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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152

    New CF card or .....

    Here's the thing, I just succumbed to temptation and bought an A900.
    I go off for a short break (I know, I know, yet another) in the Moselle valley in a couple of weeks so what to do about flash memory?
    I have two 8GB Sandisk Extreme IV (45MB/sec) cards and an older 4MB Ultra II (15 MB/sec).
    On the A700 that's a 1000 RAW images but only 500 with the A900.
    16GB Sandisks run out at over 100 apiece from a reputable supplier, granted they are 60MB/sec devices but I don't need that.

    The solution, a 160, "Nexto" 320GB portable backup device.
    Basically it's a Battery powered, 320GB, 2" SATA hard drive and in size is, unsurprisingly, similar to a standard 2" ext. drive but about twice as thick.

    The NexTo LiPol battery does 60GB between recharges and if thats not enough (it is for me) you can buy an external battery which is good for another 80GB. Charging is done via USB or a provided mains PSU.

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    It connects to the computer through either SATA (best 60MB/sec) or USB cables.
    It takes CF cards or a whole bunch of Memory stick/SD variants via a second 4in1 slot or via USB.
    The device contains a microprocessor and eeprom software which allows for several functions but I'm only concerned with one (for now).
    That is, automatic transfer of images from the CF card with data verification.
    This function is selectable via a simple Menu System on the front LCD.
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    In use, nothing could be more simple, plug in the CF card and the NexTo recognises the card, creates a new folder, copyies all the images from the CF card, compares the copies with the originals (veryfying) and then deletes the CF card ready for it to go back in camera. The whole process takes less than six minutes for my 8GB Sandisk. A different folder name is generated every time you put in a CF (or other) card.

    When you get home just plug the NexTo in with the provided SATA cable (or USB cable) and shift them to your hard drive. Here's a screen shot of Windows File Manager showing the NexTo plugged into the computer and showing two 8GB transfers from CF.
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    Nexto link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,756
    I'd rather use more cf cards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Don't you have a MS slot in the camera as well?
    On my a700 I always have a 8GB MS and 8GB CF.
    But I agree....get more cards.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Why would you want more cards?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,756
    i would rather lose on card than everything...drives crash unannounced

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    I have 2x 8GB cards but that gets me 400 images and nowhere near enough for a weeks shooting.

    The crashed HDD is a valid point but if I were a Pro, I'd have two backups. Of course, if I were a Rich Pro I may not worry about the cost of the CF cards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Does the a900 have cRAW mode?
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,545

    Lightbulb Speed indeed ...

    After my initial experiences with the α850 ... you need a CF card that can write rather fast. I think SONYNUT (Steve) will confirm this finding. I know many others who did the upgrade can attest to this issue.

    The α700 is very forgiving in that regard ... and 133x speed cards are just dandy, but they will not perform correctly in the α900/α850 camera. Just don't do it.

    Purchase a new 32GB 420X UDMA 6 card and be happy. It will provide plenty of room for your images and the speed issues become a thing of the past. There is just a mandatory write-speed you have to comply with, or the CF will fail in the camera. Don't believe it ... you will.

    And yes, of course, there is a cRAW Mode and a cRAW + JPEG.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-17-2010 at 07:20 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    Does the a900 have cRAW mode?
    Yes, that would increase the count from 400 to 600 images (not enough) from 2x 8GB cards.
    Thing is cRAW is a lossy format and I'd rather not use it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    After my initial experiences with the α850 ... you need a CF card that can write rather fast. I think SONYNUT (Steve) will confirm this finding. I know many others who did the upgrade can attest to this issue.
    The α700 is very forgiving in that regard ... and 133x speed cards are just dandy, but they will not perform correctly in the α900/α850 camera. Just don't do it.
    Purchase a new 32GB 420X UDMA 6 card and be happy. It will provide plenty of room for your images and the speed issues become a thing of the past. There is just a mandatory write-speed you have to comply with, or the CF will fail in the camera. Don't believe it ... you will.
    And yes, of course, there is a cRAW Mode and a cRAW + JPEG.
    Don, my 2x 8GB Sandisks are Extreme IV which write at 45MB/sec; this is more than the A900 can handle so speed is not an issue.
    The 32GB CF Cards you mention cost 190 each and I would get 666 (RAW+JPEG) or 846 RAW only images. Again this is insufficient for a week's (well actually 10 days) shooting.
    Two cards would do the job, but at 380 I had second thoughts.

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