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CF Format Question

Last response: in Digital Camera
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June 22, 2005 11:15:13 AM

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

I have a Canon EOS 20D, and am new to the world of digital SLR
photography. However, I am somewhat of a computer geek.

I purchased 2 Sandisk Ultra II (1GB) cards for the camera.

While I know that Canon is using the FAT32 file system format for the
CF memory, does anyone know if improvements in performance/speed can be
achieved by using a cluster size other than the default by formatting
the card via Windows as opposed to lettting the camera format the card?

Any other useful hints/tips are appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Chris

More about : format question

Anonymous
June 22, 2005 2:35:56 PM

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

Chris wrote:
>
> I have a Canon EOS 20D, and am new to the world of digital SLR
> photography. However, I am somewhat of a computer geek.
>
> I purchased 2 Sandisk Ultra II (1GB) cards for the camera.
>
> While I know that Canon is using the FAT32 file system format for the
> CF memory, does anyone know if improvements in performance/speed can be
> achieved by using a cluster size other than the default by formatting
> the card via Windows as opposed to lettting the camera format the card?
>
> Any other useful hints/tips are appreciated!
>
> Thanks in advance,
> Chris

Rob Galbraith tested a 4GB Sandisk Ultra II at 4k and 32k clusters -
virtually no difference in write speed. However, with a 4GB Hitachi
Microdrive, the 32k clusters resulted in noticebly faster writes.

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

-Dave
June 22, 2005 3:35:58 PM

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

Thanks Dave.

I posted this question to the Canon technical support people and of
course their response was that they would only support CF formatting
done inside of the camera. They suggested that I not use Windows to do
the formatting.

Given that there is no noticeable difference in performance, I guess I
will simply let the camers format the 2 CF cards I've purchased.

Thanks,
Chris
Related resources
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 6:40:09 PM

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

On 22 Jun 2005 07:15:13 -0700, "Chris" <ctaliercio@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I have a Canon EOS 20D, and am new to the world of digital SLR
>photography. However, I am somewhat of a computer geek.
>
>I purchased 2 Sandisk Ultra II (1GB) cards for the camera.
>
>While I know that Canon is using the FAT32 file system format for the
>CF memory, does anyone know if improvements in performance/speed can be
>achieved by using a cluster size other than the default by formatting
>the card via Windows as opposed to lettting the camera format the card?
>
>Any other useful hints/tips are appreciated!

I think it's wise to always let the camera format the card. Nobody
knows better than it regarding cluster size or what should and
shouldn't be there.

OTOH it costs nothing to play....

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 9:28:58 PM

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

"Chris" <ctaliercio@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1119449713.349748.301310@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>I have a Canon EOS 20D, and am new to the world of digital SLR
> photography. However, I am somewhat of a computer geek.
>
> I purchased 2 Sandisk Ultra II (1GB) cards for the camera.
>
> While I know that Canon is using the FAT32 file system format for the
> CF memory, does anyone know if improvements in performance/speed can be
> achieved by using a cluster size other than the default by formatting
> the card via Windows as opposed to lettting the camera format the card?
>
> Any other useful hints/tips are appreciated!
>
> Thanks in advance,
> Chris
>

As the OP said, if you want to reduce the chances of having a problem,
always format in-camera.
Anonymous
June 22, 2005 10:17:07 PM

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

In article <1119449713.349748.301310@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
Chris <ctaliercio@yahoo.com> wrote:

> While I know that Canon is using the FAT32 file system format for the
> CF memory, does anyone know if improvements in performance/speed can be
> achieved by using a cluster size other than the default by formatting
> the card via Windows as opposed to lettting the camera format the card?

Format it in the camera.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 1:01:13 AM

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

In article <1119449713.349748.301310@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
ctaliercio@yahoo.com (Chris) wrote:
> While I know that Canon is using the FAT32 file system format for the
> CF memory, does anyone know if improvements in performance/speed can be
> achieved by using a cluster size other than the default by formatting
> the card via Windows as opposed to lettting the camera format the card?
Stop thinking of the card as if it were a hard disk - cluster size makes
no difference and probably doesn't even exist as a concept in a CF card.
It's just a bunch of memory with an interface to make it look like a hard
drive for access purposes. (Dunno about the 20 but the 350D basically runs
DOS.)

Iain
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 1:01:14 AM

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

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005 21:01:13 GMT, Iain Laskey, getting his theories
from somewhere in the wildblueyonder wrote:

> Stop thinking of the card as if it were a hard disk - cluster size makes
> no difference and probably doesn't even exist as a concept in a CF card.
> It's just a bunch of memory with an interface to make it look like a hard
> drive for access purposes. (Dunno about the 20 but the 350D basically runs
> DOS.)

You're completely wrong, otherwise images could only be
transferred from the camera via USB, and the cards used wouldn't be
recognized by computers when inserted in card readers, nor would
image recovery software have any chance of success. Cluster size
does make a difference. Perhaps not a speed difference since there
are no physical latencies to deal with as there would be with
microdrives, but if a very large cluster size is used, the number of
images that could be stored on the card could be greatly reduced,
especially if the camera is set to use small (low resolution) files.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 5:11:24 AM

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

ASAAR wrote:

> On Wed, 22 Jun 2005 21:01:13 GMT, Iain Laskey, getting his theories
> from somewhere in the wildblueyonder wrote:
>
>
>>Stop thinking of the card as if it were a hard disk - cluster size makes
>>no difference and probably doesn't even exist as a concept in a CF card.
>>It's just a bunch of memory with an interface to make it look like a hard
>>drive for access purposes. (Dunno about the 20 but the 350D basically runs
>>DOS.)
>
>
> You're completely wrong, otherwise images could only be
> transferred from the camera via USB, and the cards used wouldn't be
> recognized by computers when inserted in card readers, nor would
> image recovery software have any chance of success. Cluster size
> does make a difference. Perhaps not a speed difference since there
> are no physical latencies to deal with as there would be with
> microdrives, but if a very large cluster size is used, the number of
> images that could be stored on the card could be greatly reduced,
> especially if the camera is set to use small (low resolution) files.
>
Hi,
So, after all it acts like HD, a storage device.
Tony
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 5:11:25 AM

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

In article <0%nue.1777174$Xk.1178179@pd7tw3no>, Tony Hwang
<dragon40@shaw.ca> wrote:

> So, after all it acts like HD, a storage device.

Want to avoid problems? Format the damned thing in the camera.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 5:11:25 AM

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

On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 01:11:24 GMT, Tony Hwang wrote:

> Hi,
> So, after all it acts like HD, a storage device.

Yes. And flash cards have been used as low power solid-state
storage devices in PDAs, and before that in hand held computers that
had insufficient battery power for traditional hard drives, long
before they were used in consumer oriented cameras. The first one I
had was a PCMCIA card that had all of 32MB of memory, used in an HP
200lx MSDOS computer (about twice the size of a PDA) as well as in a
laptop. If I put my 512MB xD card in a CF adapter, and put the CF
adapter into a PCMCIA adapter, it works as a storage device with my
desktop computer too, when inserted in its PCMCIA card reader.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 7:52:29 AM

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

Randall Ainsworth wrote:
> In article <0%nue.1777174$Xk.1178179@pd7tw3no>, Tony Hwang
> <dragon40@shaw.ca> wrote:
>
>
>>So, after all it acts like HD, a storage device.
>
>
> Want to avoid problems? Format the damned thing in the camera.

Absolutely! Windows will NOT write the directory structure expected by
the camera on the card. Some camera types may find this to indicate
that the card needs formatting, others may just reject the card. Format
in the camera!


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 2:11:30 PM

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

In article <ahnjb1h2j55pher7ivoe30a2i1l9jccns2@4ax.com>, caught@22.com
(ASAAR) wrote:

> *From:* ASAAR <caught@22.com>
> *Date:* Wed, 22 Jun 2005 18:09:28 -0400
>
> On Wed, 22 Jun 2005 21:01:13 GMT, Iain Laskey, getting his theories
> from somewhere in the wildblueyonder wrote:
>
> > Stop thinking of the card as if it were a hard disk - cluster size
> > makes no difference and probably doesn't even exist as a concept in a
> > CF card. It's just a bunch of memory with an interface to make it
> > look like a hard drive for access purposes. (Dunno about the 20 but
> > the 350D basically runs DOS.)
>
> You're completely wrong, otherwise images could only be
> transferred from the camera via USB,
How do you figure that? If it's emulating a hard drive, it will look like
a hard drive to anything that reads it.

> Cluster size
> does make a difference. Perhaps not a speed difference since there
> are no physical latencies to deal with as there would be with
> microdrives, but if a very large cluster size is used, the number of
> images that could be stored on the card could be greatly reduced,
> especially if the camera is set to use small (low resolution) files.
This is possibly an issue but I don't know how deep the emulation goes. It
may be the card just packs in the data. An easy way to check would be to
run a tool that tells you the amount of data versus the storage space
used.



Iain
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 3:41:34 PM

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

On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 10:11:30 GMT, Iain Laskey wrote:

>>> So, after all it acts like HD, a storage device.
>>
>> Yes.

> Obviously it behaves as if it were a HD otherwise it wouldn't be
> readable in different devices. The issue is what is going on under
> the bonnet, not what the reader sees.

Obviously. But earlier this morning it was quite clear that you
didn't see it that way when you said:

> Stop thinking of the card as if it were a hard disk - cluster size makes
> no difference and probably doesn't even exist as a concept in a CF card.

If CF cards are formatted in camera and then examined by "disk
utility" tools, all of the FAT, directory structures, partition and
cluster information can be seen, otherwise (as I previously said)
the cards wouldn't be recognised as storage devices when placed in
card readers.
Anonymous
June 23, 2005 7:34:12 PM

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

On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 10:11:30 GMT, i.laskeyNOT@blueyonder.co.uk (Iain
Laskey) wrote:

>This is possibly an issue but I don't know how deep the emulation goes. It
>may be the card just packs in the data. An easy way to check would be to
>run a tool that tells you the amount of data versus the storage space
>used.

Some CF cards internally ensure that they 'rotate' the memory for each
new write operation, so if you had the habit of repeatedly shooting
only 4 images, then formatting the card again, it's internal
management would actually ensure that the next 4 images get stored on
the memory that hasn't been used for the longest time. The process is
called "Wear Leveling".

They do this because flash has a finite write-cycle life-time and they
want to make sure that write operations get spread out over the whole
card evenly. In the case of CF, this behavior is completely
transparent to both the camera and your PC OS, which is not true of SM
for example, which requires the external driver to do wear-leveling.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
!