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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Compact Flash vs Smart Media
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01/21/2003 02:02:12 AM · #1
There are many different types/format of flash memory used in DC. While Sony has their own memory stick, could some one advise what is the pros and cons comparing compact flash vs smart media?

The second question is, what is xD memory? Is this a new format, and is it compactable to any older version of memory?

Thanks!
01/21/2003 08:55:20 AM · #2
I have an Olympus C-5050 Zoom which come with slots for compact flash, smart media and xD memory. I use mainly the smart media card which is cheaper than compact flash (here in Germany anyway) but is only available up to 128MB. I know you can buy compact flash with 256 MB, maybe more I am not sure about that.

I will probably buy one though because my 128MB smart media card fills up pretty quick when in shooting in SHQ mode.

When I bought my camera there was already a 32 MB xP card in it. It is about one third of the size of the smart media card and fits into the same slot. However I am not sure if it also fits in the same slot with other cameras.

That's all I can tell you really. I'd also like to know more about the differences between them.

See ya
01/21/2003 09:13:08 AM · #3
Compact Flash had developed up to 3Gig cards. Not sure if they are for sale yet. They are trying to compete with the IBM 1 gig Microdrive. The write times (the time it takes to save the picture) is slower than with the SmartMedia, but you are limited with the 128 mb capacity.
500 to 800mb Compact flash will run you about 500-700 bucks as opposed to the IBM 1Gig Microdrive, which will run you between 3 and 4 hundred dollars. IBM microdrive is exactly that. It is like a disk so it spins in its little housing and tends to be slower to write and it uses more battery energy. Compact Flash does has not been able to lower its prices and the 1-3Gig compact Flash is selling for 1000-2000 dollars. Is there any question why people are going for the IBM Microdrive? None in my mind.

John (TurboTech)
01/21/2003 09:15:53 AM · #4
Thanx for that info John. One question though. Does the IBM microdrive fit into the same slot as the compact flash?
01/21/2003 09:27:44 AM · #5
It fits into the Compact Flash II port. I am lucky my Camera will accept SM Compact Flash I and II. IBM fits into the Compact Flash slot if it can support Compact Flash II Memory.
This site says it is compatable. Scroll down to Removeable Media.
//www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/c5050.html#specs
:-)
John (TurboTech)

Message edited by author 2003-01-21 09:30:54.
01/21/2003 09:33:20 AM · #6
Microdrive IS compact flash type-II compliant. I used one in my Coolpix 5000 until I dropped it. Now it's a nifty quarter-sized $300 paperweight on my desk, right next to my 16" Emulex disk platter which originally contained some 8.25% of the Microdrive's capacity.

In Compact Flash, the best deals today are on the 256MB cards, which can be had for about $90 apiece. 512MB CF cards seem to be averaging between $225 and $275, though I see an EDGE(tm) brand one out at eCost for $179 here.

I am waiting for the 4GB drive available in the fall before I make another foray into the microdrive arena. (and this time I will most certainly be getting an extended warranty) But I am hoping the 1GB solid state CF cards come down from their lofty prices (though I see a Kingston, also on eCost for $485) soon, so I can upgrade from my current cycle of three 128MB cards.

01/21/2003 09:50:28 AM · #7
Compact flash is bigger than smart media.

Compact flash has the disk controller built into the card, so it means that anything that takes compact flash can hypothetically take a 5Gb or 10Gb compact flash card in the future. Smart media you have to upgrade the actual camera to allow larger sizes - so there is some level of future proofing in the compact flash standard that isn't available from smart media. My original 1Mb digital camera, that shipped with a 4Mb compact flash can use my 512Mb compact flash cards, 5 years later - even though it can't quite show how many pictures it can take (it only shows 3 digits but can store 10s of thousands)

My mp3 that takes smart media is locked at 64Mb and can't go higher due to design. So CF is a bit more flexible.
01/21/2003 08:31:31 PM · #8
Seems like much has been talked about on CF and SM and looks like CF has more advantage for future expension. What about xD card? Some DC come with xD and so, what would be the key considerations in deciding to buy a DC with xD? Thanks!
01/21/2003 08:41:51 PM · #9
Originally posted by mjcecil:

Microdrive IS compact flash type-II compliant. I used one in my Coolpix 5000 until I dropped it. Now it's a nifty quarter-sized $300 paperweight on my desk, right next to my 16" Emulex disk platter which originally contained some 8.25% of the Microdrive's capacity.

And at what multiple of the price?
01/21/2003 08:49:57 PM · #10
Why would one not want the XsDrive?
01/21/2003 09:11:23 PM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by mjcecil:

Microdrive IS compact flash type-II compliant. I used one in my Coolpix 5000 until I dropped it. Now it's a nifty quarter-sized $300 paperweight on my desk, right next to my 16" Emulex disk platter which originally contained some 8.25% of the Microdrive's capacity.

And at what multiple of the price?


This was one platter in a single 1.2gb drive. $20,000.00 US in 1992. So roughly 67 times the price.
01/22/2003 09:10:59 AM · #12
Originally posted by Turbotech:

Compact Flash had developed up to 3Gig cards. Not sure if they are for sale yet. They are trying to compete with the IBM 1 gig Microdrive. The write times (the time it takes to save the picture) is slower than with the SmartMedia, but you are limited with the 128 mb capacity.
500 to 800mb Compact flash will run you about 500-700 bucks as opposed to the IBM 1Gig Microdrive, which will run you between 3 and 4 hundred dollars. IBM microdrive is exactly that. It is like a disk so it spins in its little housing and tends to be slower to write and it uses more battery energy. Compact Flash does has not been able to lower its prices and the 1-3Gig compact Flash is selling for 1000-2000 dollars. Is there any question why people are going for the IBM Microdrive? None in my mind.

John (TurboTech)


ibm microdrive is compact flash and costs around 300-350. and 512 mb compact flash only costs 150-200
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