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Old October 2nd, 2004, 11:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Microdrive or compact flash

Which do you use?

I must admit, that as a wedding photographer I have only ever used compact flash, but that was only because a pro sports photographer once said keep away from microdrives 'cos if you knock them you will lose your images.

I have just bought a 2nd hand microdrive from a friend just to try out, it performs okay and has 2.2gb memory. Good enough for 300 ish images in RAW.

Has anyone had any bad experiences using microdrives, ie lost images, not being able to read etc?

It would be interesting to hear your views.
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 12:22 PM   #2
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I think the microdrive will use much more power than a solid-state CF card. I haven't used one in my camera yet, but I have a Garmin StreetPilot 2620 which uses a 2.2 GB MagicStor microdrive on a compact flash card. No problems with this whatsoever after 6 months driving around on bumpy back roads, so I suspect they're pretty robust and any shock that would damage it would also be bad for the camera itself. After reading a forum where we discuss these GPS'es several people have reported that the microdrives do not work well on motorcycles, but I'd guess that's a lot more vibration and G-force than you'd subject your camera to....
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 10:01 PM   #3
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The real danger with microdrives is either from dropping them or squeezing them in the center. Handle the drive only by the edges and never drop them.
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 10:46 PM   #4
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I've had my microdrive for about 5 years, it's been all over the world and back in my Canon G2 and it's still tickin'. Occasionally, I'll get an error on 1 or 2 photos when I'm being really rough with the camera, usually when I'm switching modes & settings very fast.

From my experience though, they're pretty tough. I've carried it through jungles, up mountains, through deserts, taken it skiing etc. It survived one year of low budget backpacking around the world (central america and asia) and then it survived a 6 month club photographer gig, where I would take hundreds of pictures of the club goers every night - pretty harsh/tough treatment with drunk, crazed, and drugged people grabbing, spilling, and manhandling myself and the camera.

I managed to drop the G2 very HARD, several times, enough to have to send it back to Canon and have them replace the whole outer shell, but the microdrive still works fine.

... having said all that, if I were to get a new one, I'd opt for the solid state CF card.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 09:13 AM   #5
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Microdrives are slower and require more power. Microdrives also have moving parts and are more susceptible to the "click of death" just like their larger siblings for desktops and laptops. I received a 340MB Microdrive once as a gift. It was brand new and right out the box it had the ill sound of r/w heads banging against the platter. It was toast!

There was once the issue of price but I've seen 1GB CF cards for under $100. On Wednesday of this week Buy.com is supposed to have a 1GB CF card for $75.

I'd stay with solid state CF cards.
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