Compact Flash cards

Old Oct 27, 18, 3:22 pm
  #1  
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Compact Flash cards

I have a Sony Alpha camera that uses CF cards for memory. I don't shoot that much, but the card(s) I'm using a getting a little full. So, I was browsing eBay and I wound up buying 4 innodisk icf9000 industrial cards (4 Gb) for under two bucks apiece. I've seen them some places for anywhere from twenty bucks to almost a hundred. Hmmm..

I plugged them in and formatted them and they seem to work just fine. A google search seems to indicate they are intended as hard disk replacement devices; they seem to be quite fast.

Does any one know more about these things?

Is there any chance I can ruin them/the camera by using them?

Did I get a deal or have I wasted my money?
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Old Oct 28, 18, 12:09 am
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While I prefer to stick with know brands, mostly SanDisk, I would think that anything that complies with the CF specification would work.

The only unknown would be transfer speed. Nothing on their data sheets indicates a rated speed, which suggests it's not design for high speed/bursts.

The first thing I would do is to set my camera on fast burst and see how many shots I can get before the buffer fills. Then I'd fill up a card and see how long it takes to download with my card reader. These would tell me the limits, how it compares to a known card, and whether I should be concerned while shooting (mostly applicable to sports/action shooting).

What did you mean when you say your cards are getting a little full? Any camera memory card is meant for short-term storage until you can download them to a PC for permanent storage. They are then cleared/formatted and re-used. Are you intending to use CF cards as your only/long-term storage of all your images?
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Old Oct 28, 18, 12:38 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
... What did you mean when you say your cards are getting a little full? Any camera memory card is meant for short-term storage until you can download them to a PC for permanent storage. They are then cleared/formatted and re-used. Are you intending to use CF cards as your only/long-term storage of all your images?
+1. Camera memory cards are not designed nor meant for long-term storage. I'd really recommend copying all of your images to a hard disk drive, perhaps the one on your computer. Then, I'd purchase an inexpensive external HDD, they are very affordable, and re-copy the images to the external drive as a second back-up. Camera memory cards do fail over time.

If you remove all your images from your cards, you can then reformat them and use them for future photos, eliminating the need to buy new ones.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
What did you mean when you say your cards are getting a little full? Any camera memory card is meant for short-term storage until you can download them to a PC for permanent storage. They are then cleared/formatted and re-used. Are you intending to use CF cards as your only/long-term storage of all your images?
Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
+1. Camera memory cards are not designed nor meant for long-term storage. I'd really recommend copying all of your images to a hard disk drive, perhaps the one on your computer. Then, I'd purchase an inexpensive external HDD, they are very affordable, and re-copy the images to the external drive as a second back-up. Camera memory cards do fail over time.

If you remove all your images from your cards, you can then reformat them and use them for future photos, eliminating the need to buy new ones.
Oh, I know that. I have a lot of folders on the disk where I sort and store the pix I want to keep.

But I'm a little lazy - I often leave snaps on the card for some time before I do anything with them.

When I started out with this stuff, I got a couple of 1 gb cards, and I'm finding that, unless I keep after it, they wind up half to three quarters full the next time I want to use it. So, when the chance came to get some significantly larger storage I jumped at it - especially since the price was good.

Re: speed - it appears that the data transfers to the card quicker than the older ones, which would make sense if they were originally intended as hard disk replacements. They also seem to read a bit faster.

So, bottom line: I'm happy with them, just a little worried about there being something I was overlooking. And I doubt I'll be using their SMART capability or write protection.

Thanks guys.
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Old Nov 11, 18, 10:04 pm
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These days there are only a few major NAND flash manufactures. But buying really cheap, donít be surprised you are getting some companies marginal quality product that wasnít good enough to be sold under their own brand or a product that isnít what it says on the label. 4GB is really low density, Iíd rather spend a few more dollars buying SANDISK or Lexar from B&H. SDD storage replacement usually come with a controller to manger write / erase as high density flash cycles capability have plummeted with density increase. Canít believe you can buy a memory for that stand alone.

The higher density FLASH ones are now all 3D and are only good for a few hundred to a few thousand erase and writes. For reads they are actually very reliable, but certainly not As durable as HDD but not as fragile.

Thus is if you write and erase often, Iíd highly recommend you get new cards every few years, if all you do is store once and read probably not as big a deal.

The most reliable products are in your iPhone, Enterprise SDD, PC SDD, the your flash cards and then the thumb drives and bargain off brands bring up the bottom
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Old Nov 13, 18, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post
The most reliable products are in your iPhone, Enterprise SDD, PC SDD, the your flash cards and then the thumb drives and bargain off brands bring up the bottom
You get what you pay for?

Wow! Imagine that!
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Old Jan 2, 19, 9:02 am
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I cannot even imagine using a card less than 32GB.
I have several I rotate during my trips, that way if one goes bad I don't lose ALL of my trip pictures.
When you stop to think of the cost of cards vs. the cost of the trip and the cost of the camera, you
should be able to buy a few cards. Depending on the size of the pics in MPXLS, maybe you can
do fine with a 16GB set of cards to rotate.

I'd also be careful not to assume that just by copying them to a HD that you won't lose them, I have
had HD's go bad, one took a power hitand my whole system fried due to overvoltage.
I copy my 'important' stuff to an internal HD, AND an external HD that I ONLY hook up when backing things
up to it and then I disconnect it, and I also copy some stuff to DVD's (and DVD's don't last forever, either)
Again, when you add up the cost of a vacation/trip, it's a lot less expensive to back up the important
images to several different places - if you are into that (photography).
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Old Mar 30, 19, 1:38 am
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When it comes to CF cards or any other memory cards, go for the branded ones like Lexar and SanDisk. Cheap memory cards may have some voltage issues since they are not perfectly tested. So, you may end up in damaging your costly camera,
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Old Mar 30, 19, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by govindvkumar View Post
When it comes to CF cards or any other memory cards, go for the branded ones like Lexar and SanDisk. Cheap memory cards may have some voltage issues since they are not perfectly tested. So, you may end up in damaging your costly camera,
CF have voltage issues?? A CF or any flash memory device take voltage input, the larger issue is quality of design, silicon, and process and test monitoring and screening.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post
CF have voltage issues?? A CF or any flash memory device take voltage input, the larger issue is quality of design, silicon, and process and test monitoring and screening.
Read carefully. The issue is with the bad memory cards which are from the local brands. The voltage issue is due to the poor design of these cards and not sufficient testing. Due to the poor contacts and layout inside, there can be fluctuation in voltages which are seen during read and write operations. I have personally tested many varieties of cards since I am into Electronic Designing.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 4:17 pm
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I am using mostly Transcend 4GB cards (the cheapest type) and have never seen this error.
I have also used a few Sony cards when they were on special offer near me, no problems.

I always use the 1GB image just because it writes to the card faster. There is no advantage to using the larger image. The larger card has more sectors for wear leveling but it's debatable whether that's any real advantage.

It's worth noting that there is no point in buying a card with a high transfer rate. These support UDMA modes but pfSense disable it, all cards run at PIO speeds.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 8:28 am
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Interesting discussion you have going on about CF cards. In 10+ years of me using them I have not had single one of them go bad on me. Many years ago I also purchased a bunch of used CF cards from photography forum members and all are still working. I've used Sandisk, Lexar, Transcend, Adata.

On the other hand I had several micro SD / SDHC cards go bad on me. They were brand name and they still went bad. I trust CF cards over other types.

my 2 pesos
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Old Apr 10, 19, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Fine Art Landscape Photographer View Post
Interesting discussion you have going on about CF cards. In 10+ years of me using them I have not had single one of them go bad on me. Many years ago I also purchased a bunch of used CF cards from photography forum members and all are still working. I've used Sandisk, Lexar, Transcend, Adata.

On the other hand I had several micro SD / SDHC cards go bad on me. They were brand name and they still went bad. I trust CF cards over other types.

my 2 pesos
IIRC I also did not have any CF failures but two SD and two micro SD.

I guess it goes back to the same spec in a smaller package you will be giving up something (sensors)
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Old Apr 16, 19, 10:23 am
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Over the years I've had one high-qualify CF card die on me, and zero high-quality SD cards die - and that's with owning more SD cards than CF (and significantly more capacity in SD than CF).

I have had some other SD and microSD cards die, but these were the cheaper versions where that wouldn't surprise me - not something I've ever use in a camera.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
IIRC I also did not have any CF failures but two SD and two micro SD.

I guess it goes back to the same spec in a smaller package you will be giving up something (sensors)
CF weak point is the pin interface, not elegant and can be prone to bending and such if they get dirty. I have to admit in more than a decade of use in high end DSLR and readers have never bent a pin. Had my first failure with a 32GB Transcend, probably used for more than 5 years and about two dozen re-formats. Lucky my CF are always in a camera with two cards and always have backup on the second.

BTW the spec for CF/SD/ etch has nothing to do with smaller package. The move in the last three years to 3D nand and MLC and higher bits/cell has resulted in so few storage electrons that complex program, sense, verify is required and the window for accurate bit reads are miniscule. Combined with the atomic level of control needed for lateral and vertical dimensions make for changing from 100K-10K read/write and 10 Year retention to 10s - 1000s of read/writes / bit and complex software management of individual bit reliability. Almost a 737-Max software kind of thing, LOL.

Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Over the years I've had one high-qualify CF card die on me, and zero high-quality SD cards die - and that's with owning more SD cards than CF (and significantly more capacity in SD than CF).

I have had some other SD and microSD cards die, but these were the cheaper versions where that wouldn't surprise me - not something I've ever use in a camera.
Had my first SD failure in my D810 running as a backup, it was a 64GB, so even the top brands have failures. Not sure why, but it went corrupt, lucky the CF primary was all good.

I can see how if you are a wedding photographer having a camera with backup is critical! For most sports and joe smoe a failure is usually tolerable.

The issue with microSD and SD could simply be the package for both the die and outer are getting so thin. The bare wafer is polished paper thin, actually thinner than that and mounted and any thermal or physical stress will simply cause joint wear out and data loss/corruption
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