EOS 300D with 4GB CF cards unreliable?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by rainer_t, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. I have made a strange observation with my old EOS 300D and a 4GB CF card twice.

    First of all, I checked the card for errors by filling it with data several
    times, each time reading all data back from the card, and comparing (crc) the
    original data with that being copied to the card and back from the card. I did
    that before I used the card the first time, and after I had the problem ... the
    card itself doesn't have a problem (no bad blocks).

    What happens is, if you're using a 4GB card in the 300D, and if you shoot images
    until the battery indicator starts blinking (indicating that the battery is
    empty), the camera will save the last images you shoot, and then switch the
    camera off.

    If you now insert a new battery, the 'boot process' will take longer than usual,
    and the next image you shoot will not be saved. (Saving will take very very VERY
    long ... I took out the battery after 2 minutes).

    Up to this point, things were the same both times it happened.

    The first time, I could then power up the camera, it would also take and store
    pictures correctly, only the one were I took the battery out would be marked as
    "corrupt data" when trying to display it.

    The second time, the camera would power up correctly, but as soon as you either
    tried to take (and store) an image, or to display images from the card, the
    camera would reboot (Display blank ... 'EOS' in display ... display ready).
    This time only a "chkdsk /F" executed on my computer would make the card
    available for the camera again. (I assume formatting in-camera had also helped
    ... but this also means losing all pictures ... at least if you are going to use
    the card).

    So far, I haven't lost any images due to this. When I tried to reproduce the
    problem (with an empty battery and a freshly formatted 4GB card) it wouldn't
    happen again. When I copied back about 200 images onto the card, I was able to
    reproduce this. So it seems, the error happens only if the card is filled with a
    certain amount of data.

    I never had a problem like this with 1GB or 2GB cards, also I usually used the
    batteries until the camera switched off, so it seems, the problem is a bug in
    the FAT32 implementation of the 300D-firmware which ounly becomes important,
    when the camera switches off due to low battery.

    Anyone had a similar observation? (This bug might eventually live in the EOS 10D
    firmware as well.)
  2. If I remember correctly, there were no 4GB cards when the 300D was new, and there hasn't been a firmware update in four years. It could be the camera just doesn't like that large a card. I'd stick with the 1GB/2GB cards, if they work OK for you.
  3. Thanks William, that's what I thought too. The other option is, since I never run down a freshly charged battery in just one day, I use a new battery every day (when using 4GB cards) and put the other into the charger.
  4. I use a 4 GB compact flash microdrive in my Digital Rebel with no problems. Slow. But no problems. I have the latest (and only, I think) firmware update. Hope that helps. - Brian
  5. Thanks Brian, well, as mentioned, I used the 4GB card quite a while until I discovered this behaviour. Do you remember, if you have been shooting with the microdrive until the camera decided to save the last images and power off (due to low battery)? I also have the latest firmware (1.1.1 I believe) ... but I have the "russian hack" version of it. Eventually what I observe is a sideeffect of the hack.
  6. You can now download the official firmware update from Canon's website. Go to Canon Support site of USA and you can search for it.

    I have a problem of slow processing when using Sandisk Ultra and Sandisk Extreme 4GB card. I am not sure if it is because of high capacity(> 2GB) card not supported by Canon EOS Digital Rebel or something else. But when I use my 1GB Kingston CF it is much faster. I yet have to update my firmware to and then see if that helps.
    But what I am getting from this post is that sticking to 2GB or less cards for this camera will be less problem in terms of speed performance.
  7. Hi, One reason for this is slow operation with large CF cards - the reason is that they contain too many alocation units called clusters. You can increase the size of these units (and thus decrease their number) which results in much faster cards and it prevents the above-mentioned problem.
    You can format it by using a card reader for your CF card and issuing the following MSDOS command (do not use the windows features as they sometimes do not support all options):
    format x: /FS:FAT32 /A:64K
    (ignore the note about less compatibility for this option)
    The speed gain is great: 8GB CF card Kingston Elite Pro 133x was 33% faster after this format then if formated inside EOS 300D camera.

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