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What size Microdrive will the S2 accept?


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#1 bdickson

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 06:03 PM

I apologize if this has been asked and answered elsewhere, but can anyone tell me what is the maximum size of Microdrive that the S2 will accept? I believe there is a limit due to the S2 only recognizing FAT16 format.

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#2 luminary

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 05:44 AM

FAT16 supports 2 gigs of addressable space. Not sure if the S2 supports up to that, but it definitely can't exceed it without some weird partitioning going on (and I'm not sure that the microdrives would support that).
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#3 frogfish

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 07:21 AM

Not exactly the question you've asked, but several people (including my camera dealer, who is fairly knowledgeable) counseled me to go with flash memory card rather than microdrive, saying that the flash memory is both faster and more reliable.

I've got 2 1-GB cards, but my understanding is that the S2 can handle at least the 2-GB cards.

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#4 james

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 07:28 AM

The Microdrive is just about the fastest media for the S2, faster than just about any of the flash memory cards. It's all to do w/ the way the camera is designed.

http://www.robgalbra...p?cid=6007-6014

Hitachi Microdrive write speed is 1890K/s
Fastest CF Card (Sandisk Exreme) is 1989K/s or a whopping 5% faster.

Kinda disappointing I know. But on the other hand, it's much faster than the Canon 10D and only slightly slower than the D100, so don't be too depressed...:-/

With that said, I have seen posts from a few people that are able to use the new 2.2gig drive w/ the S2 - although I haven't seen anyone actually try it yet.

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#5 james

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 01:01 PM

Update: Here's what I just read on DPreview from a Magicstore user:

I have IBM 1GB, Sandisk (non-Ultra) 1GB, and new acquired (2 months) Magicstor 2.2GB. All works fine with the S2.

I read about the problems that others have had with the Magicstor and decided NOT to let Windows or the S2 format the disk but rather my Canon G5. It gives me 160 shots in RAW mode. 

OK, some of you will ask why use a Canon to format a card intended for the S2. I don't know it just works. There were a few instances with the 1GB cards when the S2 boot up with "disk error". I had to run back to the computer and reformat—very annoying. Since the Canon can format the disk right in the camera, one time, I decided to be lazy and let it format the cards. They never failed since.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert when it comes to the S2 or any digital camera. The methodologies that I use are base solely on my experience. Please don't go out and buy a Canon solely to format a disk. And there is no guarantee that using a G5 to format a Magicstor will not start a tornado in Kansas.


Interesting.

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#6 JamesWood

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 01:11 PM

My microdrive did die and had to be sent back for a replacement while my flash memory is fine. Pretty small sample size I know but someone else mentioned this too. With all the traveling I do and abuse my camera gear takes I think I'll go with a 1 GB flash card. Flash cards don't have moving parts while microdrives do. Also I wonder about battery consumption, another limiting factor, for spinning the microdrive around - perhaps someone with a lot more teck knowledge can comment.

An additioanl advantage to those James Wiseman lists below is that the microdrive seems to be about half the price per amount of storage.

James Wood

The Microdrive is just about the fastest media for the S2, faster than just about any of the flash memory cards.  It's all to do w/ the way the camera is designed.

<a href='http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007-6014' target='_blank'>http://www.robgalbra...d=6007-6014</a>

Hitachi Microdrive write speed is 1890K/s  
Fastest CF Card (Sandisk Exreme) is 1989K/s or a whopping 5% faster.

Kinda disappointing I know.  But on the other hand, it's much faster than the Canon 10D and only slightly slower than the D100, so don't be too depressed...:-/

With that said, I have seen posts from a few people that are able to use the new 2.2gig drive w/ the S2 - although I haven't seen anyone actually try it yet.

Cheers
James



#7 cmm1970

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:15 PM

I am using a Hitachi 2Gb as described by James. It works fine with no formating problems. I operate from an Apple Powerbook and do not have a Canon to format a drive with. I considered the 2.2 Magistor, but shied away due to the possiblility of having to monkey around with an alternate formating source. I shot RAW on a recent dive and maxed out at something like 132 RAW images. I felt like that was more than adequate for single 80 cu. ft. cylinder dives.

Hope this helps,
Mike

#8 mrhughj

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:20 PM

There are methods of formatting the Hitachi 4 GB MD, removed from the old type MuVo2 MP3 Players, that will work in the S2 Pro. I can provide links and info if you need it. The only thing that doesn't work is the frame counter. One other problem that I have encountered is using the 4 GB MD in my X-Drive Pro. As you must format the 4 GB MD as something other than FAT 32 for the S2 Pro to recognize it, the X-Drive only works in FAT or Fat 32. I have been unable, using the fdisk software provided with the X-Drive Pro to format the drive as FAT, which would allow me to dowmload directly from the 4 GB MD into the X-Drive.

As it is now, I download the files to my laptop and the copy them to the X-Drive as a back up.

Best of luck,

Hugh

#9 cmm1970

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:20 PM

One more thing...while shooting the 130+ images, not once did I find I was waiting on the camera to write to the drive. The write speed is adequate with the microdrive IMHO. It is espicially adequate when you consider the cost of going with flash memory. That being said, Sandisk has initiated a major price war in the consumer flash memory market and we should see some significant although perhaps temporary reductions in flash memory pricing. This battle in price power is seen evidenced in the recent stock price plunge of Sandisk, Lexar, and M-Systems.

Consider buying 2 microdrives. That way, you will have a back up in case of a lack of place to download images between dives. This will be handy if you are on a 3 tank boat dive. Benefit: Redundancy and back up storage for extended trips.

#10 marriard

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 05:21 PM

I am currently using 2 Lexmark 40x 2GB Compact Flash cards - 156 shots max in RAW mode.

I also carry two 1GB Microdrives as backups in case something happens (or if I do a long day worth of diving or travel without my laptop woth me).

M

#11 whitey

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 03:09 AM

I've previously posted on other threads that I killed my 1 gig microdrive (currently has a massive 34Mb of addressable memory, post my 'repair'. Anyone want to buy it?).

Well, I thought in fairness I should let you know I've toasted my Lexar CF card as well. Just proves that both types of memory are destructible, the solid state cards just last a few months longer...

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#12 JPS

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 04:27 AM

Based on specs the new Hitachi 2GB and 4GB microdrives should be significantly faster than the old 1GB and smaller models.

http://www.hitachigs...6256D830072F4CF says:

"Sustained data rate (MB/sec) 4.3 - 7.2"
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#13 buddy

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 12:19 AM

I just stripped the hitachi 4 GB microdrive from a new Muvo mp3 player and formatted with Fat 16. It works just fine with the S2 and allows some 300 RAW shots. The only disadvantage is that the counter does not work properly anymore. But I circumvent this by noticing the first number of the first shot (the pictures are still correctly numbered each time a shot is taken). The writing speed of this 4 GB MD is about double the time compared to my old 1 GB CF card from Sandisk, it takes about 6 seconds (12 seconds with the Sandisk) which is just fine and obviously on the edge of the limitation of the camera. Therefore it does not make sense to buy faster (and also more expensive) CF cards (like the Ultra 80x with Write Acceleration techniques) since the S2 cannot go that fast anyways. There are threads how to strip and reformat the Hitachi 4 GB microdrive. It is rather simple. Total cost for the player with the MD was about $270.