Review of Microstor 2.2 GB microdrive with Canon S1is
by William Render
In the reviews of microdrives at steves-digicams.com/microdrive.html, the Microstore CF+ type II PLUS 2.2GB from GS Micro is not recommended. The product is repackaged by Transcend, PNY, and US Modular.
(In contrast, the microdrives from Hitachi and IBM work just fine.)
The bad news:
* Locks up camera.
* Images cannot be downloaded.
* Camera overheats.
* Loss of images and videos.
I have used the microdrive for about three hours. In that time it locked up my Canon S1 iS camera four times while taking pictures, as well as every time while trying to download them.
When it locks up while taking pictures, the camera's lights are on, but nothing happens and the screen is black. To turn it off, I have to remove the batteries.
I tried several times to download images -- anything from one image to a full card (2.2GB); I erased and formatted the card several times. When attempting to download images, it reports downloading "X of XX" images saved. The number is correct, but the download never happens. After about 30 seconds, I see “There are no images in the camera or memory card that match download conditions.” At this time the camera locks; the yellow light is on, and the camera cannot be shut off.
When recording video, the camera shuts down. I turned it back on, and the "over heated" light displayed in the viewer. The drive was very hot -- around 50°C (estimated). I cooled down the camera and tried again. Same thing happened at about 18min of video recording.
I have managed to get the Microstore microdrive to download using some tricks, but it's still locking my camera. I am trying to do a speed test on it -- between msg saying "Memory card error."
I found that when I downloaded the 320X240 @30fps video, it was very choppy and the sound was off from the image. Doppler effect ;) I think the drive just may be too slow. I"m going to trade the drive in for a 1GB Kingston elite pro 40X card -- almost the same price but 1.2GB smaller -- but it's more important that it works then that it is big.
Here's the email I received back from GS Magic:
Sorry for your trouble. The Canon PowerShot S1 iS isn't in our compatibility list. We haven't tested the Canon S1 iS camera with our CF drive, so we aren't sure if there is any problem of the compatibility.
Suggest you try to obtain an external USB card reader or a PCMCIA adapter to format the drive in your computer in order to confirm if the drive have any physical problem. Note that choosing FAT option for formatting. Format it in your camera once again. Then try it in your camera.
GS Magic Inc.
I traded in the Microstore 2.2GB hard drive for a Kingston 1GB Elite Pro compact flash memory card (rated at 6mb/s or 40X). According to Rob Galbraith at Digital Photography Insight I got lucky and got the better of the two card Kingston gets made for them:
Kingston Elite pro Toshiba (SLC)5
edge stamp: THNCF1G02CA(T00CA) 9998328 TAIWAN 0426
back: CF/1024-S 9930240-00.A00 P737420X2
In Rob's review, he states:
Companies that source Compact Flash cards from Toshiba may opt for either the faster single level cell (SLC) or slower (but less expensive to manufacture) multi level cell (MLC) arhictecture. The Kingston cards tested were MLC; the company does, however, offer SLC-based CompactFlash cards on special order. Kingston's SLC-based cards have "-S" appended to the end of their part number, ie CF/512-S. Not all of Kingston's distributors will have the SLC cards listed among the products they can ship to dealers.
Here's the kicker: In continuous shooting tests using full resolution, my standard Sandisk 256MB card is faster than the "faster" Kingston 1GB card:
Sandisk -- 1.4 FPS (frames per second).
Kingston Elite PRO -- 1.2 FPS.
...seems I just can't win with this stuff. I should have saved the 20 bucks, and bought the 1X card.
-- William Render