Smart Media cards...a dead format?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bob Hayden, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Bob Hayden

    Bob Hayden Guest

    I am looking at upgarding my trusty Olympus D-490 but have several high
    capacity Smart Media cards that I'd like to use. It seems fewer cameras are
    using them now. Is it a dead format?

    I'm looking for something relatively compact but with good optics and some
    manual control while retaining user friendliness. So far the Canon A80 looks
    to be at the top of the list (especially since I can use my recharge AA's!).
    Any other recommendations and advice appreciated.

    Bob Hayden, Dec 10, 2003
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  2. Dead, but not buried. Your next camera is unlikely to use SmartMedia, so here's a suggestion.

    If you don't already have one, get a card reader for your computer (or a SmartMedia-PCMCIA adapter
    if you have a notebook computer). Your SmartMedia cards will make dandy little backup disks for your
    computer files.
    I've been drooling over the A80 myself--it's nearly as compact as my trusty old Canon S300 but with
    a whole lot more features. The pivoting LCD is a wonderful thing--I've wanted one ever since I saw
    someone using one of the Canon G series cameras at our kids' school's science night a couple of
    years ago. He was able to easily take pictures from angles that you couldn't do any other way.

    Michael Geary, Dec 10, 2003
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  3. Bob Hayden

    Marc Libom Guest

    It seems fewer cameras are
    The business trends for 2004 predicts, what you already saw: the stupid wide
    range of propriatary card formats will reduce to two systems: SD cards and
    CompactFlash. Even Sony, the defender of it's most expensive senseless
    MemoryStick, offers both, MemoryStick and CompactFlash, in their new top
    model F828.

    To be compliant with the future, buy a cam that's using one of these two
    formats and which is using standard AA accus instead of expensive,
    propriatary batteries.
    Marc Libom, Dec 10, 2003
  4. Bob Hayden

    Jan K Guest

    You can use smart media as well as xd and cf cards in oly c5050 zoom,- cf
    and sm at the same time.
    Regards Jan K
    Jan K, Dec 10, 2003
  5. Bob Hayden

    Marc Libom Guest

    Definitely, but not for the quite small compact class. SD for these and CF
    for all mid size, prosumer and professional cameras.
    Marc Libom, Dec 10, 2003
  6. Bob Hayden

    Chris Brown Guest

    Indeed, they take SIM cards.

    They don't store the pictures on them, though. ;->
    Chris Brown, Dec 10, 2003
  7. Bob Hayden

    cb Guest

    Agreed. In fact I just read a review of the Canon Powershot SD100 Elph and
    it is the first Canon digital cameral that uses the SD/MMC card instead of
    CF. This apparently allowed them to shave off some millimeters from the
    height, width and depth. So the CF may be too big for the super compact type
    cb, Dec 10, 2003
  8. Bob Hayden

    chris news Guest

    Smartmedia, a fuji backed concept, has been abandonded by can
    guess it is dead.

    The new Fujis use compact flash and xD cards (replaing SD? i don't know)

    You can get compact flash cards that take SM get a camera that
    takes compact flash!

    Sony has the new (and not copatible) memory stick Pro out now.

    I have a Fuji S602, it takes SM and CF. I have some SM cards, but for this
    camera i needed bigger better, and went CF. Cheaper than SM, and will be
    around longer.

    chris news, Dec 10, 2003
  9. The FujiFilm s602 ZOOM Pro can take both SM cards, compact flash
    and MicroDrive in the CF slot. You could always sell them.

    I thought that Smart Media was the nicest style of all those
    cards despite the 128MB limit. As has been said before, better to use
    several cards than have everything on one card and have a problem
    downloading from it.

    Chris McBrien, Dec 10, 2003
  10. I am looking at upgarding my trusty Olympus D-490 but have several high
    Andrew Koenig, Dec 10, 2003
  11. Bob Hayden

    HRosita Guest


    I believe non of the cameras that came on the market after 2002 us Smar Media.
    the problem was that the camera had to be firmware updated to get higher
    capacity cards. The highest SM card I believe was 128 MB that with today's 5
    and more megapixel cameras is really not high capacity.
    HRosita, Dec 10, 2003
  12. Bob Hayden

    Mark Johnson Guest

    Yes, but could you fit the SM card inside a CF adapter, and still
    close the bay door on the camera?
    Mark Johnson, Dec 11, 2003
  13. I am looking at upgarding my trusty Olympus D-490 but have several high
    SmartMedia has died out because they weren't able to keep up with rising
    memory demands; 128meg max on cards just doesn't cut it for high-res
    cameras. Supposedly 256meg SmartMedia was going to exist, but I never saw
    one advertised for sale in the real world.

    I've owned five (or is it six?) Olympus cameras, all of which took/take
    SmartMedia. But my newest, a 5050, takes XD and CompactFlash as well, and
    I've got ot admit the combination of high-capacity, low cost and fast
    read/write speeds is a *major* attraction!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Dec 12, 2003
  14. Bob Hayden

    Eric Witte Guest

    If you really want to use the Smartmedia I've seen SM --> CF adapters.
    Get a camera that uses CF. CF is not all that expensive if top speed
    is not needed. I got a 256MB Kingston for $40 including shipping.

    Eric Witte, Dec 12, 2003
  15. Bob Hayden

    Eric Witte Guest

    I was hooked on the AA's but the BP-511's last nearly 400-600 shots.
    Or about 4 hours. Also Nimd loses charge too quickly when not used.

    Eric Witte, Dec 12, 2003
  16. Bob Hayden

    Mark Johnson Guest

    Yeah, if you like to burn through cash. The SM RAW saves are what - 5
    seconds? You can pick up 128 SM cards for nothing, now. You could get
    a whole stack of these for the price of one 512 CF. I not kidding.

    The high capacity CF would make sense, maybe, in foul weather, or
    scuba diving, or something, where you're using the Ikelite or the
    'baggie', and where you might feel better sticking with what's in the
    camera, rather than trying to open it up.
    Mark Johnson, Dec 13, 2003
  17. I've owned five (or is it six?) Olympus cameras, all of which took/take
    Forget about write times... I take a *lot* of photos, and the read times
    make a big difference when you're looking over maybe a couple hundred

    If you're talking about a 3 meg camera, no biggie; the images are going to
    be about a meg apiece. But at 5 megs (like my Oly 5050) and SHQ setting,
    you're talking about 3 megs each. Even my 512 meg card will get filled up
    by a couple day's shooting.

    But getting back to that speed thing. I spend a couple week in France each
    year during the Tour de France, and update my website each evening. Time is
    something I don't have a whole lot of, and dealing with the frustration
    factor of the slow SmartMedia read times (it's on the order of 5X on my
    particular system) while I'm viewing the photos I took, and then bringing
    them into Photopaint...

    ....I just have to say that, to me, when I've been up since 6:15am, ridden
    maybe 50 miles to the top of the Tourmalet, where I have to wait for three
    hours to catch a fleeting glimpse of the best cyclists in the world (and try
    to get the picture)... then wait 'till everything's cleared and ride back to
    the hotel (maybe get there at 8pm), take a quick shower and eat and then,
    while everyone else is hanging out/relaxing/whatever, I'm up in my room
    working on photos and updating the website... at times like that, having
    faster downloads from camera to computer are worth an awful lot. if you want to get an idea of what I do.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Dec 13, 2003
  18. Bob Hayden

    Mark Johnson Guest

    But that's only 512. You could offload that in what, 10 minutes?, to a
    portable CD-R like Roadstor (avail at Fry's), just as you change
    locations. And the RAW for the C5050 are about 7Meg. And you'd
    probably want to be using those, particularly with the C5050, which
    does a lot of 'stuff' to produce jpgs. The download time is nothing.
    It's constant. It's not how many files, but how many sectors.

    I'm just saying, if you can pick up a bunch of 128SM, that's going to
    far surpass the capacity of a 512CF, at today's 'street pricing', for
    the same money.

    I've got a parallel port (not even USB) card reader that I got for
    five bucks that dumps a 64M SM in a few minutes. I realize that's
    measured in seconds with USB. But it's still only a few minutes. I
    compare that with Flashpath, which I briefly used, measured in
    fractions of an hour. At some point, it literally became unusable.

    I've never tried connecting a digicam directly to a PC via USB. I
    didn't realize they were that slow. I would have imagined the times
    would have been comparable to a USB card reader. Could something be
    wrong with the driver installation?

    It looks interesting, but . . frustrating. The crowd shot at the
    finish line suggests you'd need a bodyguard to push your way to a good
    photo. Do the French like pushing back? But it looks like an good
    Mark Johnson, Dec 13, 2003
  19. I'm just saying, if you can pick up a bunch of 128SM, that's going to
    Not by much. You can get 512 meg high-speed CF cards for $100; the best
    I've seen on 128 meg smartmedia was $25 after rebate (which *is* very
    cheap!). So you'd be spending... uh, actually, the cost would be the same.
    I think I did see a $20 128 meg price (after rebate) somewhere, so maybe you
    could come out slightly ahead.
    Smartmedia cards are slow enough that it probably doesn't make a huge
    difference whether it's parallel, USB 1.0 or USB 2.0. And if you're using
    your computer to preview the images (which requires downloading them all),
    ouch! If you haven't used a fast CF card, you don't want to see one in

    I should have also pointed out that, when dowloading the images to my
    laptop, it's not just the inconvenience factor (extra time) but also the
    fact that sometimes I don't have a power source, so the battery is draining
    on the laptop (and mine gets just under 2 hours/charge).

    But you make do with what you have, and the prior three trips I managed to
    do fine with Smartmedia. You set things up to download and go take a
    shower; when you're finished, it's done! No showers on the bus when you're
    traveling though.
    Yes, the crowds are extreme!!! If you read the various articles, you'll
    note that I'm not a fan of trying to watch the finish of a stage. Tried it
    a couple times, and, as you say, you need a bodyguard to get in there. Add
    to that the fact that some people have no sense of personal space, so
    they're constantly pushing in tighter and tighter and tighter. Better to
    watch on a mountain-

    Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles, Dec 16, 2003
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