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4Gb CF Card Announced

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the bigger-bigger-better dept.

Data Storage 309

An anonymous reader writes "Lexar has today announced that it now shipping a 4 GB 40x Compact Flash card. The card's claim to fame is the ability to store 600 RAW images taken with a 6 megapixel digital camera. This card also features Lexar's WA (Write Acceleration) technology which can improve performance further with WA enabled cameras. Because this card is larger than 2 GB, you will need a camera which is FAT32 compliant. This card is available now at the heady price of $1,499 ($0.37/MB). It looks like Lexar has managed to be faster then Hitachi (Former IBM storage division) with their 4Gb Microdrive."

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309 comments

Frosty First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606148)

First Post!!!

Is the word "than" dying? (-1, Offtopic)

muyuubyou (621373) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606178)

Sorry for being off-topic, but man am I tired of hearing people writing "then" instead of "than"...

Re:Is the word "than" dying? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606202)

Hey, man, this is Slashdot. You must be new here.

Re:Is the word "than" dying? (0, Offtopic)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606208)

mod parent up. slashbots are modding people down for pointing out failings in the editoral staff.

if you wanna be accepted as a "real" news source, get used to criticism.

Re:Is the word "than" dying? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606438)

after six years of reporting news to a large community I think they can safely claim to be a real news source. besides, the typing mistakes are practically a trademark of the domain. so stfu.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606187)

titan corp sucks.

Is 40x worth it? (2, Interesting)

tackaberry (694121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606191)

I've been toying with the idea of getting a Lexar Pro (40x) CF card.

Has anyone had any experience using the Pro cards versus the standard, and whether or not the numbers translate into noticible performance gains???

Nevertheless, this particular card is well outside of my range/needs, but a 256 or 512 for my 4.0 megapix is do-able.

Re:Is 40x worth it? (2, Informative)

Glyndwr (217857) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606257)

DPReview did a comprehensive review of a bunch of flash cards here [dpreview.com] but it's rather out of date now. Time to bug them to update it, I think...

$1500? (1, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606193)

Flash is getting expensive nowadays. I thought IBM had a tiny harddrive that (at the time) stored 1GB of data on it; couldn't something like this be incorporated into a 'memory card' design for cameras and the like? That seemed to be the whole point of it, anyway.

Re:$1500? (3, Interesting)

Mindwarp (15738) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606227)

IBM has been producing Compact Flash Type 2 form-factor micro drives for some time now.

Here's one:

Clicky! [amazon.co.uk]

Re:$1500? (2, Interesting)

Keighvin (166133) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606269)

It's called an IBM MicroDrive, though it's also resold and branded through Iomega (without any different under the hood). They are mostly CF compatible, though the voltage requirements are a little different so the device needs to be MicroDrive compatible and not just CD.

The 1GB CF form factor drive runs for ~$260 on eBay including PCMCIA adapter for laptiops. Buying 4 of these at that price would save you $460 on the cost of a single 4GB CF.

Re:$1500? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606325)

1GB CompactFlash costs only $190.

Re:$1500? (4, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606307)

That is what the submitter was talking about with Hitachi, Hitachi bought IBM's HDD assets including the Microdrive line. Hitachi is supposed to unveil a 4GB Microdrive this fall. The Microdrive is less shock resistant, eats up to 4X the battery life, and has slower transfer rates than the high speed flash products out there, initially the 4GB Microdrive may be cheaper, but within probably 9-18 months the flash will almost certainly be cheaper, that's the way it happened with the origional Microdrive (actually there wasn't any 1GB CF card at the time that I could find, but there was soon after).

4Gb or 4GB (3, Insightful)

insulator (652630) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606198)

The title says 4 gigabits, but the text says 4 giga bytes. 4 GB is impressive, 4Gb is not (512 MB).

Re:4Gb or 4GB (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606223)

you sir are a moron

of course we are speaking of a 4 gigaBYTES CF card... if not, this article wouldn't have been posted on /.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606259)

you sir are a moron

Actually, you are the moron, because the parent is correct.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606290)

fact : grand grand parent is a karma whore!

Re:4Gb or 4GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606312)

fact : grand grand parent is a karma whore!

w00t for karma whores!! hehheh

Re:4Gb or 4GB (-1, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606300)

Slashdot editors make lots of spelling and grammar mistakes. Fine, they aren't english majors, that's forgivable.

But how can they call themselves a "news for nerds" technology site and not know the difference between a gigabit (Gb) and a gigabyte (GB)?

That's truly pathetic.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606335)

That's truly pathetic.

Sir, you are even MORE pathetic !

Re:4Gb or 4GB (2, Insightful)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606498)

Before further bashing the Slashdot editorial staff, you may wish to note that editors rarely submit the stories. Slashdot readers submit the stories, along with the headlines.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606230)

This is slashdot, don't concern us with small details like facts.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (3, Informative)

UWC (664779) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606247)

The mention of the need for FAT32 to access the card seems to indicate that it's larger than 2 gigabytes. It would be nice to see some consistency, though, rather than having to guess based on context.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (-1, Offtopic)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606287)

It's 4GB you pedantic nerd. It was fairly obvious to anyone who has the slightest capacity for understanding the context of what they are reading.

Re:4Gb or 4GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606318)

Well, take a guess, genius.

(since 512 MB cards have been available for quite some time)

How the fsck is this "insightful"?

Do the math... (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606414)

600 RAW * 6M pixels = 3,6G pixels or 3,6gigabit. At a minimum of 8 bits color resolution per pixel, it'll be 3,6 gigabytes.

Kjella

Who needs this space? (0)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606203)

Who needs this kind of space for pictures? I guess this is probably aimed at professional photographers...

Re:Who needs this space? (1)

redfenix (456698) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606226)

(from article) The 4GB memory card is designed to meet the insatiable demand of professional photographers for high-capacity storage.

Yup, you're right.

Re:Who needs this space? (1)

Yaruar (125933) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606441)

not even just pros.

I can't count myself as a pro photographer, but I do quite a lot of work when I have time. Minimum digital kit these days for anyone serious about digital photography is a half decent digital slr (i'm picking up my EOS 10D on wednesday)
If I go to a club or a gig to shoot I can easily shoot 100+ pictures a night. I used to do 120+ with film which cost a fortune)
With digital it's easier to take more as TBH it's easier to deal with the pictures and more immediate when you gt home. I can easily envisige taking 1.5gb's worth of pictures a night with my new camera...
In terms of cost though I'm sticking with a 1gb microdrive and that will limit me. when the larger flash memory cards come down in price they will be must haves.
Although tbh the best bet for a photographer is to bring an ultraportable with them for downloading and viewing.......

But the chokepoint... (5, Interesting)

kmak (692406) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606204)

is still the time it takes for a camera to transfer from on-memory to the card... no matter how big the card is, until this time is reduced, it'll still be hard for some applications ..

But it's definitely good.. I use a CF-Reader on my laptop instead of a diskdrive, and obviously, a 4 GB CF card would definitely be nice.. now I can easily transfer data between machines!

Of course, again, though, bandwidth is still an issue..

Why? (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606209)

You are never going to be able to take that many pic's without changing batteries so why not have a couple of cheaper 1GB cards and swap em out with the batteries? 1GB CF cards are as cheap as $228 you are paying a more than 50% premium for the denser storage.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

krisp (59093) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606267)

Not true. The Nikon D2H (mentioned in this [slashdot.org] previous story) can take 1000-1200 pictures on a single charge. For 1200 pictures, one might need two of these cards, assuming raw 6megapixel photographs.

Sounds like Gates in the 80's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606277)

Listen to Bill Gates over here

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606309)

You are never going to be able to take that many pic's without changing batteries so why not have a couple of cheaper 1GB cards and swap em out with the batteries? 1GB CF cards are as cheap as $228 you are paying a more than 50% premium for the denser storage.

Won't I? I already can almost fill my 1GB microdrive using just one BP-511 battery pack on my Canon G1.

The new SLR Canon cameras have an optional side-grip that holds two more BP-511s. And they're shooting much larger images. And when you're a professional (or semi-professional), which is what this product is aimed at, you're probably not shooting .jpg anymore. Plus, since this thing is CF and not a Microdrive, it sucks less power, as well. I'd bet you can darned near fill one of these things easily.

Add in the fact that this thing has some new technology write-to-it-faster-stuff, and there's plenty of reason for this product to exist.

-JDF

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606542)

  • And when you're a professional (or semi-professional), which is what this product is aimed at, you're probably not shooting .jpg anymore.
There's really no reason [tawbaware.com] to use raws over jpegs.

I'll use it for sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606346)

Speak for yourself. My 1GB microdrives fill up long before my batteries die. I usually have 3 full microdrives before I change batteries in my Nikon D1x and twice that with the D100.

For certain assignments, like covering large events where I may shoot several thousand images, I use an external DCB (digital camera battery) on my belt and can shoot over 20GB before needing a fresh battery.

So yes, this 4GB CF card is a good thing to me.

Of course, the new Nikon D2H accessory to constantly upload image files via WiFi as I shoot, looks like a nice toy too (it writes to the CF card and uploads from there, so if WiFi is down, you never lose images.)

Hooray (4, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606216)

How long until solid state technology replaces hard drives outright, or at least supplements them?

And, only slightly offtopic, why must PCs have pagefiles created on a hard drive? Why not have a bunch of SDRAM slots, even on a PCI card, and have 4 gigs of uber-cheap PC133, then create a 4 gig swap file in RAM (if not natively supported).

I hate having to swap to HDD, and my only option being super-pricey DDR or RDRAM upgrades.

A machine would do just fine with 256 Megs of Dual-DDR400, and 4 gigs or so of PC133. Then HDD as an absolute last resort. It plugs right in to the tiered-memory architecture, so why would this not work?

Re:Hooray (3, Informative)

khaine (260889) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606298)

There is already a solid state hard drive for PCs called the QikDrive:

http://www.platypus.net/products/qikdrive.asp

Its based on standard RAM and luckily it has its own UPS connection :-)

RTFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606305)

These cards aren't solid state, they're mini hard drives you twat.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606376)

Take your own advice and RTFA you twat. These cards are solid state flash memory. They're being compared against non-solid-state microdrives.

Re:Hooray (2, Informative)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606322)

People have been doing this for years in a variety of ways. You dont even need PC133 unless it's going into something with PCI-X. Unfortunaly it's the cost of aquiring these drives that turns people off to using them the way you have described. The RAM may be cheap to sonk costs from your last box but the PCI cards generaly run more than your average PC same goes for the SCSI based ones (A little slower but it dosent take up a PCI slot by itself)

Re:Hooray (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606435)

But why the high costs and niche market? I envision a product that costs say 200 bucks and gives you a couple gigs of lower-performance high-latency RAM.

But now instead of 1 or 2 gigs of high-performance RAM, you only need 256 megs or so, so you wind up saving money in the long run, and having a much peppier, and more robust PC to show for it.

I just dont understand why this isnt happening. It seems like a sure-hit product that would sell like hotcakes.

Re:Hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606354)

1. SDRAM isn't "uber-cheap". 512MB module costs $38. 8 modules would cost $304 and would take a lot of room.

2. PCI has only 133MB/s of bandwidth. Thus it won't be much faster than using HDD.

Re:Hooray (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606480)

1) SDRAM was, and still would be, uber cheap if it was still in mass production. It's been relegated to the legacy and niche markets, so the price is climbing again. That's how memory prices work, they start out high, bottom out, get replaced by a newer tech, then rise again (look how much EDO costs these days).

2) RAM can actually saturate that 133MB/s, while no (consumer level) HDD even comes remotely close. Not to mention the fact that, compared to HDD, there is virtually no latency when you hit RAM.

Why paging is necessary (2, Insightful)

dodell (83471) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606412)

Paging is implemented in most main-stream operating systems to support legacy environments (even now some computers, namely laptops, come with 128MB RAM -- WinXP is the market OS... see below). There are several good reasons for this for every operating system.
  • Windows is RAM-intensive. I have XP and 256MB RAM. 128MB was definitely not enough, and 512 would be the lowest amount that would cut it without paging on my box. Problem is, my laptop doesn't support that much (it's an older Dell Latitude model). I would rather have paging turned on here than not be able to execute more applications/type more text/move my mouse to free an application.
  • UNIX and Linux systems obviously are used in many server environments. Without paging, it's not useful in stressful server environments.

Many hobby OSes are not using paging in their development. While it is a well documented part of OS design and development, most new hobby OS makers are simply leaving it out with the reason that, if their OS ever did evolve to take up that much RAM, it's so cheap that one could easily buy more.

For the multi-tiered model to work, there would need to be specific slots for swapping memory, which would cost space on the motherboard. Then OS developers would have to start supporting this model.

While this is a fun idea, it isn't practical because:

a) Memory is *CHEAP* and if you run out of it, you can always page to the hard drive,

b) All modern systems and OSes support 1-4GB RAM, which is definitely enough for most (any?) consumer (at the moment),

c) If you have 4GB of RAM being used, you should be upgrading to a more powerful computer, not adding 256MB swap. Chances are you're going to need a lot more swap space than that if you're doing work requiring more than 4GB RAM.
d) Finally, if you use this extra 256MB RAM, you're still swapping anyway. So why not just make systems support more RAM in the first place?

I hope I adequately answered your question :).

Re:Why paging is necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606554)

Linux 2.4 (the kernel, to avoid argument) on i386 only supports (by default) 960 MB. (It can be compiled specially for 4 GB or even 64 GB, but the latter requires PAE (i686 only) and even the former might result in inefficient usage of memory - if for instance a full 4 GB were installed on a system, every (?) byte of virtual memory would be mapped by a byte of physical memory, even rarely used tables or never used chunks of memory, which might lead to some complications.)

No idea as to how far glibc goes. I suspect 4 GB only, possibly even only 2 GB. Anything beyond that requires 64 bits. (I suppose a 36-bit computer (with 9-bit bytes) could be built, but it wouldn't run Unix or any Unix-like system. It could be used for C. The same goes for any other byte length, and I imagine odd word lengths (for example, six 8-bit bytes) would be inefficient though possible.)

Re:Hooray (1)

larien (5608) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606470)

From another point of view, the swap area on Solaris is also used for kernel crash dumps, so you generally want it to be persistant across reboots.

From a PC perspective, it would require a motherboard redesign and the price differential between SDRAM & DDR isn't that great; you can probably get 256MB DDR dimms for the same price as 512MB SDRAM DIMMs and get a boost without (a) complex hardware and (b) the CPU overhead of swapping & associated load on I/O.

thetruth.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606219)

Spewing
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Al though (3, Insightful)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606233)

This is good news for most professional photographers, Use amatures would rather have a cheaper portable 20GB+ backup OPtion.
Plus what is a typical life of a CF card ? I sure hope its more than 5 years If I am putting 1000$+ in it.

Plus the very though of loosing those 600 RAW images , if i loose the CF card is disturbing.

I would rather have a portable labtop with 20GB+ memory and a 1GB flash card.

Re:Al though (3, Funny)

Ominous Coward (106252) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606537)

Then don't loose the card. Besides, even if you open its cage, a card's not going to go very far. It's not nearly the same as loosing dogs, lions, or some other animal.

Wait, you meant "lose", didn't you?

Cool, but... (4, Interesting)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606236)

a quick google search reveals that a 1 GB version is about 170... 170 * 4 = 680. At 1500 bucks, I think I'd rather just keep three other 1 gb sticks in my pocket/camera bag/whatever... granted, if you're a professional photgrapher you might think otherwise, but I recall something that we used a few years back that had to be changed every X number of pictures, what was it, oh yes... film.

I'd say it has to be easier to pop a flash card in and out of a digital camera as opposed to a roll of film... but thats just me.

Re:Cool, but... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606294)

Professional photographers often use extremely long reels of film. I guess some of them want to take two photos a second in bursts of about 20-40, and changing cards every few sets would be more hassle than the photographer really wants.

Re:Cool, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606406)

Preach on, brother! Who needs this crap called progress?

Re:Cool, but... (1)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606541)

It has nothing to do with "progress"... if each 1 GB stick is 170, then you can get 8 sticks for 1500 bucks (almost 9, really) which is 2 times the storage, or in case you cant put 2 and 2 together, is 2 times the amount of pictures taken before clearing the photos from the card.

Its not like this is a hard drive where you are limited by case size or free IDE spots or whatever... you can carry as many of these as you care to, thus, 8 GB of space on 8 cards is better than 4 GB of space on one card.

unless you're rich or your company will front the bill, that is... in that case, hey, go for it... :P

Excellent! (1)

Supero100 (664946) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606237)

Now I can have more storage on my digital camera than I can on my laptop!

I wonder if I can run a Kazaa node from my Canon D60...

Re:Excellent! (1)

johnny0101 (617627) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606284)

Now I can have more storage on my digital camera than I can on my laptop!

Except that the storage will cost you at least as much as a low to mid range laptop.

which then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606258)

so Hemos, is it a CF card (as it says at the start of the quote) or a uDrive (as it says at the end of the quote)?

Re:which then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606439)

They're comparing the CF card at the start of the quote against the microdrive at the end of the quote. Read it again.

So fucking what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606266)

that $1500 could feed a lot of starving children.

Re:So fucking what (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606427)

So pony up, hippie. Liberals are only willing to spend money that was stolen from others. Go die somewhere.

Re:So fucking what (5, Funny)

demastri (579215) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606540)

that $1500 could feed a lot of starving children.
Or better yet, store the pictures of up to 600 of them without having to change memory sticks!

best quote (4, Interesting)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606274)

"It would be refreshing to see someone talk about something other than the pursuit of big numbers. " in reference to the expanding storage of CF cards and mega pixel ratings. Seems to apply to more than just cameras. I took it to mean that there should be more of a focus on cost/performance ratio, rather than bleeding edge.

unrelated note... I wish all PCs would come with CF slots on them standard. i think its the best alternative to the floppy. ive even started carrying arround a card reader so i can use CF to replace my stacks of zip disks.

Re:best quote (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606488)

But you see, that's EXACTLY what happens. When new high-end kit comes out, the FORMER cutting edge stuff really drops in price.

CF (5, Interesting)

dodell (83471) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606278)

As far as I can tell, this thing is only useful for professional photographers. When getting my picture taken for the cover of Pro. PHP4 MM Programming, I saw that the photographer had several 1GB CF cards strewn over his desk. Digital photos are becoming more popular because people can get them reprinted and such. There's not really a loss in quality either, since the photos are 5-7 megapixels. But you end up getting 27MB TIFF files (in B/W)! I'm sure there are other uses for this sort of storage, but this is the best example I could think of.

I think that the price to pay for CF is way too heavy for this card to fit into general use. CF cards don't have the longest lifespan in the world either. Until these prices go down, I don't think CF will become a really hot item. I mean, look at iPods. 20GB of storage at less than half the price (and it'll play your MP3s).

The other disappointment regarding the price is that it's too high to push the prices down on 1GB models, so we won't see these being shoved into consumer electronics anytime soon either.

I think that by the time CF gets to be reasonably priced, other devices of similar size and much higher capacity will be available. I don't have a good feeling about the lifespan of CF.

On the other hand, I'd like to know some of the uses that this card may see. I may be completely oblivious to its practical usage. Feel free to enlighten me as to where this could be used, what it will replace, and whether or not the price is right for that application.

Re:CF (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606428)

Uhm where you have been for the last five years?

CompactFlash is most popular type of flash cards. It's very reasonable priced, 256MB CF card costs only $48 and it's enough for ordinary use. There are also smaller densities available.

"I mean, look at iPods. 20GB of storage at less than half the price (and it'll play your MP3s)."

You can't connect your iPod to your camera.

gigabits? (-1)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606280)

So what? I've been able to buy 512 megabyte cards for quite some time. This card, if we are to believe the title, is four gigabits in size because of the lowercase 'b'.

Of course, I think that everyone should be using made-up silly units like "gibibyte" and "mebiflop," but the general public is obviously too stupid to comprehend these.

Too big (2, Insightful)

nbarr (666157) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606297)

Experts say you should never use a card bigger than 512Kb. Why? Imagine loosing one card? You'll loose 2Gb of image information. If you use 4 cards of 512Kb, and you loose one, you will not be loosing that much info. Dont put all the eggs on the same basket.

Re:Too big (4, Insightful)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606380)

But if you only have 1 card- its in your camera. If you lose that card, you have FAR greater problems on your hands!

Conversely- if you are juggling 4 different little pieces of plastic, the ability to lose one is a lot easier!

Re:Too big (1)

nbarr (666157) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606449)

Loosing a card does not imply loosing it fisically. Imagine it gets corrupt...

Re:Too big (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606573)

If it gets corrupt you rescue the data from the card (plenty of tools to do that now) and re-format. Ta-da!

Its still the same problem if you have 4 CF cards and one (or all!) get corrupted- rescue the data, reformat.

Re:Too big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606478)

Even assuming you meant to use a large "B", meaning "byte", instead of the small "b", meaning "bit", you still don't make any sense. If I was restricted to 512KB cards, my camera would be pretty useless, since the file size of the individual pictures is between 1,000-2,000KB. Perhaps you meant MB instead of Kb? Is it really that hard to get these units right?

Re:Too big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606503)

Experts? What experts out of curiosity? The experts that live inside your butt and look oddly similar to those nasty flying creatures in "The Wizard of Oz"? And learn to spell...it's physical, not fisicklasdghehu or however the hell you spelled it.

Re:Too big (1)

nbarr (666157) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606552)

Well, I'm portuguese. Its normal for me to make mistakes in english. So what? But thanks for poiniting that to me anyway.

Re:Too big (1)

m.dillon (147925) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606523)

I suppose it's always a worry but compact flash is far more robust then a microdrive. Even if the filesystem gets corrupted you can still stick the CF card into a computer and probably recover most of the data. I don't even consider microdrives any more because of the horror stories I've read on their fragility, but I've never lost data from a (flash based) CF card.

Still, the entry point price of the 4GB card is far too expensive relative to the price of 1GB cards. People with 11Mpix+ cameras might buy them, but the price performance curve is still squarely in the 512M-1GB range.

-Matt

All the eggs in one basket (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606580)

Why not? That's what we do with the Windoze registry!

You'd pay $1,500 for that? (1, Interesting)

BTWR (540147) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606308)

Why would someone pay $1,500 for this when 1 Gigabyte cards have now dipped below $100? Besides the fact that these 4GB cards will be $500 or less in a year (ok, maybe 18 months), what possible advantage is there over four 1GB cards at a fraction of the cost (despite the convinience, which is certainly not worth $1000)?

Re:You'd pay $1,500 for that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606415)

i call BS. provide, please, any link to a 1 GB card under $100.

Re:You'd pay $1,500 for that? (1)

utmecheng (682922) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606531)

not only is the under $100 stuff bs there are plenty of applications where the storage could be useful. There are applications that are just really being developed for automated camera use as well as recording digital movies in one card. its pricey but there are definitly uses for it.

Unlimited storage support by using FORTH! (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606314)

You don't need a different camera. Just pretend it's a filesystem when the computer connects.

Forth uses numbered blocks. I have yet to understand why the camera should need a file allocation table.

Morons.

Re:Unlimited storage support by using FORTH! (2, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606568)

CF cards are used for more than cameras. If you want anything else to be able to read your pictures, you need to have a standard way of representing the files on the card. Suprisingly, we call this a "filesystem". If you want every camera to have it's own proprietary storage that only that camera can use, and can only be read by a special hardware adapter with special software, then by all means, then by all means, keep pushing the use of Forth(!?) as way of writing files.

How about Manufacturers (1)

agent dero (680753) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606341)

What I would like to see is smarter cameras that make use of that cheaper 256MB of CF memory, instead of me having to spend a bundle on 512MB or 1GB+

I think it would just be a great feature to be able to Zip or Tar my older pictures on a camera, say everytime I take 100 pictures on my 2MP camera, it asks me if it can compact the last 50 to save disk space. That would be really awesome, then I could take more pictures per card.

Re:How about Manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606454)

Virtually all cameras offer various levels of compression for pictures.

Compressing already compressed JPEGs with Zip (Tar doesn't compress anything) won't make a noticable difference.

Re:How about Manufacturers (1)

m.dillon (147925) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606465)

Well, zip and gzip don't do a very good job on JPEGs, since JPEGs are already highly compressed. You can already 'save' CF space simply by telling the camera to take a lower quality or lower resolution shot. I can put 300-500 high resolution JPGs on a 1GB CF card with my EOS-10D (6Mpix) but if I drop the resolution and/or quality down that number increases beyond 2000. Of course, nobody in their right mind actually takes pictures at less then full quality when one has that kind of storage, but it's still an option.

In a few years all high grade consumer cameras are going to have automatic WIFI upload capabilities anyway, which will limit how much in-camera CF capacity you actually need in a professional setting. At the moment the new Nikon has it but it isn't worth the price premium. Or, alternatively, there will be CF format cards with WIFI. NFS anyone?

Re:How about Manufacturers (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606585)

Actually at least on the D30 there IS a step like zip to compress the RAW image (in fact it even puts a little 2/3rds size low quality JPEG in as a thumbnail =) Of course zip can't compare to JPEG, but JPEG's don't have the information necessary to do post processing like the RAW images do.

Re:How about Manufacturers (2, Informative)

flahiker (639533) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606544)

This card is targeted to high end users with 6 and 12 Mpixel cameras. They shoot raw images (lossless compression). Very high file sizes are created. It is not geared to the 2 Mpixel consumer camera which is using jpeg compression. Tarring or zipping jpeg compressed immages would be pointless since the images are ALREADY compressed far beyond what normal compression can do.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606392)

Now I will be able to store 600 RAW images taken with a 6 megapixel digital camera! If its also true that Lexar's WA (Write Acceleration) technology can improve performance further with WA enabled cameras, then this is great because it will be even faster without eating CPU (like SCSI). Unfortunatelly, because the card is larger than 2 GB I will need at least camera which is FAT32 compliant. I heard the other day that such a card was available at about $1,499 ($0.47/MB).
Doh! It looks like Lexar has managed to be faster then Hitachi this time (IBM storage division? dunno I'm confused) with the 4Gb Microdrive they made. I think...

Posting anonymous cos I've lost my password.

MOD UP INTERESTING (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606464)

+5 Insightful

6GB CF from Pretec (3, Informative)

Eugene (6671) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606398)

A while ago Pretec announced 3GB and 6GB CF card, while 3GB is out, 6GB capacity CF is still no where in sight yet. but the competition from 4GB card surely will start driving the price down.

When The Price Drops (3, Interesting)

mustangsal66 (580843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606416)

Think about it... 6 Divx movies in the palm of your hand...

Now to create a card reader/decoder for my DVD player...

These things rock! (2, Informative)

slewfo0t (679988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606431)

I am currently using one of the Lexar 2GB cards for a Hard Drive on an embedded box that I put together. It's faster than IDE flash drives and costs MUCH less. A 512mb IDE flash drive costs about the same as a 2GB Compact Flash card. I have also tried using the 2GB Compact Flash cards by Pretc. I do not recommend using these cards for a drive. They proved to be extremely slow and some applications would not function with them. Lexar has really come out with a nice poroduct here!

Sandisk is working on a 4GB card as well, but it is not yet released.

- Slew -

"Than" vs "Then" and "GB" vs "Gb" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6606434)

No offense, but "Editor" the editing seems to be getting worse...

1. "It looks like Lexar has managed to be faster then Hitachi (Former IBM storage division) with their 4Gb Microdrive. "

Then \Then\, conj.
In that case; in consequence; as a consequence; therefore; for this reason.

Than: A particle expressing comparison, used after certain adjectives and adverbs which express comparison or diversity, as more, better, other, otherwise, and the like. It is usually followed by the object compared in the nominative case. Sometimes, however, the object compared is placed in the objective case, and than is then considered by some grammarians as a preposition. Sometimes the object is expressed in a sentence, usually introduced by that; as, I would rather suffer than that you should want.

2. It is giga BYTES, not giga BITS. GB vs Gb.

Failure rates and mirrored arrays (5, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606489)

What's the MTBF on these things? I've had CF cards go bad on me before, and it's always a bummer when you lose photos. I personally think it's best to go with several mid-sized cards rather than one gargantuan one. That way, if a single card goes bad, you don't lose everything. Even for pro-tographers who take zillions of pictures, it's a good idea. Changing a CF card takes less time than changing a roll of film, so it won't interrupt the workflow all that much. Plus it might save you a major headache should you lose everything.

On the same lines, I think someone should come out with a redundant flash card. Instead of a single 4GB card, perhaps two 2GB cards in one, with the storage mirrored as in a RAID. I know some people might pay extra for the added security/redundancy.

w00t! (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606506)

I believe I speak for all the nerds around here when I say it's always great to have more removable pr0n storage space!! w00t! That's almost as good as DVD+RW!

The *real* boon in high-capacity CF (etc.) cards (3, Insightful)

tambo (310170) | more than 10 years ago | (#6606592)

...will be the elimination of the MP3 player market.

It frustrates me to no end that I carry around a rather remarkably-specced PDA that could handily play MP3s... but I'm hampered by limited storage. It's like being unable to drive your Corvette because you can't buy enough gas.

The high-capacity portable-medium format will obsolesce one device from my gadget arsenal. One less battery to recharge; one less file store to maintain; one less device for firmware, driver updates, and connectors.

David Stein, Esq.
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