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Old Nov 10, 2003, 5:32 PM   #1
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Default Careful buying extra memory...

I'm sure there are technical reasons for picking one mfgr. over another, but this is about the simple sales transaction.

ecost.com has some pretty good prices, free shipping and factory rebates on SD memory.

a. prices fluxuate on memory - be prepared to see it cheaper next week. (always been..part of the game.)

b. Free shipping does not mean - 'free handling'. Handling is about the same cost of shipping...

c. Rebates are not included with the product. You have to hunt for it on the site (they don't mention it on phone orders) and then snap-to...because it can vanish before you get the product - and find there's no coupon in the package.

There's no problem with the speed of the transaction, the skill of the order takers, etc. You just have to have to keep a tight eye on the little ball under the three walnut shells.

Jim
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 12:07 AM   #2
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I would add that all SD memory is not the same speed. There does not seem to be any speed noted on any of the packaging to date (like there is on CF cards) but I have tried about four different namebrands of SD card in my FZ1, and the lag varies significantly. I have tried Kingston, Lexar, Panasonic, and Smart. The Panasonic and Smart performed identical and the fastest of the four. The Kingston was noticeably slower than the Panasonic or Smart cards, but the Lexar was an absolute dog. With the Lexar, I was wondering if I didn't accidentally grab a MMC card instead! My FZ1 would not record video and the burst mode kept dying out on me when using the Lexar card. The performance of the Smart card surprised me because it is a very inexpensive, no-namebrand card. I picked up a Smart 256mb SD card from Ecost for $59 (after rebate), but just literally a few days later that was up as high as $20 more, even though it was still listed as a "sale"!

Yes, the handling charge that Ecost threw in the online purchase process on the last screen ticked me off. I am a big-time opponent of handling charges, and consider them right up there on my S--- List with mandatory tipping.
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 12:29 PM   #3
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...Staples (a stationers' for those outside the US) has a very good 256mb price right now..and you also get a free, USB ported card reader on rebate.

Thanks E-Z-O for the feedback on speed. I should probably be more concerned, but all my shots are well staged vs. a buddy who does SLR, action shots with a long lens and tripod. I tend to shoot the same fixed object 4-5 times, re-setting for a better angle or shadow.

....maybe with the I.S. and long lens - I'll be tempted to take some action shots too?! But then that means: I'm not IN the shot. Screw that...

Cheers.


Jim
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Old Nov 11, 2003, 12:57 PM   #4
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My shots are usually staged or single shots as well (usually with a flash), but there have definitely been times when I was taking pictures of my daughter at a competitive gymnastics meet where I was really appreciating the burst mode and even the AE bracketing until I figured out a good white balance/exposure adjustment. I would take pictures of her during her warm-ups/practice and then use the FZ1 in video mode to record her actual events.

By the by, the FZ1 worked VERY well in moderately lit gymnasium. The biggest problem was white balance, and I just manually set that using a white wall in the gym and everything turned out great after that. I was using a monopod, but even so there was some motion blur (her motion, not camera jiggle) in a lot of the pictures. I don't really mind that though, because (in my opinion) that give it an action art type look. For example, her head and upper body would be perfectly sharp, but her swinging legs would have motion blur. Looks pretty nifty.

Anyway, if you ever plan to do any sort of video clips or burst mode shots, I would try any memory card you buy using those features and return it to the store if its not up to snuff. That's what I did with the Lexar. I had bought it off Walmart.com, and discovered it performed poorly, so I sent it back. As coincidence would have it, although Walmart.com didn't list them, the local Wal-Mart had genuine Panasonic SD cards in stock, same capacity, but about $10 cheaper (not even including the few $ shipping). I stuck with Panasonic after that, except my most recent Smart purchase. I just couldn't pass up a $59 256mb SD card, and felt it was worth the risk to try it.
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Old Nov 12, 2003, 1:13 PM   #5
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....let's say, for the sake of argument, that I was somewhat eduacble. So, I nip this from the news wire of the other site:
____________________________

SimpleTech has today announced SD (Secure Digital) versions of its ProX(TM) line of high performance cards. They are available in 256MB and 512MB formats and are available for immediate delivery. "ProX SD cards provide ultra-fast data connectivity for nearly every device using SD cards on the market," said Ken Roberts, director of product marketing for SimpleTech. Manufacturer's suggested retail prices are $159 for 256MB and $299 for 512MB

______________________________

.....Is: "ultra-fast data connectivity"...mostly marketing, or, if not, then how would one really know? ..even if you could 'try-n-buy'?

Are not most of the things we think of as 'speed'; a series of events, or processing within, the camera itself?

I suspect I'm bracketed with a large percentage of users that only use the top 25% of their gear's abilities, and..... certainly feel as if I'm walking the halls of Harvard's School of Photography within this forum.

Cheers.

Jim
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 10:04 AM   #6
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To the best of my knowledge, all SD cards are SUPPOSED to offer the same speed (storage and access times), and the only way they can get the "SD" logo on the card it to comply with minimum performance requirements set by whoever has the patent for the SD formfactor. This is necessary because of the MMC versus SD differences. Most electronics that can take a SD card can also take MMC memory. However, the MMC memory is an older and much slower formfactor, and when using a MMC card instead of a SD card, most video players/recorders, digital cameras, MP3 players, etc., which depend greatly on access and write speed to the memory card, will not perform "as advertised" with MMC memory because it's just too slow.

All that being said about SD standards, Panasonic goes even further to tell you that they do not guarantee performance unless you use genuine Panasonic SD cards. So, obviously, Panasonic realizes that not all SD memory is created equal. Thankfully, Panasonic SD memory seems to be the most inexpensive that I've found (it's definitely the cheapest of the three brands at my local Wal-Mart).

Specifically in regard to the blurb you quoted from SimpleTech, I think they're just using the usual descriptive terms for SD memory, which is one of the fastest memory card formfactors (if not the fastest) on the market.
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Old Nov 15, 2003, 7:50 AM   #7
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Cool. Thanks Chris.... I would have neve thought of the patent licence idea?!

......the bit about; will not perform "as advertised". Sounds like a cut/paste from the chapter on:"Fear and Doubt as sales tools" in Marketing 101 textbook. (Dick Cheney has a signed, original copy in his office)

Jim
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