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Thread: microdrives...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    microdrives...

    Are they really that bad? I had one before that crapped out on me after about 9 months, but it was the hitachi 3gb which I had read after the matter had loads of problems. I am going to be going on a long trip and want to bring a trillion gigabytes so I don't ever have to unload, but thats more expensive with flash than micro drive. Do I really NEED flash? I can get a 6GB microdrive for the price of a 2GB flash... Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    I would advise you steer clear of microdrives. The fact of the matter is that they are a spinning form of media with a head and platters that are sensitive to shock and can fail easily. There's a reason that almost everyone uses exclusively flash nowadays. They no longer hold the storage advantage they once did, with 8GB and 16GB flash cards being commonplace. B&H doesn't even sell them new anymore, which should say something in and of itself.

    There's also the matter of microdrives needing time to spin up and seek, which can cause delays in image review and zooming, file transfer speeds, and write speeds. And of course they'll take up more power.

    Given the fact that most cameras nowadays are also going to be optimized for shooting to CF rather than MicroDrives, the added speed, security of a solid state medium, and lower power consumption makes using flash a much better proposition.

    I never trust a single (particularly small) magnetic spinning storage device with my only copy of anything, even for a day. For travel I shoot to flash, dump to my laptop and up to two external hard drives, upload key images to remote storage via the internet, and even then I won't erase the CF card until I need it again, just in case something happens to my hard drives. Given how rough traveling can be on gear, the thought of shooting to a microdrive is downright scary.

    Right now you can get an 8GB 133x speed CF card (Lexar's Professional 133x) for $65 after rebates from B&H. You can get lower speeds and sizes for less, of course, and through other outlets, though watch yourself if you go ebay- there are a lot of counterfeit cards out there right now.

    Actually, I just saw on B&H they have Delkin eFilm 4GB cards for $25, and Kingston 133x 4GB cards for $30 each. I'd pick up a few of these and you'd be set. IMHO whatever extra costs you have to deal with are worth it to know you won't lose your irreplaceable images by physical mishandling.

    What camera are you shooting with, how many photos and of what quality do you intend to shoot? I would definitely make sure to plan ahead, and either have the ability to download the images if necessary or have more CF than you need. Also I suggest during your downtime you might want to go through the images in camera and delete the ones you don't like if you find you are short on space.
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  3. #3
    Lurker PhotoRookie's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    Take a laptop and a backup drive along that way you can show off your work. Personally I think you would be better off with multiple smaller flash cards, I'd stick with 2 gig cards if you shoot in jpeg and 4 gig if you shoot in raw. Cards do occasionally fail and it sucks if all your pics are on one card. When I shoot at events I keep 3 or 4 1 gig cards and 2 or more 2 gig cards on hand (usually around 10 gigs) and try to download and back up a couple of times for an all day shoot. I'm not sure what camera you are using but I'd assume it's a DSLR since it will take a microdrive, 1 gig will hold about 275 jpegs or 75 raw file at 10 megapixels.

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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    I've had a 1 GB microdrive since I bought my first digital SLR. It has never failed me. That said, it is a mechanical device and flash memory is really cheap now. So I don't see any reason to buy microdrives anymore. If you do buy one, just handle it carefully. But it would be best to invest in flash memory. If nothing else, you're paying for peace of mind.
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    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    I've had two microdrives and both are now trash.

    I can buy 4G CF cards at 17 each, for decent Sandisk Extreme III brand.
    But a 4G Microdrive costs 44, for the Seagate ST1.2 microdrive.

    No contest on price !
    Also on reliability and robustness - CF card is the best alternative.
    At least here in the UK.

    I use 2G on the 8MP camera, and 4G on the 14MP shooting in RAW.
    I now have 15 cards in my coat-of-many-pockets which has proved enough for a long weekend's shooting (I only used 10 cards).
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    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    coat-of-many-pockets

    Should be your new username
    Photo-John

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    The Polariser fx101's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    Buy a backup device (like a hyperdrive), a portable HDD and a laptop, or just bring your laptop along. Microdrives were never meant to be used in cameras. They were used a few years ago because flash memory didn't really go above 1GB or two and when bigger memory came out it was slow and ridiculously expensive. Now, there's no point in hassling with unreliable, slow, spinning, magnetic storage media except in your computer.
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    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    yeah, I'll stay away, I just did not want to take any laptop with me and hassle with uploading them, but I need a place to store them. I think my best course of action would be getting a portable media player/storage like the epson p4000 and keep them there... Yeah - I didn't even think about it using more battery power, and now that I remember it did take forEVER to upload the 3gb card to my computer back when I had that one.... Epson P4000 it is!

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    Re: microdrives...

    Hi Kidz.

    Being a 'puter' geek, I just gotta tell ya. For cheap cf and sd cards check out the many computer stores. Micro Center is a brick and mortar in Ohio and Michigan. They sell 1gig micro SD for $7.99 and 4gig SDHC for $15.99. Lots of other types at the cheapest I've found most anywere. They have a web shop and you can trust 'em. They're strong in this market and helped put Comp USA out to pasture. Great place for all thingz geek.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: microdrives...

    Quote Originally Posted by snoid
    Hi Kidz.

    Being a 'puter' geek, I just gotta tell ya. For cheap cf and sd cards check out the many computer stores. Micro Center is a brick and mortar in Ohio and Michigan. They sell 1gig micro SD for $7.99 and 4gig SDHC for $15.99. Lots of other types at the cheapest I've found most anywere. They have a web shop and you can trust 'em. They're strong in this market and helped put Comp USA out to pasture. Great place for all thingz geek.
    I used to work at compusa, now I'm a canon vendor and my primary retail location is at micro center. Yes, the best computer geek store around! But you can still get flash drives cheaper online - particularly large ones like the 4 and 8 gb capacities. If you were getting a 1 or a 2 gig, definitely do micro center, otherwise, newegg.com or EBay (name brands only).

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