Minolta A1 and 1gb Microdrive

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Peter, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Hi all,

    I have decided that I would like to upgrade from my Olympus 2100 to the
    new Minolta A1 and have a few questions:

    1 - has anybody found any reviews on "production models" of the A1 as I
    can only find ones on pre-production models and without pictures
    (Minolta asking for them not to be published)? Should I be concerned
    about this?

    2 - I like the look of the IBM Microdrive at £120 but are they slower to
    capture images as some suggest? Are they also slower to upload to your
    PC? They are certainly cheaper per mg than buying individual cards.
    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
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  2. Peter

    AntiTrust Guest


    I have had my A1 for a little over 2 weeks and I am well pleased with it. I
    do not have a Microdrive though. I have decided to go the route of CF cards.
    As long as you can get CF cards that are at least 26x you should have no
    problems. I got this speed from Minolta TechSupp.

    I have been using a Transcend, which claims 45x and I have a Lexar (40x) on

    If there is anything I have found it is when you take a dark frame, you will
    see slight noise at ISO 100. This is obviously enhanced if you have NR
    switched off. This also requires an exposure time of 30 seconds +, as it has
    something to do with the camera heating up. I have been lead to understand
    by Minolta tech support that this is a known issue and will be corrected in
    a firmware upgrade.

    The camera is fabulous, I have no regrets about the purchase. If you want a
    good deal, speak to James at www.cameras2u.com.


    AntiTrust, Oct 13, 2003
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  3. Peter

    Bill Guest

    I found the following.





    I read that the camera uses CF (Compact Flash) cards. If the price for a 1
    gig CF card is about the same as for a 1 gig microdrive, I would definitely
    get the CF card. They are more durable, since there are no moiving parts,
    and they function in a wider range of tempuratures. Also faster data
    transfer when recording or transderring to your computer.

    Hope it helps.
    Bill, Oct 13, 2003
  4. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Hello Bill,
    Thanks for those but like the ones I found, they seem to be cut & paste
    straight from the Minolta Press Release and/or only looked at
    pre-production models. Even my favourite link to
    http://www.dpreview.com/ offers no conclusions as yet.
    The CF card route is much more expensive, but if generally accepted as
    more durable, then I would prefer to play safe rather than sorry :)

    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
  5. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Hello AntiTrust,
    Web sites seem a bit coy about publishing these (transfer?) figures,
    will have to phone a few up first.
    Do you have to send it away for a firmware upgrade? I have never
    experienced this with a camera before.
    I was rather taken by the nothing to pay for 9 months, then cough up
    £762 at Empire Direct. By which time the price will have no doubt
    dropped considerably, but at least I will have had 9 months interest
    free use out of it.

    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
  6. Peter

    AntiTrust Guest


    With regards the firmware upgrade, it looks to me like Minolta make these
    available from their website. There are upgrades on there for the dimage 7i

    You have to remember that this camera only made it to the UK about 2 weeks
    ago. I was one of the first purchasers. I am waiting still for second
    battery and portrait grip.

    Go and pester your local jessops, see if they know what you are talking


    AntiTrust, Oct 13, 2003
  7. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Hello AntiTrust,
    Not sure if you are interested, but I have just found PQI F1 40x Ultra
    High-Speed 256MB @ £47.00 at ebuyer.com and their 512 version @ £88,
    both in stock.
    Peter, Oct 13, 2003
  8. Peter

    druidh Guest


    I would not say that it is "generally accepted" that MicroDrives are somehow
    not durable. A quick scan at previous posts on the matter will show that
    they have lots of supporters and, despite all the bad press, few failures.
    If you keep your MicroDrive in the camera, how much MORE careful would you
    have to be with it??

    Check out scan.co.uk - 1GB MDs for £119 (sometimes cheaper if in the
    "TodayOnly" selection)
    druidh, Oct 14, 2003
  9. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Hello druidh,
    Thanks for pointing out Scan, have just taken the plunge and ordered one
    plus a USB2 reader.

    Peter, Oct 14, 2003
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