CF cards for A700.

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Lobo
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CF cards for A700.

Unread postby Lobo » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:04 pm

Can I use Sandisc extreem III, IV ducati etc in the Alpha 700? Can I use capacities up to 16Gb? What exactly is meant by type I & II cards or are all current cards of this type? :|

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:32 pm

Yes/yes/yes etc, and you do not need to worry about Type 1 etc as the card slot is wide enough for both types (including microdrives). I am using the Ducati 4GB right now in the 700, it performs very well.

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby Lobo » Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:30 pm

Thanks David and sorry about the double posting, which was an accident on my part.

I wasn't worried about type I and type II cards as such. I was simply confused by the terminology, being new to digital. So in my mind I had kind of wondered if the III in extreme III and the IV in extreme IV meant they were type III and IV cards! I guess that seems daft, but can you see where a beginner might get confused. For people like me it might be helpful if the card manufacturers said exteme III etc, type II card.

I notice also that Sony, in it's manual, only mentions 4 Gb ~ 8 Gb cards. Is there a reason for this? A freind of mine reckons that my battery will run out long before a 16 Gb card is used up (although in the vertical grip I have two).

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:50 pm

When they prepared the manual, 16GB cards were still in planning :-) 4 and 8 was all you could get then!

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby Lobo » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:52 pm

Thanks, David,
So does this mean I could use a 16 GB CF card if I wanted to? :D

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:23 am

Yes, they work. They can be a bit slower than smaller cards despite the speed ratings. I suggest sticking to 4GB as a sensible size. I had one 2GB card get corrupted on our Sigma SD14 last time I used it. Not happened yet on a Sony, but it could. With a 16GB that would be too many pictures to recover or lose!

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:40 am

I have been using a 16gb card in my A700 for the last 6-7 weeks and so far no problems. I have about 800 cRAW images on it and along the way I have probably deleted 50-60. I have downloaded the newest photos many times to my pc but I decided not to delete them from the card. I want to keep using it to see if it works all the way until it is full. I expect to take 2-3 of these on my next backpack travels and leave the psd at home.

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby Lobo » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:02 pm

Thanks Guys. Your comments have been most useful.

Your point about cards corrupting is a very good point David. It does seem that no matter how far advanced be become we don't seem to be able to solve reliability issues totally and even cost does not guarantee this. I've noticed this recently when I switched from video to DVD recording - PDC was relatively reliable, where as EPG isn't; and DVD discs corrupt, while video tapes don't! Is all this modern technowledgy necassarily benificial? :)

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:19 pm

Yes, I am a bit concerned about reliability too, but then I started thinking that in a couple of years everyone will say it is safer to use old reliable 16gb cards instead of those 32gb, 48gb, and 64gb cards. :-) I remember not long ago when many people were saying don't use 1gb cards and to use safer 256mb and 512mb cards instead. Actually, my first memory card was 8mb. It would sure be a pain in the butt to have 16gb worth of 8mb cards. Can't even hold one cRAW file. :-) This is, of course, in no way meant to say that David is wrong. I am just putting things in a bit of perspective. It won't be long before 16gb will be considered the safe, conservative choice.

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:17 pm

I am not suggesting that 16GB cards are less reliable. Just that with any card, there is a chance of corruption, loss or damage. If that card contains half a year's images, you have lost a lot. I find that 4GB (or even 2GB) is about right for a day's shooting unless there is a special event to cover. So I carry one 4GB card per camera, plus two spare 2GBs (older cards) for each camera, plus I have an MSDuo Pro 2GB permanently in the A700 as a backup in case I run out of space. I have a portable hard disk unit which copies the files off every day when I am travelling. I can also back this up on to a second HD or even burn the files on to cheap 16GB SD cards.

The HD unit has an in-car power cable, and I can back up during travel.

If something bad happened, I might lose a day's shoot and that would be serious enough. But I would never risk losing more than a couple of hundred shots at a time.

I know one pro who shoots everything now on the Nikon D3 and uses two 16GB cards, writing raw files in duplicate - the second card is a backup. He's had a card fail once, when use to write JPEGs to one card and RAW to the other in a previous DSLR. Now he won't risk using a single card for his raw work ever again.

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby Lobo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:35 am

Thank you, David.

I think for the time being, taking all the comments on board, I'll stick to 4 GB. Mostly, when I go out for a day or take a short holiday I'd shoot one ~ two films a day; so a 4 GB card should be more than enough. Cost of film has always been a restriction to my photography in so far as I could only shoot what I could afford to buy and carry. On my trips to the Philippines I'd take 60 rolls of film to last me one ~ two months! There would be some days when I'd not take one photograph, but on other occaisions, such as when visiting Taal volcano, I used five rolls in one day. With airport restrictions now a days, forced upon us by terrorism, carring a lot of gear and film is becoming harder. Hopefully digital will change all that. I'd thought, with this in mind that taking 16 GB cards with me would have been the answer to long trips; however, cost comes up again. At the present time 4 x 4 GB is cheaper to buy than 1 x 16 GB so I guess that makes the choice easier! :)

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:36 pm

For shooting closer to home my several 1gb cards are fine. I also have a 4gb card. But, when I go off for weeks with my backpack to travel it is going to be nice not to need to carry a psd anymore. Actually, on my last trip traveling in Mexico about 3 months ago with the A700 my psd barfed when I tried to download the 4gb card for the first time. I guess it won't work with that size card. It copied for awhile and then got an error. After that it would no longer work with any of my other smaller cards which had always worked with it fine before. Fortunately, I had enough cards (7.5gb worth) to last for the 3.5 weeks so I didn't lose anything -- I always shoot cRAW. The psd with AC adaptor isn't so big and heavy, but it will be a relief next time not to need it because it does add to the weight and bulk in my pack. A psd was always a substitute for not having enough CF cards. In 2003 when I bought this 30gb psd for US$200 it would have cost many thousands of dollars to buy 30gb worth of CF cards. Now I can get 32gb (two 16gb cards) for as cheap as US$110. For my next trip I will probably take two 16gb cards plus my 4gb and three 1gb cards, total 39gb.

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Last edited by bakubo on Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby Glyn R » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:12 pm

I use 2X 4gb Sandisk Extreme 3 (30mb/s) and a couple of 2gb Integral iPro (100X) This refelcts the increasing file size in my cameras over the last 2 or 3 years. My A350 now puts 185 RAW files on a 4gb card so its a lot of images for a day. :D
The older I get the better I used to be.

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:43 pm

I'll probably do an article on my alternative to PSD for travel - the EeePC (7 inch screen version, running Unix). This cost me under £200, and it has enough solid-state memory to install the Gimp and Ufraw giving raw conversion and Photoshop style editing if needed. It has a good quality webcam, built in Skype, excellent sound recording, three USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet port, built-in high speed Wifi, and a full Open Source software suite. Best thing is it only weighs 950g with its battery fitted, and the mains adaptor has a 3m long skinny cable and a very neat small plug transformer - great for hotel rooms, where the plug may be badly sited. It also has an SD card slot, currently occupied by an 8GB card which cost under £20.

Although I am still using my Hyperdrive HD80 to download and store CF card contents, this unit is heavy (it includes 4 AA batteries) and need a recharger for the batts, plus a mains adaptor for absolute safety when copying anything like a 4GB card - two 4GB cards copied is enough to drain an entire set of new Duracells. I also have a Jobo GigaVu Pro 40GB, which can view most of my raw files very slowly, but again this needs a mains adaptor and regular recharging. It is very slow copying too. It does allow 100 per cent examination of JPEGs, which the Hyperdrive does not, as that has no screen.

Next trip, I will use a 320GB portable ultra slim USB powered HD - Western Digital Passport, just ordered from eBuyer for £75.99 including postage. I heard about this drive from Pixmania, but their stupidly involved ordering system demanded that (despite being a past customer) I faxed them a copy of my company registration certificate. So I aborted that, and did a search, and found the same drive for £5 less overall from eBuyer without any of Pixmania's potential problems over returns/warranty. I have a small multi-card reader, and the procedure will be to use the EeePC with card reader and Passport drive. It will essential to plug in to do so, the drive will not operate when the EeePC is running on battery power. There is some risk it may not even operate via the mains adaptor and USB, in which case I'll have to carry a powered USB hub/card reader which I have. I'll find that out when it arrives.

Benefits - first of all the EeePC is my link with internet and this website, my email etc when travelling. We used it in Alicante in June, staying in Tryp hotel which offered free broadband access via an Ethernet cable in all rooms. The Tryp brand was basic but at £250 for a city centre room with breakfast, for two, for a full week during Alicante's biggest annual fiesta we found it ideal. If all their hotels have the same plug-in (and wifi) free internet deal, we shall be using them in future. The 7 inch screen is small but just usable. Secondly, the EeePC operating system includes a file browser which not only shows full screen JPEG previews rapidly, but lets you zoom in to 100 per cent on them without opening a photo editing app. It is easy to view and check the copied contents from card to hard drive, which we did on the Hyperdrive. If need be, files can be resized and emailed. I may get a second portable HD (the EeePC plus two 320GB drives still costs less than an Epson P5000 PSD) which could allow backups. I doubt that the power supply will handle two HDs connected at once, it would be necessary to copy the card twice.

I've already found that high capacity SD cards can be surprisingly cheap, and I can easily see the possibility of putting a 16 or 32GB SD into the storage slot and using that to copy over the best edit from cards. Also, USB pen drives are cheap - 16GB of pen drive costs about half as much as 16GB of CF card, same goes for SD. On our last trip four 8GB Sandisk Cruzer pendrives at £15 each would have been enough to back up or store everything.

Anyway, that's my future alternative to PSD storage. The downside is that maybe the solid-state EeePC has more potential to be corrupted or need a reinstallation etc, than a simple dedicated storage device, and the portable HD plus other memory devices can't back up from a CF card on its own. This is where a future product - a USB pendrive with firmware able to access USB Mass Storage Device protocol and copy files direct from the camera - would be a great asset. Even better would be file upload menus on the camera's own screen to copy to such a simple external solid state image store.

David

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Re: CF cards for A700.

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:11 pm

I am thinking about getting an eee pc for travel. Mostly so I can use it for internet access. These days, more and more, I can find wifi. In Thailand earlier this year I stayed at a few guesthouses that had it and I was traveling in Mexico during the spring and also found wifi sometimes.

David, with the Linux on the eee pc can a USB flash drive or external hard disk which has been used with a Windows pc still allow normal file access? I think the USB flash drives used with Windows have a FAT32 file system and all of my external drives have NTFS. Can the Linux eee pc access them like normal drives (as Windows can)?

One more question -- I'm not sure if you will know the answer to this. Can the Linux eee pc work with Japanese? For example, can it display Japanese text and does it have an input method editor so I can type Japanese? With Windows XP and Vista they come with that, but it is turned off by default. I turn it on so I can read and write Japanese e-mails to friends in Japan.

From 2003 until this year I depended on my 30gb psd to hold all my trip photos so I could reformat and use my memory cards again. Now I plan to use 32gb+ of memory cards. It is still a bit risky to have only one copy of photos, but I only had one copy before too. The difference now will be that the one copy will be on solid state cards rather than a moving hard disk. If I get an eee pc I might consider taking one of those very small external drives and use it to backup.

If you decide to write an article about the eee pc then I will be very interested in reading it.


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