help !!!
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Old Sep 13, 2006, 9:01 PM   #2
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Nikon's approved cards list only includes SD cards through 1GB in size:

Approved Cards List for Nikon Coolpix 7900


Lexar's web site shows that it will work with their 2GB cards though (and many cameras do have problems with 2GB SD cards, even though 2GB is within the size supported by a 16 bit FAT):

http://www.lexar.com/2gbsd/index.html

But, I've found no evidence that this camera will work with cards larger than 2GB.


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Old Sep 14, 2006, 11:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I managed to find the information on the Nikon site which confirms that 7900 does not support FAT32,what means a definite no no for the 4GB and larger cards. I am quite surprised that the reviewers did not pick on this fact. Even my old Canon S50allows theFAT32.
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Old Sep 14, 2006, 12:11 PM   #4
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It's not just the File System type when looking at Secure Digital either.

There are some design differences in the communications protocol used by larger SD Cards that impact compatiblity. So, even if the camera supported a 32 Bit FAT, it may not be compatible with larger cards.

You see the same problem with card readers and Secure Digital. A number of card readers refuse to work with any Secure Digital Cards over 1GB in size (and even a 16 bit FAT supports 2GB partition sizes).

You see even more compatiblity issues with xD Picturecard. Even 1GB "Type H" Xd Cards won't work in a number of cameras (many models tend to be limited to 512MB), due to design differences in the communications protocol used by these larger cards.

So, it's usually best to check with the manufacturer before assuming that a camera will work with a given card size, especially with memory types other than CompactFlash, regardless of the file system types it supports.



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Old Sep 18, 2006, 6:42 AM   #5
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Oh, brother, we live in the complicated memory world...
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 11:30 AM   #6
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amplitron wrote:
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Thanks for the reply. I managed to find the information on the Nikon site which confirms that 7900 does not support FAT32,what means a definite no no for the 4GB and larger cards. I am quite surprised that the reviewers did not pick on this fact. Even my old Canon S50allows theFAT32.

In our defense, we reviewed the Nikon7900 in June of last year. The 2GB and 4GB SD cards weren't even available yet- even 1GB cards were priced out of the reach of normal consumers. Only just recently have we seen the availability of 2GB and 4GB SD cards with drastically reduced prices. The Canon S50 uses CompactFlash type cards (not SD)and large capacity CF cardswith FAT32 have been inuse for several years now. Most all of the new cameras announced this year now support the SDHC specification for SD cards with capacities over 2GB.
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 1:48 PM   #7
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for your comments. It is true what you are saying about the availability of the larger SD and CF cards. However, I would expect at least a mention of the allowed by the manufacturer max size of the card, even if that cannot be tested at given moment. Sometimes this info is not available for the mortals like myself, not even on the official manufacturers support pages, eg I cant find out if Canon S80 allows for4GB cards.Please, include this information in your reviews in the future. Now, what am I going to do with my new Sandisk Extrreme III 4 GB SD memory....
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 3:27 PM   #8
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I have exactly the same issue with my Coolpix P4. The only workaround that i have found is to format the card on a Mac with FAT16 (you have to use CLI to do that). That that shrinks the size to 2GB, but at least you can use half of the card. If you are going to do that, don't forget to delete the hidden . files that Mac puts on the card.

I'm really pissed off about this whole deal since the specs for the SDHC have been out since Feb this year and that's when P4 was released. There's also been 1 firmware update since then. Clearly Nikon could have expected that SDHC will be available soon and planned for support of the standard as soon as it became final. Other companies have done it, why didn't they. I've been emailing Nikon support for probalby about a month now. They tell me that Nikon has no plans of fixing this issue even in the next firmare. That's more that 6 months since the standard has been out.

Should have gone with Canon, since the card works fine in Canon SD series cameras. Not sure about S80, but you can always go to a store and test it.
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 9:05 AM   #9
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Hello Barabashka, thanks for the Canon suggestion, I have done just that - tested the card with the S80 and it worked OK. I am waiting to see if it works with the G7, - I am looking forward to buying one if the reviews are OK.
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