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Higuma Apr 23, 2003 10:48 PM

E-20 and 1GB Microdrive....
Long time lurker and first time poster...

I have owned a E-20 for a little over a year now and am considering an upgrade to a Canon 10D as they are now quite commonly available here in Japan... I am an ex-pat Canadian living in Sapporo, Japan

Until I can make the final decision to proceed with the upgrade - I would like to purchase a new accessory / toy. As opposed to making a redundant purchase that will not be compatable with any future upgrades, I am considering the purchase of a 1GB Microdrive...

Now on to my question - - I remember reading somewhere that the E-20 may require the addition of the Li-Ion battery pack in order for the microdrive to work properly - I assume it is because of power load
- Is this true?
- Can any of you shed some light on the Microdrive use with the E-20?
- Also what about write times to a microdrive - longer, shorter ?

Thanks in advance - Any input on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

NHL Apr 24, 2003 6:01 AM

The E-20 use the same 4 NiMh as the D7's so power shouldn't be an issue, in fact it does not sport an EVF so this should only help. The NiMh can be bought with 2100mAh rating far more than any proprietary Li-Ion you can find, and also doesn't stickout with cable like most external adapters you can buy (or add to the weight)!

Speed is hard to say since it'll depend on each particular camera. Fast Flash cards now are also very competitive in pricing as well (draw less power)... Are you considering on using the microdrive in a laptop as well?

marokero Apr 24, 2003 9:44 AM

The E-20 shouldn't require the LiPo battery in order to be able to use a Microdrive. But you might see slightly decreased battery life. As for write speed, you will not see any improvements or detriments, as the E-10/20 write at a maximum speed of ~600KB/s regardless of media, but with some Sandisk compactflashes (non Ultra) you may see slower performance (~400KB/s).

Klaus DK Apr 24, 2003 9:56 AM

Ever dropped your CF card ? Hmm... I do lots of times ( maybe I'm getting too old for this...). and nothing happened :D
You should beware that, IF you drop a microdrive - you almost certain will damage of my friends dropped the 1gb 20cm on a table - and it was gone! :x :x :x

Why not go for an 1gb ultraspeed CF card and pay that extra ?!!!

Higuma Apr 25, 2003 2:17 AM

Thanks for the replies....


I can't see removing a micro-drive from the slot all that much.. I would likely just leave it in the camera - so I don't think that breakage is too much of an issue...

Also 1 GB Ultra CF is getting better in price but there may verywell be a size compatability issue - I think in previous posts that the largest CF anyone has used with success is a 512mb even though Olympus says that 256mb is max compatible.....


I am currently using 1700 mAh with good luck but I am troubled by the remarks from the manual below... The set they are referring to is the Large $ battery grip / vert. shutter job....


The Following is from the Olympus Manual in PDF

Microdrive (sold separately)
A hard disk, based on the CF
Type II standard, that can be
used with this camera. It is
compact with high storage
capacity. Due to power
requirements, an optional
B-32LPS or B-30LPS lithium
polymer battery set is needed to
use a Microdrive with this


So... Is there anybody out there who is currently using a microdrive in an E-20 without the Li-po battery grip OR does somebody have both and could test the use of the drive without the Li-po grip...\


NHL Apr 25, 2003 8:50 AM

You've done your homework I see... one can shoot all day(s) with a microdrive and no more of where did I leave that card feeling? There'll always negative opinion about a mechanical device, and also not that I wanted it too, but my MP3 player have been dropped accidentally more than once (while playing). I can still hear music spinning out to my amazement from this old 340Mb microdrive! :lol: Their designers of course have thought about this, since they have spec'ed the drives for 1500G shock outside the camera (BTW a CF flash is rated for 2000G).


Due to power requirements, an optional B-32LPS or B-30LPS lithium polymer battery set is needed to use a Microdrive with this camera.
What is the rating of the B-32LPS or B-30LPS? You can then easily figure out then if the Nimh batteries exceed this or not... Remember too that the Oly manual is probably published several years ago when high-powered NiMh were still a rarity!

Klaus DK Apr 25, 2003 1:55 PM


I can't see removing a micro-drive from the slot all that much.. I would likely just leave it in the camera
Well I can shoot about 96 raw frames on one GB and do often. So I guess its a matter of how much you shoot, isn't it. And I speak of my own experiences. I had to buy an Image Tank of 20GB to hold down cost of CF Cards. But maybe you shoot in low res. JPG and can hold thusands of photos - lucky you. I never shoot in anything than raw.


I'm glad your MP3s still playing. My friend had to return his MD. That's my story. I dont believe everything I read about MD and the manufactures test a.s o. They write to make you believe and buy - not to satisfy you. They cant drop a MD on any ground in any way, cant you! Maybe your lucky - maybe not.

NHL Apr 25, 2003 3:10 PM


I knew I was going to get you excited... Remember what I posted previously:

Fast Flash cards now are also very competitive in pricing as well (draw less power)...
20cm is well within the microdrive limit especially when it's out of the camera and the head is parked like most portable 2.5" hardisks!

Everyone who is considering a microdrive knew already its trade-off against flash cards and made a conscious decision with respect to their need. I haven't found anything portable writing faster for my laptops on huge files(ie not the card buffer size) yet, beside another hardisk! Have you?

Klaus DK Apr 25, 2003 4:16 PM

No. But it's not a problem for me getting the files into my PC or image tank on time. My image tank is slow - but it doesn't matter. I have several cards to use, while uploading pics to the tank. No problem right now! So I dont exceed(!) in speedy hardware other than my highspeed compact flash cards.

BTW I'm not excited - you should know from old times big discussions on 7i versus 5700 - agree ? :D

Higuma Apr 26, 2003 12:09 AM

My experience over the past 14 months with the E-20 is that I should be able to shoot about 75 raw images on a 1gb Microdrive...

My technique at present is to compose a photo for light, exposure, integrity of image, focus etc.., and shoot to a 128mb smartmedia / examine and only after happy with the shot then reshoot in Raw on the CF card.... this technique works for me and so 75 raw images to a card / drive is plenty as I am "composing" photos and not blasting off "snapshots"... If I need to shoot action / sports I will not be doing it in raw mode because of buffer / write time problems...


Please refer to the purpose of my original post - I am looking to spend some money on an upgrade to my E-20 that will not be redundant if I decide to upgrade to a Canon 10D in the near future...

I feel that my questions have been answered but - - NHL - - how should I calculate the strength or longevity of my 4 x 1700 mAh batteries compared to the Olympus LiPo battery pack???

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