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Small cameras getting too small?

 
 
Paul Rubin
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      01-29-2006
secheese <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> >One thing I can't understand is why cameras don't also work as USB
> >card readers. That is, you should be able to just plug the camera
> >into a computer and read the card like a drive

>
> Most do!


What I'm getting at is the camera should just expose the card to the
computer through a minimal USB interface instead of acting as a relay
with the camera software getting into the act. If you have (say) a
Sandisk card and connect it to your computer through a $7 usb card
reader, it will appear on the computer as "SANDISK" or something like
that, i.e. the info the computer sees is what the card says. If you
put it in your camera (Canon, Nikon, etc) the computer probably will
see "CANON POWERSHOT" or whatever the model is. The camera is making
its own pseudo-mass-storage interface for the computer instead of
letting the card do it. That wouldn't be so bad except many of these
camera usb implementations have bugs. So the camera should just get
out of the way.
 
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MarkČ
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      01-29-2006
Skip M wrote:
> "Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed). ..
>>
>> "Paul Rubin" <http://(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>> I think consumer digicams are irreversably abandoning CF. I'm told
>>> the reason is the number of warranty repairs from CF contact pins
>>> inside the cameras getting bent up when the cards are inserted
>>> incorrectly.

>>
>> CF cards are toast! The bent pin issues (alone) have done them in.
>>

> I've used CF cards since my D30 nearly 4 years ago, and never had a
> problem. But, then, I treat my equipment with respect.


Me too. In fact, I'm using the same 1GB microdrive I bought with my D30 in
2000, and it's never ever had a problem. I was shooting with that original
drive today. 3 1GB microdrives have been flawless. Personally, though,
I don't have a problem with the advent of SD. They are clearly able to
stuff the GBs into that tiny little thing...they're plenty fast, and seem
plenty robust. Smaller to save space, yet not so small as to be fiddly. I
also like the push-in-to-release routine, as this means you never have to
use a finger-nail to grab the edge as with CF. With my microdrives, I've
actually added pieces of packing tape to form a little tab for grabbing,
since microdrives don't have a raised edge to tug on as the thinner Type I
cards do.

I'm hoping Canon's next model will have both CF and SD as the 1 Series does
now.


 
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Skip M
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      01-29-2006
"MarkČ" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote in message
news:aL_Cf.53560$V.6319@fed1read04...
> Skip M wrote:
>> "Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed). ..
>>>
>>> "Paul Rubin" <http://(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>>> I think consumer digicams are irreversably abandoning CF. I'm told
>>>> the reason is the number of warranty repairs from CF contact pins
>>>> inside the cameras getting bent up when the cards are inserted
>>>> incorrectly.
>>>
>>> CF cards are toast! The bent pin issues (alone) have done them in.
>>>

>> I've used CF cards since my D30 nearly 4 years ago, and never had a
>> problem. But, then, I treat my equipment with respect.

>
> Me too. In fact, I'm using the same 1GB microdrive I bought with my D30
> in 2000, and it's never ever had a problem. I was shooting with that
> original drive today. 3 1GB microdrives have been flawless.
> Personally, though, I don't have a problem with the advent of SD. They
> are clearly able to stuff the GBs into that tiny little thing...they're
> plenty fast, and seem plenty robust. Smaller to save space, yet not so
> small as to be fiddly. I also like the push-in-to-release routine, as
> this means you never have to use a finger-nail to grab the edge as with
> CF. With my microdrives, I've actually added pieces of packing tape to
> form a little tab for grabbing, since microdrives don't have a raised edge
> to tug on as the thinner Type I cards do.
>
> I'm hoping Canon's next model will have both CF and SD as the 1 Series
> does now.
>

I like the combination of SD and CF in the 1D mkII. You can shoot each card
in tandem or in succession. Kind of cool.

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com


 
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Ron Hunter
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      01-29-2006
GRL wrote:
> My wife has been using a Canon S400 for the past couple of years and it had
> just a great balance of size and function. Took great snapshots and even had
> a very nice fitted soft leather case. Very easy to hold/use. Well, last year
> the camera was lost on a vacation which put us in the market for a
> replacement. The S400 is gone and replaced by the SD400, a thinner model
> that uses SD (ugh) instead of CF media. Since we have other cameras that use
> CF and have lots of CF cards, I'm not thrilled about getting one that uses
> SD.
>
> I looked in Best Buy, Staples, and Office Max and on-line for alternatives.
> What I'm finding is that the manufacturers seem to have gone over the top
> with pocket camera miniaturization. They are making them so thin, in
> particular, that they are hard to hold except with finger-tips...and even
> then... The optical view-finders are also getting smaller or, even worse,
> disappearing entirely. I almost never shoot with the LCD on as I think it a
> waste of battery. We just use the screen to view images already taken.
> Looking over the SD400's competitors from pretty much all brands, and there
> are loads of them, none was any better in terms of feel in the hand and some
> were too plastic in construction. The Canon Elphs all have a great metal
> body design. CF was in none of them, too. If one wants something that is a
> bit larger and easier to hold, you have to go into another class of camera
> that tend to have a molded-look grip (good), but they are made of plastic,
> are a bit TOO thick with their larger lenses and have a cheap feel. (There
> are exceptions, like the Canon S60/70/80 line - I have an S70 that I carry
> when I use my big Sony camcorder, but these are a bit above the $250 I want
> to spend and, for that matter, are a bit wide for easy pocket carry vs. the
> S400.)
>
> Fortunately, the son-of-S400, S500, while not manufactured, is still to be
> found at a few places and I picked one up at NewEgg for $245 plus ship. So
> we still end up with the excellent balance of size and performance (and CF
> use) that the Canon Sxxx digital Elph series offers.
>
> I do think that the camera makers are creating a market hole, though, in
> their pursuit of smaller and smaller, less handleable, pocket cameras with
> near-useless, in some cases, view-finders...or no view-finder at all.
>
> Anyone agree/disagree?
>
>

Frankly, I wouldn't buy a camera with no viewfinder, and would be VERY
reluctant to buy one with only an EVF. I rarely (closeups only) use the
LCD for framing, and use the viewfinder by preference for reasons of
stability. As for thickness, I also find the really thin cameras a bit
hard to manage. It seems that making them smaller, lighter, and cheaper
has taken over the P&S camera designers minds, rather than making them
'better'. ON the other hand, there are cameras like the Kodak C340 that
are rather small, and have great features. Unlike you, I don't require
a camera to be made of a specific material, so it being plastic doesn't
matter one bit to me, as long as it works well, and feels good in my hand.
 
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Ron Hunter
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      01-29-2006
Alfred Molon wrote:
> In article <cQSCf.2393$(E-Mail Removed)>, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
> says...
>
>> Anyone agree/disagree?

>
> There is nothing wrong with SD cards and in fact they are better for
> freqent insertions/removals than CF cards, because the connector doesn't
> have so many pins (which might break).
>
> As for the size and weight, I guess it's a matter of taste, but at the
> moment there seems to be a strong market demand for compact cameras,
> judging from the number of compact models launched. By the way, those
> flat compact cameras with big LCD screens look cool in my opinion.
> Obviously they can't compete with DSLR cameras, but probably they
> deliver results good enough for the casual user who does not make big
> enlargements.


Something I don't understand is that smaller cameras often has screens
as large as 2.5", while the DSLR's I have seen, although much larger,
usually have 1.8" screens. I guess DSLR users never review their
pictures.....
 
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Ron Hunter
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      01-29-2006
Paul Rubin wrote:
> "Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>> CF cards are toast! The bent pin issues (alone) have done them in.

>
> One thing I can't understand is why cameras don't also work as USB
> card readers. That is, you should be able to just plug the camera
> into a computer and read the card like a drive, maybe without even
> turning the camera on. Cameras instead generally require a huge
> amount of battery power when connected to a computer, and (even when
> they act like a USB drive) still insert their own software layer which
> is frequently buggy and confuses the computer. They should have a
> setting to completely get out of the way and just let the computer see
> the card. That would avoid a lot of card removals/insertions.
>
> Similarly with wifi: some professional cameras have wifi interfaces
> that let you transfer files to the computer through ftp or http or
> some similar standard way. That's great. Consumer wifi cameras,
> though, insist on crazy nonstandard interfaces that only work through
> special PC software supplied with the camera, that's usually designed
> by idiots. Again, the solution is for the camera to just stay out of
> the way and let the computer get the files with the user's choice of
> software. Camera makers just don't seem capable of grasping that
> concept.

You could just buy the SD Plus cards that are their own USB connection.
Great idea!
 
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MarkČ
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2006
Ron Hunter wrote:
> Alfred Molon wrote:
>> In article <cQSCf.2393$(E-Mail Removed)>, (E-Mail Removed)
>> says...
>>
>>> Anyone agree/disagree?

>>
>> There is nothing wrong with SD cards and in fact they are better for
>> freqent insertions/removals than CF cards, because the connector
>> doesn't have so many pins (which might break).
>>
>> As for the size and weight, I guess it's a matter of taste, but at
>> the moment there seems to be a strong market demand for compact
>> cameras, judging from the number of compact models launched. By the
>> way, those flat compact cameras with big LCD screens look cool in my
>> opinion. Obviously they can't compete with DSLR cameras, but
>> probably they deliver results good enough for the casual user who
>> does not make big enlargements.

>
> Something I don't understand is that smaller cameras often has screens
> as large as 2.5", while the DSLR's I have seen, although much larger,
> usually have 1.8" screens. I guess DSLR users never review their
> pictures.....


That is changing already, though.
The 5D, 1D Mark IIN and others are now shipping with much larger LCDs.


 
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MarkČ
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      01-29-2006
Ron Hunter wrote:
> Paul Rubin wrote:
>> "Charles Schuler" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>> CF cards are toast! The bent pin issues (alone) have done them in.

>>
>> One thing I can't understand is why cameras don't also work as USB
>> card readers. That is, you should be able to just plug the camera
>> into a computer and read the card like a drive, maybe without even
>> turning the camera on. Cameras instead generally require a huge
>> amount of battery power when connected to a computer, and (even when
>> they act like a USB drive) still insert their own software layer
>> which is frequently buggy and confuses the computer. They should
>> have a setting to completely get out of the way and just let the
>> computer see the card. That would avoid a lot of card
>> removals/insertions. Similarly with wifi: some professional cameras have
>> wifi interfaces
>> that let you transfer files to the computer through ftp or http or
>> some similar standard way. That's great. Consumer wifi cameras,
>> though, insist on crazy nonstandard interfaces that only work through
>> special PC software supplied with the camera, that's usually designed
>> by idiots. Again, the solution is for the camera to just stay out of
>> the way and let the computer get the files with the user's choice of
>> software. Camera makers just don't seem capable of grasping that
>> concept.

> You could just buy the SD Plus cards that are their own USB
> connection. Great idea!


I've got one of those and carry it in my wallet...rather than a USB
key-chain version.
I figure I'm more likely to lose my keys than my wallet.

And yes--It's a great idea that works very well.


 
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Alfred Molon
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      01-29-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Paul Rubin
<http://(E-Mail Removed)> says...

> One thing I can't understand is why cameras don't also work as USB
> card readers.


Digital cameras should not be abused as card readers or battery chargers
(which unfortunately happens with some cameras).
--

Alfred Molon
------------------------------
Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330 and E500 forum at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
Olympus E500 resource - http://myolympus.org/E500/
 
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Alfred Molon
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      01-29-2006
In article <Fa0Df.53565$V.38135@fed1read04>, "MarkČ" <mjmorgan(lowest
even number here)@cox..net> says...

> The 5D, 1D Mark IIN and others are now shipping with much larger LCDs.


I saw the 5D yesterday in the shop, while looking for a camera with more
than 8MP. The 5D is one HUGE beast of a camera.
I'm sure they could make it smaller if they wanted, but then it probably
wouldn't appeal to the pros it is supposed to be targeted to...
--

Alfred Molon
------------------------------
Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330 and E500 forum at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
Olympus E500 resource - http://myolympus.org/E500/
 
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