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Should I get a Microdrive for my G1

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Thread started 18 Apr 2001 (Wednesday) 20:19   
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Novice1
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I'm thinking about buying a 1GB IBM Microdrive. These question go out to all of you lucky (perhaps unlucky) Microdrive owners.

- If this is in essence a hard drive, does it have many bad sectors?

- How bad is the battery drain as compared to when you use CF cards?

- Do the vibrations of the spinning platters cause blur in your photos?

- I heard that you can't use the drive above 10,000 ft. elevation. Ok, how about if I'm on a plane at 35,000 ft. with the camera off. If there's turbulance, will the drive be damaged?

- Is it safe to pass the Microdrive through airport scanners?

- What's the warranty on these things?

Thanks in advance for you answers. It'll help me make a more informed decision about this.

Post #1, Apr 18, 2001 20:19:06




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polak187
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I worked with every single macrodrive that is out there 170, 340, .5 and 1 gig. We use them in out rental department and in comparison to those monster type III cards IBM microdrives were the best as far as the durability goes. Currently I have a 1 gig car in my camera and another one in my notebook. I'm just carefull with them. No more jumping, running and throwing. I saw maybe 5 or 6 dead microdrives. All of them destroyed becasue they were droped on a concrete floor during photo shoots. But I guess your camera will be dead too if that happened. I heard stories about people droping microdrives on the carpet and loosing them. Never happened to me but I also never dropped mine. I'm not taking any chances. Treat your macro drive like your treat your camera and you will be fine.

- If this is in essence a hard drive, does it have many bad sectors?

Didn't run into bad sectors but there are fragments that not always can be seen, especially by Mac users. Those fragments have a tendency to pile up and slow down your drive.

- How bad is the battery drain as compared to when you use CF cards?

Maybe. I still haven't run into this problem. I bought extra battery but I still haven't use it. I shoot about 50-60 pictures a day.

- Do the vibrations of the spinning platters cause blur in your photos?

Nope.

- I heard that you can't use the drive above 10,000 ft. elevation. Ok, how about if I'm on a plane at 35,000 ft. with the camera off. If there's turbulance, will the drive be damaged?

I had microdrives in my bag when traveling to Vegas and LA for photo shows no problem.

- Is it safe to pass the Microdrive through airport scanners?

No problem here either.

- What's the warranty on these things?

One year but if you mess it up (drop, physcial abuse and damage) you are on you own.

Post #2, Apr 19, 2001 13:00:33




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John ­ - ­ NJ
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These two were questions I had also. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

polak187 wrote:
I had microdrives in my bag when traveling to Vegas and LA for photo shows no problem.

- Is it safe to pass the Microdrive through airport scanners?
No problem here either.

Post #3, Apr 19, 2001 15:21:36




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Novice1
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Thanks. Your comments on the Microdrives have helped me a lot. I'm going to go out and get one.

Post #4, Apr 19, 2001 15:45:49




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jays
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The concern about the 10,000 foot limit is due to the drop in air pressure (i.e. the thinning of the air). If the air thins enough, the heads of the drive will not "fly" and you'll have a hard crash. Above 10,000 feet they recommend CF cards, which don't have the limitation. Airlines maintain cabin pressure and therefore the air does not thin, so the microdrive should have no problem in a pressurized cabin.

jays

Post #5, Apr 19, 2001 16:31:50




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John ­ - ­ NJ
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Now I'm worried again. What if the microdrive is in your suitcase in the baggage section without pressurization? Does it only matter if it is being used?
Thanks.

jays wrote:
Airlines maintain cabin pressure and therefore the air does not thin, so the microdrive should have no problem in a pressurized cabin.

Post #6, Apr 19, 2001 16:35:53




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prosurfer
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I was almost worried for the airport scanners - and then I thought of the millions of people who put their laptops thru the scanners every day and noticed I'm getting paranoid again =)

Just for curiosity: My Microdrive had no warnings at all conserning altitude/thin air. It did have plenty of other warnings printed on the one-page manual...

John - NJ wrote:
These two were questions I had also. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

polak187 wrote:
I had microdrives in my bag when traveling to Vegas and LA for photo shows no problem.

- Is it safe to pass the Microdrive through airport scanners?
No problem here either.

Post #7, Apr 19, 2001 17:01:16


Body: 40D Lenses: 20-35/2.8L, 70-200/4L, 135/2L, 300/4L, Canon 1.4x
Misc: Canon 420EX, Gitzo G2220+MagicBall, Manfrotto 679B
It's not the size, but how you use it.

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jays
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There is no problem if the drive is not running. It is my understanding that the heads on the microdrive are not unlike the heads for ZIP or JAZZ drives, they have wings that allow the heads to float on the vortex of air the drive creates while spinning. If the drive is active and the air is thin enough, the wings can not lift the heads. You would have the same problem with the ZIP or JAZZ drives is the air was thin enough. I would not recommend the microdrive to be in your suitcase in case it is lost or stolen, not because of the unpressurized compartment. I'd carry the drive and your camera in your carry-on.

Have fun,

jays

Post #8, Apr 19, 2001 18:59:41




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polak187
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Never ever check in your equipment. Always bring it as a carry on. In this case pressure will be least of your worries. The way that your check-in bags are handled will ruin your microdrive not becasue of pressure but becasue of shock that your MD will go thru when your stuff is being thrown around. All power to handlers for their tough jobs and long shifts but if you hand around the airports long enough you will see your bags falling off the transporter belts, being thrown, falling of the cargo bays, getting stuck. I made it simple for my self: I have a photo bag that always stays with me. No problems, no surprises, no worries.

Post #9, Apr 20, 2001 06:14:30




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Guy1
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A the price of 128 MB flash cards, (~100 $), you could get more than 500 MB of flash cards for the same price of a relatively short lived MD.

Flash cards are not on the same playing field as MD. They are so much superior in almost every aspect.

IMHO, IBM should increase the capacity or better, decrease the price of the MD, to remain competive in this market.

Guy

Post #10, Apr 22, 2001 15:43:40




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Rick
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Not to start a fight, but with 1 gig MD's at 350 bucks there is no way you can do better with flash cards. Secondly I dont see where you can backup the short lived statement on MD's. There are too many people using them myself included, that can refute that statement. Also check some of the polls being taken such as at www.dpreview.comexternal link they also suggest your info might be too subjective.

Rick

Post #11, Apr 22, 2001 22:15:32




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prosurfer
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guy1 wrote:
A the price of 128 MB flash cards, (~100 $), you could get more than 500 MB of flash cards for the same price of a relatively short lived MD.

Flash cards are not on the same playing field as MD. They are so much superior in almost every aspect.

IMHO, IBM should increase the capacity or better, decrease the price of the MD, to remain competive in this market.

Guy

Sure, electromagnetic device (flash card) is faster and more reliable than a mechanical device (microdrive).

It is as well far more expensive. I bought my 1 GB Microdrive for 450 Euros, and the cheapest on-line store in Finland sells 128 MB CF for 200 Euros. So the price/MB is about 3.5x in favour of Microdrive.

I also don't want to empty my CF (or Microdrive) to my notebook HD while traveling, nor carry several cards around afraid losing them. So Microdrive is more useful here.

And finally, 1GB HD size of a coin is far more impressive than a piece of silicone of the same size =)

Post #12, Apr 24, 2001 13:14:58


Body: 40D Lenses: 20-35/2.8L, 70-200/4L, 135/2L, 300/4L, Canon 1.4x
Misc: Canon 420EX, Gitzo G2220+MagicBall, Manfrotto 679B
It's not the size, but how you use it.

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Hanmen
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Joined May 2001
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I bought a 340MB microdrive for my G1 in China, it cost me near US$180. An 64MB CF card is about US$60 here. Do I have any choice to select one of above? ;-)a
The bad news is a 1GB one is more expensive so far, US$600 nearly, or I will choose it. :-(

Post #13, May 07, 2001 22:32:46




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polak187
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Where are you getting your prices of Microdrives from? Average price of 1 GIG is around $450 (store next door right here in NYC). And I saw posts on this forum claiming that 1GIG could be purchased for $390. One of the mail order places that will have it would be B&H.

Post #14, May 08, 2001 06:09:53




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Hanmen
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I'm a Canadian working in China. I bought my G1 from Canon agent here recently and it just cost me US$830. But the price of 1GB microdrive is more expensive here. So I have to buy a 340MB instead. :-(

Post #15, May 08, 2001 10:08:52




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