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microdrives

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February 12, 2005 4:12:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
photographer would notice?

Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
of one's eggs in one basket etc)

Thanks

Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)

More about : microdrives

Anonymous
February 12, 2005 6:26:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Word on the street is that as memory cards hold more and more memory, they
are a much better bet than a microdrive. Not long ago, a microdrive was the
only way to get a gig of memory into your camera. That's not the case now.

"Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1108242777.631339.278050@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> photographer would notice?
>
> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)
>
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 8:14:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1108242777.631339.278050@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> photographer would notice?

I have a 370MB IBM Microdrive that is 4 years old and a 1GB IBM Microdrive
that is 20 months old. Never had a problem with either of them from sea
level to 10,000'+.

As to slowing a camera down, I think it depends on the camera and what card
you are comparing it to. Check the following site for data on specific
cameras and cards:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=600...

> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> of one's eggs in one basket etc)

I use my microdrives in a Canon 10D. Until recently I only had the two
microdrives and a 512MB card. I only shoot in raw. On one battery charge I
could fill both microdrives and the card (up to 294 photos) using AI Servo
(continuos auto focus) with a Canon Image Stabilization lens. So I don't
think the micro drive drains the battery much more than a card.

As far as having 'all of one's eggs in one basket', my cards (512MB & 1GB)
are larger than my microdrives (370MB & 1GB). Card size for you may be
determined by how large your files are and how many shots you take in a day.
Consider the risk of loosing x number of shots on a large card if it goes
bad versus loosing a card(s) should you use many small cards.

All microdrives will go bad. All cards will go bad. Both cards and
micrdorives will survive a lot of write/read cycles before going bad.

Ron
Related resources
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 11:20:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Sheldon wrote:

> Word on the street is that as memory cards hold more and more memory, they
> are a much better bet than a microdrive. Not long ago, a microdrive was the
> only way to get a gig of memory into your camera. That's not the case now.

The only strong point with microdrives is the cost per MB ratio when
you have capacities over 2 Gigabytes. 4 and 6 Gig CF cards cost a LOT more
than their microdrive counterparts.

There's always been the "moving parts" fear, but believe it or not, microdrives
have been engineered to take abuse. When was the last time you ever heard someone
say they'd never used a laptop computer or a digital wallet or an iPod ?

Not many people sweat about the portable hard drives in these devices yet somehow
the moving parts in microdrives are failures just waiting to happen.

I'm another person who's used a 340MB IBM microdrive for over 4 years and
it's still going strong today in my pocket PC.
February 13, 2005 12:38:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Solid state storage is miles better, as they are not effected by altitude
and stand a better chance of survival should they be dropped. Microdrives
may be cheaper but i would pay the extra and get a Sandisk Ultra II compact
flashcard.

"Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1108242777.631339.278050@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> photographer would notice?
>
> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)
>
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 10:43:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote:

> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> photographer would notice?
>
> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)
>
>

They hate being dropped, don't work well at extremes of temperature and
often crash and burn above 10,000'. And yes, they are slower.
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 12:40:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Bubbabob" <rnorton@_remove_this_thuntek.net> wrote in message
news:Xns95FC74DFBB4Adilfjelfoiwepofujsdk@216.168.3.30...
> "Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote:
>
> > Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> > slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> > photographer would notice?
> >
> > Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> > of one's eggs in one basket etc)
> >
> They hate being dropped, don't work well at extremes of temperature and
> often crash and burn above 10,000'. And yes, they are slower.

I have heard this before, "often crash and burn above 10,000'." However, I
have never heard anyone say their microdrive crashed when they used it above
10,000'. I have a 370MB and a 1GB IBM Microdrives and both have been used
on Beartooth Pass in MT at elevations of 10,900'+ with no problems. Fact,
microdrives have been used above 10,000' without crashing and burning. Now
lets hear some facts about a microdrive crashing and burning while being
used at 10,000'+.

As far as being dropped, they are tougher than most people think. My 370MB
microdrive has taken a free fall from tabletop height to hard floor while in
my Canon G1with no problems. I don't remember any other falls while in a
camera, but I have probably dropped both the 370MB and 1GB while outside of
the camera.

I also have several CF cards and have never had trouble with them either.
If the CF card is as fast or faster than a MD of the same size and the card
is price competitive, get the card. If you can save money by getting a MD
don't be afraid to get one.

Ron
February 13, 2005 2:11:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tom <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote:

> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> photographer would notice?
>
> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>
> Thanks
>
> Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)

I use the 4gb version, it was about 1/2 the price of a solid state
equivalent, works fine for me! I hear a 6gb microdrive will be out soon.
I shoot RAW, so I need the space.
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 2:13:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <3tKdnQFeX8C5BpPfRVn-rQ@comcast.com>,
Sheldon <sheldon@XXXXXXXXsopris.net> wrote:
>Word on the street is that as memory cards hold more and more memory, they
>are a much better bet than a microdrive. Not long ago, a microdrive was the
>only way to get a gig of memory into your camera. That's not the case now.
>
>"Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:1108242777.631339.278050@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
>> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
>> photographer would notice?
>>
>> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
>> of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)
>>
>
>


My first CF card was a 1GB microdrive used in my dRebel. I shoot RAW
and the time to write a burst of 4 images to the disk was annoying but
I knew that I didn't buy a pro camera.

Recently I needed a second CF card and bought a iGB Sandisk ultra II
(whatever that means). It's significantly faster, but still slow (say
30 sec vs 45 sec) It's also a year newer technology.

One thing I've noticed with the microdrive is that if I shoot, delete
some files, and shot some more the time to write 4 raw images (appx
28MB total) skyrockets upwards when the disk is more than 2/3 full. I
attribute this to FAT fragmentation.

Fragmentation doesn't slow down a solid state disk.

FWIW I recently played with a friends D20. His camera writes to my
flash card faster than mine does, so the card is not the bottleneck
for me. The dRebel is. When I bought my fash card it was the cheap
one, not the fast one. I guess I made the right decision and saved a
couple bucks.

IMO microdrives have been bypassed by flash CF cards.

--

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 4:07:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 20:20:20 -0600, Jim Townsend <not@real.address>
wrote:

>Sheldon wrote:
>
>> Word on the street is that as memory cards hold more and more memory, they
>> are a much better bet than a microdrive. Not long ago, a microdrive was the
>> only way to get a gig of memory into your camera. That's not the case now.
>
>The only strong point with microdrives is the cost per MB ratio when
>you have capacities over 2 Gigabytes. 4 and 6 Gig CF cards cost a LOT more
>than their microdrive counterparts.
>
>There's always been the "moving parts" fear, but believe it or not, microdrives
>have been engineered to take abuse. When was the last time you ever heard someone
>say they'd never used a laptop computer or a digital wallet or an iPod ?
>
>Not many people sweat about the portable hard drives in these devices yet somehow
>the moving parts in microdrives are failures just waiting to happen.

Professionals do sweat it and the back up of drives is a major concern
in any environment where critical data is keep.
>
>I'm another person who's used a 340MB IBM microdrive for over 4 years and
>it's still going strong today in my pocket PC.

But you do backup your laptop or pocket PC regularly (daily). I can't
backup the images in my camera for perhaps hours or even days.

I have another life as a system manager at a University and have seen
microdrives fail and would not trust them when I have the option of a
CF for a few dollars more.
***************************************************************

"Americans have plenty of everything and the best of nothing."

John C. Keats
American Writer
1924-2000
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 4:07:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <9uju01dj353vdmkrih9gmfdu0lmbu4dvqe@4ax.com>,
John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
>On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 20:20:20 -0600, Jim Townsend <not@real.address>
>wrote:
>
>>Sheldon wrote:
>>
>>> Word on the street is that as memory cards hold more and more memory, they
>>> are a much better bet than a microdrive. Not long ago, a microdrive was the
>>> only way to get a gig of memory into your camera. That's not the case now.
>>
>>The only strong point with microdrives is the cost per MB ratio when
>>you have capacities over 2 Gigabytes. 4 and 6 Gig CF cards cost a LOT more
>>than their microdrive counterparts.
>>
>>There's always been the "moving parts" fear, but believe it or not, microdrives
>>have been engineered to take abuse. When was the last time you ever heard someone
>>say they'd never used a laptop computer or a digital wallet or an iPod ?
>>
>>Not many people sweat about the portable hard drives in these devices yet somehow
>>the moving parts in microdrives are failures just waiting to happen.
>
>Professionals do sweat it and the back up of drives is a major concern
>in any environment where critical data is keep.
>>
>>I'm another person who's used a 340MB IBM microdrive for over 4 years and
>>it's still going strong today in my pocket PC.
>
>But you do backup your laptop or pocket PC regularly (daily). I can't
>backup the images in my camera for perhaps hours or even days.
>
>I have another life as a system manager at a University and have seen
>microdrives fail and would not trust them when I have the option of a
>CF for a few dollars more.


Any media can fail, or get stolen, or catch fire. What to back and
how often is driven first, by the data, not the media.
--

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
Anonymous
February 13, 2005 11:24:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tom wrote:
> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they do
> slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
> photographer would notice?

They are generally reliable, though not a substitute for archiving
originals in a more perminant format.

They do slow cameras down. Some cameras have a buffer that allow
multiple shots to be taken before they're all committed to storage
memory. Those cameras will endure less of a slowdown, though depending
on how they operate, they may enjoy fewer fast-frame continuous shots.

Anyone who wishes to take a few shots in quick succession will notice.
As a matter of fact, anyone who wants to look at the picture they just
took, a fraction of a second or so after having taken it, will notice
too, as it will take longer to complete the "commit to storage" step,
and longer to retrieve it. How much longer is hard to say, and whether
you in specific will care is hard to say as well.

> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
> of one's eggs in one basket etc)

Downsides: Yes, power usage is an issue. So is heat; microdrives do get
warm. It's hard to know whether that will be an issue that matters at
all or not. They also are "mechanical", rather than "solid state". So
there are moving parts to wear out or to be damaged by impacts. But on
the other hand, they do tend to be fairly robust.

Having all eggs in one basket? You don't use them for archival
purposes, that's all. Commit your originals to CD or something, and use
the microdrive as transient storage, just as you would a normal CF card.
Of course it never hurts to have a backup plan when you're in the
field, so carrying a regular CF too is a good idea.

With CF cards in the 1gig or larger category already out on the market
at reasonable prices, is a microdrive really relevant? Maybe... maybe
not. ;) 

I have a 1gig SD card in my DSLR, and it holds about 340 6mp photos in
the highest quality jpeg mode. In raw mode, it's more like 70. At $89
bucks, I could carry a couple of them around, shoot 100% raw photos, and
still have enough storage for 140 shots. ...or 680 in the highest
quality jpeg mode.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 12:26:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Just out of curiosity, how many of the folks in here have actually EXPERIENCED a
microdrive failure? A real one, where the data becomes inaccessible...?

I've got 3 1GB microdrives, 1 2GB microdrive and 1 Lexar solid state card. ANY
of the microdrives writes faster than the 40X Lexar in my S2 Pro. Period. I've
done emprical tests with all of them and they are CONSISTENTLY faster by 10 -
12%.

They've also been banged, dropped, bumped, and mishandled at various times.

I've used them in temperatures from 100 degrees to 15 below zero.

I've used them at the top of Mount Evans in Colorado at WELL over 10,000 feet...

I'VE NEVER HAD A MICRODRIVE FAIL. So where is the temperature problem? Where
is the problem with altitude? Where is the sensitivity to handling?

OH, and since we're doing anecdotal "my failure can top your failure" I DID
recently have a MAJOR failure of the CF card... Which caused several DAYS of
effort to recover the files......... IT WAS THE (*&^%$#@ Lexar card, which
incidentally cost over TWICE AS MUCH AS THE microdrives.....

I wouldn't discard the microdrive as a viable storage medium based on anything
I've seen so far. As always, YMMV.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 12:26:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 21:26:31 -0600, dperez@juno_nospam.com wrote:

>Just out of curiosity, how many of the folks in here have actually EXPERIENCED a
>microdrive failure? A real one, where the data becomes inaccessible...?

I have, but it happened within the first 20 minutes of use. I sent it back to
Magicstor in HK and they replaced it. The replacement has been working
fine but I'm real careful to treat it very gently.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 10:31:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Ron Recer" <ron48@aol.com> wrote:

>
> "Bubbabob" <rnorton@_remove_this_thuntek.net> wrote in message
> news:Xns95FC74DFBB4Adilfjelfoiwepofujsdk@216.168.3.30...
>> "Tom" <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote:
>>
>> > Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if
>> > they do slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a
>> > sports photographer would notice?
>> >
>> > Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having
>> > all of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>> >
>> They hate being dropped, don't work well at extremes of temperature
>> and often crash and burn above 10,000'. And yes, they are slower.
>
> I have heard this before, "often crash and burn above 10,000'."
> However, I have never heard anyone say their microdrive crashed when
> they used it above 10,000'. I have a 370MB and a 1GB IBM Microdrives
> and both have been used on Beartooth Pass in MT at elevations of
> 10,900'+ with no problems. Fact, microdrives have been used above
> 10,000' without crashing and burning. Now lets hear some facts about
> a microdrive crashing and burning while being used at 10,000'+.

You've been lucky. Read the manufacturer's specs.
>
> As far as being dropped, they are tougher than most people think. My
> 370MB microdrive has taken a free fall from tabletop height to hard
> floor while in my Canon G1with no problems. I don't remember any
> other falls while in a camera, but I have probably dropped both the
> 370MB and 1GB while outside of the camera.

You've been lucky. Read the manufacturer's specs.
>
> I also have several CF cards and have never had trouble with them
> either. If the CF card is as fast or faster than a MD of the same size
> and the card is price competitive, get the card. If you can save
> money by getting a MD don't be afraid to get one.
>
> Ron
>
>
>
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 10:33:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dperez@juno_nospam.com wrote:

> Just out of curiosity, how many of the folks in here have actually
> EXPERIENCED a microdrive failure? A real one, where the data becomes
> inaccessible...?

Me. 1 gig Hitachi.
>
> I've got 3 1GB microdrives, 1 2GB microdrive and 1 Lexar solid state
> card. ANY of the microdrives writes faster than the 40X Lexar in my
> S2 Pro. Period. I've done emprical tests with all of them and they
> are CONSISTENTLY faster by 10 - 12%.
>
> They've also been banged, dropped, bumped, and mishandled at various
> times.
>
> I've used them in temperatures from 100 degrees to 15 below zero.
>
> I've used them at the top of Mount Evans in Colorado at WELL over
> 10,000 feet...
>
> I'VE NEVER HAD A MICRODRIVE FAIL. So where is the temperature
> problem? Where is the problem with altitude? Where is the
> sensitivity to handling?

You've been lucky. Read the manufacturer's specs.

>
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 12:00:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Keith wrote:
> Tom <tbgibb@aol.com> wrote:
>
>> Are these things reliable? Do they slow a camera down? And if they
>> do slow a camera down is it in such a manner that only a sports
>> photographer would notice?
>>
>> Are there any downsides to these things (like power usage, having all
>> of one's eggs in one basket etc)
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Tom (with visions of gigabites dancing in his head)
>
> I use the 4gb version, it was about 1/2 the price of a solid state
> equivalent, works fine for me! I hear a 6gb microdrive will be out
> soon. I shoot RAW, so I need the space.

I have two 4GB Microdrives here for my Maxxum 7D. I did finally manage
to get carried away last week in RAW mode enough to get the whole kit
and kaboodle bogged down for a while trying to catch up, but otherwise
I'm pleased as punch with them. Alas, I don't have any experience with
solid state cards to compare too. And from a couple reviews I've seen
on the 7D, it's apparently kinda slow no matter what it's writing to,
but I still love it!

Bob ^,,^
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 12:44:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I would add one caveat to my assessment of microdrives...

There appear to have been MAJOR problems with the Magicstore brand of
microdrives. I don't know whether or not they've been fixed in the past year
but I did read about a LOT of failures in various forums from people getting the
Magicstore units...

Note: These are NOT the IBM or Hitachi drives. I believe they're from another
manufacturer...
!