Four 5-Megapixel Cameras In Review

Formats And Compatibility

This is an eternal problem. As soon as computers are involved, the problem of formats and compatibility will inevitably arise. Photography is no exception. The manufacturers have still not come to an agreement on a single standard, and, in this respect, the cameras we tested are typical. We found no less than three different storage card formats.

The Minolta Dimage 7 comes with a Compact Flash (CF) card.

Likewise with the Coolpix 5000.
The Olympus comes with a SmartMedia (SM) card, but the camera will take two extensions: SmartMedia and Compact Flash.
As usual, Sony goes its own way with a proprietary format: MemoryStick (MS).

This diversity leads us to another conclusion. Three of the four cameras take Compact Flash cards, showing that support for this is becoming more widespread. Make no mistake - CF cards are the most common format within all ranges of the digital camera market.

Another interesting observation: manufacturers insist on supplying ridiculously small amounts of memory with their cameras. Minolta and Olympus take the cake - the 16 MB that they so generously provide enables you to store only one single photo in TIFF format.