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Digital Wallets & CF cards - recommendations
Old 04-13-2004, 03:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm looking for some recommendations on specific brands/models of both digital wallets, and CF cards for reliable image storage.

Among the digital wallets (storage devices) I've seen are: Delkin, Smart Drive/FlashTrak, Nixvue and Image Tank. Only FlashTrak seems to have a large (3.5") color screen, but I wonder if this is really necessary anyway, as this device is only for storage and transfer during the shoot, to be downloaded to the laptop later.

As for CF cards, I think I want to stay away from Micro-drives, but I'm open to anything else in 1gb size. Any suggestions on what I should look for (i.e., which series of Lexar card is best) would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: Digital Wallets & CF cards - recommendations
Old 04-13-2004, 06:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I still would want a screen to make sure that I can "see" what I downloaded.( I know some of the wallets dont have a screen but just a readout showing filenames)
Just because a file is listed doesn't necessarily mean its a good file. Whereas a screen will indicate some sort of image integrity.

Not to mention the "wow" factor for clients and enabling them to review what has been shot if needed.

I use Lexar btw. I want to use the extra fast write but cant seem to find them, more expensive too.

Just my .021193 cents worth,

Stu
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Re: Digital Wallets & CF cards - iPod use maybe?
Old 04-13-2004, 07:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I read the Apple iPod's will let you save digital images on their drive. Sounds like a good second purpose for it. No screen to preview and I think you must have to do it by wire versus drive? Not sure haven't looked into it yet. Anyone here doing this?
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Re: Digital Wallets & CF cards - recommendations
Old 04-13-2004, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to use a Mindstor Digital Wallet. I sold it when I bought a laptop because I wasn't using it any more. The Mindstor worked great, but it would eat through batteries pretty quickly. I could download a 256MB card 8 times before the batt's died. The Mindstor had a text readout that told if the download was successful. First it would download the card then it would go back and re-read all the information and compare the original to the download, if it wasn't an exact copy then it deleted the copy on the Mindstor and told you the download was unsuccesful. I never had a problem with corrupt files using the Mindstor. Unfortunately they have gone out of business but I see Mindstors for sale every so often.

I would think that any DigiWallet that has the preview screen would eat batteries even quicker and that defeats the purpose of having it...Just my opinion.

The SanDisk and Lexar cards are both very nice, I use Nikon cameras that are WA enabeld so the Lexar's are my choice. I don't care how fast the card communicates to a computer, it all about write speed in the camera. Go here and check out Rob Galbraiths CF card database, this is probably the most comprehensive card/camera database I've seen.
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Re: Digital Wallets & CF cards - recommendations
Old 04-13-2004, 09:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I also use Lexar WA, in 1GB sizes. Have had no probs and they write fast. I don't have experience with any digital wallets.
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I would recommend..........
Old 04-13-2004, 10:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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.....using the storage for just that. I have the FlashTrax, and there are problems viewing some files. Tiff's are not viewable ( at least with my firmware update - this may have changed, but I don't think so ), and JPG's load somewhat slow. When I first bought my FlashTrax, I thought it would be great to let the models see the images after the shoot, w/o having to lug the laptop to the shoot. I now see this as a cost of doing business, so to speak.

I believe a laptop is best if you need to view images. One thing digital has taught me, the screen on the camera, and the slightly larger ones used in these type devices, only "really" serve a purpose for framing and composition. Which are really what they are intended to do. Yes, one can use the histogram function to see what the exposure is like, but if you shoot on manual, and understand lighting, unlike most people shooting today, this is a non-issue. Remember, I'm answering this question for the great, Andy Pearlman, who I would bet, does not shoot on Program!! I also own an older model w/o the screen, and too be honest, I think it is much easier to operate.

As far as cards, I use a WA 1 Gig card made by Lexar, and have been very happy with it. They had a bit of an issue with compaitibility with my D1X when they forst came out, but I think those issues are now resolved. I had to ship my card to Lexar for service when I first bought it, this was to fix the above issue. Every since then, it's worked fine.

Hope this helps.



 
 
Re: Digital Wallets & CF cards - recommendations
Old 04-13-2004, 01:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Andy

I've looked at the digital wallet idea several times. Never wanted to trust my images with the experiences I've seen. The only one that I have a warm fuzzy about is the Image Tank. I decided to keep using the laptop for now.

As for cards -- one of the issues is cards for which camera? What resolution do you shoot at? etc. For example, if you're talking about the Nikon D100 using the Fine JPG setting I'd consider 512MB cards. That way, losing one card doesn't end the shoot but you get around 200 images per card. And always check the manufacturers' compatibility for the card. It's funny -- you'd think that a CF card is a CF card, but I had one that wouldn't work with my Fuji. Ended up selling it to a D100 owner. I've always used SanDisk and found them very reliable, quick and well-priced. Nothing is cheap in digital.

Best of luck!
Bob
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Re: Thanks all....
Old 04-14-2004, 02:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the posts. If anyone has further thoughts, please post. Still curious for info.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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SanDisk Ultra and SmartDrive Flashtrak
Old 04-14-2004, 03:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Andy,
After doing a lot of research, when I purchased by 10D - I ended up going with the SanDisk Ultra cards. I have two 512MB cards, use them to swap back and forth while I download the images from one card onto my notebook. The transfer and shooting rate is one of the fastest in the industry. Used to be the fastest when I got it and most highly recommended.

As far as now, SanDisk came out with the Ultra II version - faster and more reliable I suppose. I am very happy with my SanDisk Ultra's.

The digital wallet, I have been eyeing the SmartDrive Flashtrak model. Played with it a few times at Samy's and keep checking the bookmark on my computer to see the product via the internet. When, I have the cash and do more location work - I am going to take the plunge and purchase it. I sure wish I had it when I went to Europe this last summer, that is for sure. I have read a lot of great reviews on it. I've seen it written up in American Photo as well as PDN a few times. Love the concept of the nice screen, as well as the large harddrives.



Just my 2 cents...
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Archos is nice
Old 04-16-2004, 08:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Take a look at the Archos line:

http://archos.com/

They have big screens, will record video from TV, have an attachment for copying cf files. All sorts of features. Pricy, but nice! I have an earlier model and it worked perfectly.

Cheers,
rfs
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