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View Full Version : CF or xD card?



thomas_d
20th August 2008, 12:57 PM
hi folks

Any thoughts on the best memory card (size/speed/type etc) for a new e420. can an xd and CF card be used at the same time? I use CF cards with my compact but xD is new to me. any benefits from these?

thanks

tom

Bear
20th August 2008, 01:47 PM
I've never found any benefits from using xD cards so don't bother. As far as i can see the only use would be if you wanted to use both slots. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

Howi
20th August 2008, 02:10 PM
Main benefit of having both cards installed would be if you ran out of CF, think of it as a handy backup, always in the camera. Other than that, xD cards are expensive, slow, not as easy to find etc. etc.
Could be a life saver in some circumstances, only you can decide if beneficial.
Welcome to Fourthirdsuser by the way, post some pickies when you get the chance, you will ONLY get constructive feedback here. *chr

RogerMac
20th August 2008, 02:10 PM
I've never found any benefits from using xD cards so don't bother. As far as i can see the only use would be if you wanted to use both slots. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

I believe that there is a panorama function that is only available with Olympus brand xD cards - I have not yet used it and otherwise I agree with Bear

Roger

mikefellh
20th August 2008, 02:18 PM
Agree with all that's been said...definitely slower than molasses in February. With that said if you don't want to carry a second CF card you can keep the xD card in the camera at all times for additional capacity.

There is the panorama SCENE mode, but it's pretty useless and they haven't improved it since they had it way back on the C-700.

A decent CF card to get is the Sandisk Extreme III or faster. Just don't buy CF cards on eBay as 95% of all high-end cards sold there are counterfeit.

joeletx
20th August 2008, 03:14 PM
The Olympus xD M+ speed is probably equal 100X of the CF but cost twice as much. I have one in my E-3 as a backup or use it in a short shooting project, and do not want to wear out the CF socket from constant inserting and removing. As stated panorama use is the only advantage only if using Olympus brand xD. You have to set the E-420 to Panorama mode and take pictures at landscape frame only; Vertical frames will not work in Olympus Photo Master or Studio. If you do not use panorama mode, it is just a waist of money...

HughofBardfield
20th August 2008, 03:26 PM
I keep a 1Gb xD in the camera for emergencies only - just like having an internal RAM in the camera really (but vastly slower!). It has got me out of trouble a couple of times. It would have been nice if Oly could have used them both (ie simultaneous write to the CF and xD - RAW to CF and JPEG to xD for example). Another of those "nice to haves" they've never included.

I agree with the others about the "panorama mode". You're much better off doing your own thing and stitching together in 3rd party software written for the purpose.

siralien
20th August 2008, 06:20 PM
I have both a 4GB CF and 2GB XD M2 Oly card in my E510. Both store photos, both work and both do the job they were bought for so as to advantage I see none for me save the panoramic mode I haven't used yet.

The image quality is not lower when using one card over the other so for me they work well.

I guess it depends on what type of photography you are into. I take a fair few minutes framing and setting up my picture before taking it so speed is never an issue.

mike_j
20th August 2008, 07:11 PM
There is the panorama SCENE mode, but it's pretty useless and they haven't improved it since they had it way back on the C-700.



I'm interested to hear that as our camera club has a panorama competition this month and I initially assumed I could do it in Olympus Master then found it was XD cards only. I toyed with the idea of buying a XD card but eventually used a freeware program to do the stitching (from 3 film negs as it happened)

Blu-by-u
21st August 2008, 01:56 AM
Panorama function and some other stuff you can download for the Oly Master. you need the serial number to enable it.

I would not bother with that xD chip..it's more expensive and much slower than the CF chip.

siralien
21st August 2008, 05:31 AM
I bought a 2GB XD card for just over a tenner from 7dayshop. I don't think they're too expensive.

Bikeracer
21st August 2008, 09:01 AM
Cheap XD cards work but they can be slow the Olympus card isnt particularly fast .
I switched to a fast CF as the delays in writing to the XD gave me problems with sports photography .

StephenL
21st August 2008, 11:09 AM
Good to have an xD card in as a backup, but I agree, I wouldn't use one as my main card.

thomas_d
22nd August 2008, 10:51 AM
thanks to all for the advice. seems that if it's one or the other the CF wins hands down. On th other hand if the xd slot is lying empty it might be worth buying an xd later as backup

tom

Howi
22nd August 2008, 02:21 PM
Yup! you got it in a nutshell t-up

BobB
22nd August 2008, 04:49 PM
By and large I agree with the comments regarding the advantages of the CF card over the xD card, and a year or so ago there was a poll on this site asking members which combination of memory cards they would prefer, and, the CF + SD combination came out tops.

Yet there is one disadvantage of the CF card which has not, I think, been mentioned, which is the fact that the CF card has to mate with a large number of pins first in the camera and then in the card reader, and if one pin becomes misaligned, the card will not insert properly, and I had this problem after I purchased my E-510 a year ago, and although Olympus promptly repaired the camera, I would not like it to happen again, no that the guarantee is coming to an end. Perhaps members have their own tips as to how to avoid this problem.

The xD card and the SD card both have a simple line of contacts, which may mean slower downloading, but is seems mechanically less liable to misalignment.

It is of interest that Canon's new EOS 450D takes SD cards rather than the CF cards used in all their previous digital cameras, although I understand the change will only apply to the consumer models.

Thoughts anybody?

BobB

mikefellh
23rd August 2008, 04:46 AM
I've been using CF for over a decade, and never had an issue...but I take my time when putting in a CF, I make sure I put equal presure on both corners, and I push the card in gently (not slap it in), and if it doesn't go in I pull it out and make sure there's not a problem.

I've seen the same issue with people dropping batteries into flashes and cameras...when they drop the batteries in they bend the contacts further then meant to be bent, and eventually they stay bent to the point where they lose contact with the battery.

StephenL
23rd August 2008, 07:21 AM
I think this is done purely for size reasons.



It is of interest that Canon's new EOS 450D takes SD cards rather than the CF cards used in all their previous digital cameras, although I understand the change will only apply to the consumer models.

Thoughts anybody?

BobB

shirley
23rd August 2008, 08:23 AM
I use a 4GB CF card which means I can shoot 300ish RAW images before it is full. I do keep an XD card in the slot and carry spare CF cards but I find that for a normal day's shooting I can usually get away without changing the card. I then transfer my images to the computer via the camera USB which means that I do not have to remove the card very often.

timg
23rd August 2008, 09:12 AM
I think this is done purely for size reasons.

and as many point-n-shooters looking to upgrade will have SD cards already... it does make you wonder why Olympus chose CF cards for the 410/510 when size is obviously a major factor for them!

Bear
23rd August 2008, 11:47 AM
All the DSLR's I've had have used CF cards. I am always removing and re-installing them, switching from camera to camera etc and in five years I have never had a problem with one. I use an 8gb Sandisk Extreme IV as my main card and rarely fill it in a days shooting. When I get home I pop it out of the camera and download the images using a card reader. Never fails - so far.....

rolfw
23rd August 2008, 07:04 PM
Yep, same here, always remove the CF to upload the photos and have never experienced any problems, the slot guides are long enough to prevent pin damage, unlike on one of my card readers. :)

I also use an xd card as a backup, as I had spares from my Fuji finepix. :)

Ledgem
24th August 2008, 08:32 PM
I don't think there's a contest between the two. The only positive argument that I'd heard for xD vs. CF was that xD cards are more reliable, but that statement was never backed up. I'm inclined to think that they're about the same.

CF cards beat xD cards in nearly every area you can think of. In terms of speed, my 4 GB 133x CF card seemed to write in 1-2 seconds what took my 1 GB xD type M card more like 4-6 seconds. In terms of value, the price of xD cards has not changed much (~$30's USD; perhaps they're cheaper if you hunt around a bit harder) whereas the price of CF cards continues to drop as larger capacity cards continue to come out. xD type M seems to be stuck at 2 GB, while xD type H (much faster, much rarer) seems stuck at 1 GB. CF cards in 16 GB are already available at a decent cost, and 32 GB is on the way. It would seem that xD is a dead-end technology at this point.

The only thing that you can do with xD cards from Olympus specifically is to use your camera's panorama scene function. I occasionally make use of this. The camera will save data on the order of the pictures, and Olympus Master (free program) will then stitch them together for you. Better panorama-stitching software exists, from what I hear (and I wouldn't be surprised).

I had my xD card from my point-and-shoot days, and I carry it in the camera now as added insurance. I don't want to have to worry about rationing out pictures if I fill up my CF card. The xD gives me a bit of extra room; it's my "reserve." However, due to its sluggishness, it's nothing more than that. I certainly wouldn't mind it if Olympus changed the xD slot to an SDHC slot or to a second CF slot.

mikefellh
24th August 2008, 09:32 PM
while xD type H (much faster, much rarer) seems stuck at 1 GB.

May "seem" like that to you, but I have a 2GB Type H in my E-330.

I only use it like the 2nd gas tank in the old VW Beetles, only to be switched to when space on the CF is depleted.

Ledgem
25th August 2008, 11:27 PM
Interesting, I stand corrected. I was never able to find one in the Olympus store so I assumed that they simply didn't exist. However, Olympus makes it hard to see what cards they have for sale - listing my camera as the E-520 results in only xD Type M cards showing not, not a single Type H. Googling for a 2 GB card shows some results. How is the type H to you compared with CF speeds? And if you don't mind my asking, where did you find it and about how much did you pay for it?

mikefellh
26th August 2008, 12:14 AM
I use an ExtremeIII CF so any xD is like molasses in February...here's a site that has speed tests for both H and M cards on the E-330:
http://myolympus.org/E330/writetime/

As for where I bought it, in Toronto there's an area of the city (at Spadina & College streets) where there's over a dozen computer/electronics stores, and I bought it at one of them for $45cdn (it was the only one left).

Just wonder why they abandoned the faster Type H for the slower M+.

siralien
26th August 2008, 11:52 AM
I have not seen any of the 'H' cards anywhere. I don't think a) production has stepped up enough yet or b) Oly are pushing it too hard.

For me speed is not an issue. I am not a sports photographer and tend to take pictures slowly and carefully so a 2GB 'M' card for a 10 is good enough for me :-)

Capacity is far more important than speed for me as I can't see what advantage faster storage would give me.

StephenL
26th August 2008, 01:43 PM
On the whole I agree, with two caveats:
1) the eggs-in-basket scenario if a card should fail, and
2) the faster the card the faster the download, which becomes more important the larger and fuller the card.



For me speed is not an issue. I am not a sports photographer and tend to take pictures slowly and carefully so a 2GB 'M' card for a 10 is good enough for me :-)

Capacity is far more important than speed for me as I can't see what advantage faster storage would give me.

mikefellh
26th August 2008, 02:50 PM
Writing to the card is one of the energy draining activities that the camera does, and (although never tested) if the camera can get it over with quickly you should be able to get more shots out of the battery than if it's taking more time writing to the card.

If you think about it, when the camera is ready to take a picture it is simply waiting for you to press a button, but when it is writing to the card the processor is doing a lot of tasks including moving data back and forth between the card.

Howi
26th August 2008, 03:07 PM
Perhaps the CF card is considered more professional!!! Good job Panasonic stuck with the SD format for the L1 and L10. In my experience with CF cards, they only become damaged by wrong insertion, yes! I know they are keyed to prevent this, but it is surprising the number of people who will force something into a slot, if they think it should fit!!!*smash
It is this reverse insertion, that will damage the pins inside the camera (actually just one pin) - an expensive repair should it be needed.
For those who prefer SD cards I think you can get a CF to SD adaptor - problem solved. *super

StephenL
26th August 2008, 03:12 PM
In my days of IT support I once had a user who managed to connect a VGA monitor cable upside down! Needless to say, it was well mangled. She must have had some strength!


but it is surprising the number of people who will force something into a slot, if they think it should fit!!!*smash

Bear
26th August 2008, 03:22 PM
I can understand that ! I have never come across a nut that can't be over-tightened, a screw that can't be driven in too far or a jar that is impossible to undo once I've shut it. When we sell our olive oil we do so in screw 2L PET bottles (among other things). We have received many complaints from people who can't open them because I've done them up so they don't leak ! Never broken a CF card or slot though !

Howi
26th August 2008, 07:26 PM
OK Bear, try this the next time you insert your CF card (you could use someone elses CF card to prove it doesn't damage the card!) align card as normal with slot in camera, rotate the card 180 degrees, still with the holes towards the pins, and hammer in gently. See! it does fit!:D

Bear
26th August 2008, 09:29 PM
I'm not worried about the card. I'll gladly volunteer one of mine for this experiment. Now anyone going to volunteer an E3 or an E510 or an E410 or an E............

Thought not !

fluffy
27th August 2008, 12:59 AM
I know I sometimes get cards flipped, especially in my CF reader. I guess somewhere I pushed to hard, and the reader stopped working. Looking in it looks like one of the pins is bent over. I know that means a dead reader. The scary part is I went out to dinner and came back to that burning electrical smell. A quick check indicated the culprit: the card reader. It was almost too hot to touch. I pulled the FireWire cable and then removed the by now really hot CF card (naturally enough an Extreme IV card). The card is OK; the reader obviously shorted. While it's probably self-extinguishing (they're supposed to be) the desk and all the paper around sure isn't. Last time I'll leave a card in a reader unattended.

Steve

Asmarlak
27th August 2008, 01:59 AM
Yes, they both can be used at the same time but you have to choose where you want to store your images. I have both installed in my e-510 but I mainly use 16 GB cf card, its much faster than the xd.