DEAL: 4GB CF Microdrive for $79 !!

photobugphotobug Major grinsSilicon Valley, CARegistered Users Posts: 633 Major grins
edited February 21, 2006 in Flea Market
What's all the excitement about 2GB CF cards for eighty bucks? Check THIS deal out -- a 4GB Seagate CompactFlash Type-II microdrive for just $79.99! That's right, just $80 total, no sales tax, and free shipping to boot: I happily grabbed one of these puppies. Just crank up the motor drive (er, I'm showing my vintage -- I mean "continuous shooting mode") and let 'er rip, without worrying about filling up the memory card...


The above is also available in an 8GB version (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BO0SGG/), but the 8GB card is $149.

Go burn some bits....
Canon EOS 7D ........ 24-105 f/4L | 50 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8L IS + 1.4x II TC ........ 580EX
Supported by: Benro C-298 Flexpod tripod, MC96 monopod, Induro PHQ1 head
Also play with: studio strobes, umbrellas, softboxes, ...and a partridge in a pear tree...

Comments

  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Newport News, VARegistered Users Posts: 6,524 Major grins
    edited February 21, 2006
    Getting what you pay for?
    The question that always hangs in the back of my mind when I see prices like this is, "Are you getting what you pay for?"headscratch.gif I know that the IBM/Hitachi (sp?) drives have a good record and I have read some decent reviews of these. I have heard nothing of the Seagate microdrives.

    What would be really gread is if someone can Can provide some insight (from personal experience) and/or URLs to one or more reviews?

    Thanks
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited February 21, 2006
    link to Seagate ST1 info:

    http://www.seagate.com/products/consumer_electronics/st1series.html


    I know Seagate makes one tough HDD but since the originator of the MD (IBM) sold all technologies to Hitachi, I have been wondering where Seagate their technology from... Seagates video is impressive and the ST1 is supposed to be digital camera compatable.

    I can't get thedata sheets to open in IE or FF, so I have not been able to read all the info.

    They do have a 12gb model... the ST1.3 also
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • Mike LaneMike Lane I � Unicode Stuttgart, GermanyRegistered Users Posts: 7,106 Major grins
    edited February 21, 2006
    Just searching I found out some info about another seagate CF microdrive. It looks like it outperforms the hitachi drives.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/seagate-st1-5gb.html
    Y'all don't want to hear me, you just want to dance.

    http://photos.mikelanestudios.com/
  • photobugphotobug Major grins Silicon Valley, CARegistered Users Posts: 633 Major grins
    edited February 21, 2006
    ...I know that the IBM/Hitachi drives have a good record and I have read some decent reviews of these. I have heard nothing of the Seagate microdrives.

    What would be really great is if someone can Can provide some insight (from personal experience) and/or URLs to one or more reviews?
    Here's a helpful review: http://www.epinions.com/content_218268208772
    Here's less-helpful one: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1035&message=16652214

    From my personal experience with a past 2GB Hitachi microdrive:
    • The write speed is not as fast as a fast CF card ... one review above clocked the Seagate at around 2.5MB/sec ("16x" in flash-speak). These Seagate drives are spec'd at 8.8 MB/sec ("58x" in flash-memory terms) of sustained write speed. The large write buffer in most dSLRs makes the CF card write speed largely moot unless you do a lot of continuous-mode shooting, esp in RAW mode. A lot of cameras can't even write at the speed supported by ultra-fast CF cards (say, over "50x") -- the effective write speed is very dependent on the specific camera/CF card combination. (as Rob Galbraith shows in http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=6007).
    • A microdrive eats a little more power than a CF card, therefore battery life is a little shorter. How much? Hard to say, given that other factors like autofocus mode, lens IS/VR mode, and ambient temperature all affect battery life a lot, too. The eOpinions review above guessed at 40% less battery life ... but if you are only shooting 100-200 photos in the session, or keep a spare battery, or use a battery grip with dual batteries, that might not matter.
    • The Seagate microdrive has a 1.2 sec power-up (spin-up) time, whereas a CF card is ready "instantly". In practice, again because of a camera's large write buffer, I doubt this makes any difference. (I sure never noticed it with my Hitachi microdrive, and I'd guess that its spin-up time was even slower than the Seagate's)
    • A microdrive won't work in quite the extremes of temperatures (esp low temps) that a flash card will. These Seagate drives are spec'd for 32 to 158 degrees F (0 to 70 C), so you wouldn't want them for when you'll be immersed in the cold for a while, e.g. on that Yosemite backpacking trip in the winter, or an arctic adventure ;-). That's when you pay the big bucks for a SanDisk Extreme III or equivalent flash card.
    • I also understand (but not from personal experience) that a microdrive isn't as durable as a flash card. Dropping on concrete when not in camera is not advised (even though the drive is spec'd for over 750 Gs of non-operating shock!). While in the camera, the card is pretty safe, protected by the camera. Immersion in salt water would also not be a great idea with a microdrive, but CF cards seem to be fairly impervious. Running through the washing machine? OK for flash card, but I woudn't want to chance it with a microdrive.
    • Lastly, most flash-memory CF cards are "CF Type I", whereas microdrives are the thicker "CF Type II" form factor. Although probably all dSLRs support CF Type II, some smaller point-and-shoot cameras, PDAs, MP3 players, etc, may only provide room for CF Type I and not support microdrives.
    Re Seagate's history with microdrives -- they've been making them for several years, selling that first generation (2.5GB and 5GB) into embedded markets (notably MP3 players). As I understand it, these new drives (4GB, 8GB, and 12GB) are another generation of the same drives, but with better shock resistance and with the CF ATA interface added so they'll work in cameras. They also seem to have faster data transfer speeds.
    Canon EOS 7D ........ 24-105 f/4L | 50 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8L IS + 1.4x II TC ........ 580EX
    Supported by: Benro C-298 Flexpod tripod, MC96 monopod, Induro PHQ1 head
    Also play with: studio strobes, umbrellas, softboxes, ...and a partridge in a pear tree...
  • photobugphotobug Major grins Silicon Valley, CARegistered Users Posts: 633 Major grins
    edited February 21, 2006
    Mike Lane wrote:
    Just searching I found out some info about another seagate CF microdrive. It looks like it outperforms the hitachi drives.
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/seagate-st1-5gb.html
    That URL refers to an article about the previous-generation (2.5GB and 5GB) Seagate ST-1 drives, which were used in embedded applications but did not work in most dSLRs. (I hear that, oddly enough, they did however work in the Sony F828 ... I tried one in my 20D and it emphatically did not work; the camera couldn't recognize it)

    The new ones (4GB, 8GB, and 12GB) are still considered part of the ST-1 series, but are "the next generation". They also now support the ATA interface that all dSLRs use, so can actually be used in cameras now.
    Canon EOS 7D ........ 24-105 f/4L | 50 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8L IS + 1.4x II TC ........ 580EX
    Supported by: Benro C-298 Flexpod tripod, MC96 monopod, Induro PHQ1 head
    Also play with: studio strobes, umbrellas, softboxes, ...and a partridge in a pear tree...
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