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CF, SD, microdrive... same thing?

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Old 06-03-04, 01:03 PM Thread Starter   #1
TheDS
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CF, SD, microdrive... same thing?


Compact Flash (type I or II)
Secure Digital
Microdrive

Are they compatible with each other? Are CF and SD the same thing?

A lot of cameras seem to say they support CF, the laptop I just got has an SD card port and I was told that it was to allow use with digital cameras, and Microdrives appear to be intended as a cheap replacement for CF cards.

Also, do you insert the things narrow end first, or wide end? My cousin has a camera that looks like it uses one of these things, and the labeling seemed to indicate that the card should be inserted by the wide end (the way the label was oriented); no apparent contacts to plug into, and so it was too wide to stick into my slot.

However, I've just now been looking around the internet a little, and it appears I should have tried inserting by the narrow end, if indeed these are what I think they are.

Thanks in advance for clearing this up for me and indirectly helping me figure out what kind of camera and memory to get for it.
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Old 06-04-04, 03:50 PM   #2
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No, they are not the same.

Compact Flash comes in two flavors (Type I and Type II). Type II is thicker than Type I; A camera that supports Type II usually supports Type I. It uses a ATA/EIDE interface.

Secure digital comes in a totally different package and uses a totally different interface; SD/SPI.

Regarless of which you are using, the side with the pin sockets or visible pins goes into the camera first.

The microdrive, which I have, is a CF Type II form factor with a 1 Gig capacity. It is an actual HARD DRIVE, which means it has moving parts inside and its expected life is nowhere as long as a real CF card. At the time I bought it, 1 Gig CF cards were not available.

However, now you can purchase 1 Gig CF cards for as little as $150 today, which I would do over a microdrive anyday for the above fact.

When it all comes down to it, if your camera supports both CF and SD, get the cheaper of the two. I think you will find that CF cards are significanty cheaper as they are more widely used. Personally, I prefer CF.

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Old 06-07-04, 02:09 PM   #3
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Grimdeath is correct. They are not the same. Though a microdrive is a compactflash device. You see Compact flash (CF) and Secure Digita (SD) are really interface standards. You can get lots other things that will work in SD or CF slots. Specifically accessories for PDAs.

Any way

Compact Flash
http://compactflash.org/

Secure Digital
There doesn't seem to be an official SD specifications website.
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Old 06-07-04, 02:28 PM   #4
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Well, I have a similar question:

What is the difference between xD and SD cards?
Can somebody clear up for me what are the advantages/disadvantages in getting a camera/card with either xD or SD?

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Old 06-07-04, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termin@tor
Well, I have a similar question:

What is the difference between xD and SD cards?
Can somebody clear up for me what are the advantages/disadvantages in getting a camera/card with either xD or SD?
xD Cards are Olympus' and Fuji's proprietary format. You can't use them in any other brand cameras. SD is used by lots of stuff. The good thing about xD is that it's extremely small. They are not compatible with each other.

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Old 06-07-04, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpmegee
xD Cards are Olympus' and Fuji's proprietary format. You can't use them in any other brand cameras. SD is used by lots of stuff. The good thing about xD is that it's extremely small. They are not compatible with each other.
Cool. Thanks, exactly what I needed to know

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