Nikon - Compact Flash

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by anne_heathcote, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    I currently own a Pentax k10d but am looking to make the move to a Nikon. I had my eye on the D300 but the only thing I don't like about it is the fact it has a compact flash card set up. I currently use sd cards in my Pentax DSLR. I have never had any issues with these types of cards they are bullet proof. However, I have hired cameras using the compact flash and had many problems with compact flash cards being corrupted, and when I research online, it seems this is an issue still. I had read somewhere that only the Nikon entry level cameras have the sd card set up? Can anyone tell me what models the entry level cameras are and what the resrictions on them would be if any? Also can anyone owning a d300 confirm if they have had any problems with compact flash cards?
  2. I never had a probleem with a CF card in a Nikon camera(D70, 200, 300, 700). When you look online you can probably find a complain about every non-existing problem
    I had one CF card broken, but that was after laundering it....and one SD-card broken: the lock broke when I took it from the camera....
  3. A few folks using the D3 are experiencing CF card problems, but I have not heard of or experienced CF card problems with the D300.
  4. SD cards: Nikon D40/40x/60/80/90. The first three do not have a builit-in motor for lenses so they need to be AF-S or equivalent to autofocus. The last two do not have that restriction.
    I have had a D300 for about 15 months and never had a problem with a CF card. For that matter, no problems of any kind. I use SanDisk but others are very good and reliable, too. I would suggest you avoid those sites prone to selling counterfeits, i.e., certain auction sites.
  5. There are CF cards and there are CF cards.. I wouldn't trust my images to the 'bargain' ones. I've used Sandisk Extreme IV 4GB cards for 2,5 years, shooting thousands of images and reformatting them in-camera after each shoot was safely transferred to backed-up hard disks. I've used them in D2Xs and D3 without ever experiencing any trouble whatsoever.
  6. I have been using five or six Sandisk CF cards for three years without problems. I suggest looking into what kind of CF cards are having problems. I believe you get what you pay for on most items and I don't what bad CF cards.
  7. I own and use Nikon D 200 and D 300 cameras and use SanDisk and Lexar CF cards. Never had a problem with any of my cards, mostly Extreme III or Extreme IV Sandisk . Nor do I know any other Nikon user who has had a problem. Joe Smith
  8. I have had problems with CF cards but the problem was with the cards, not the camera (I discovered them to be knock-offs.. Make sure you buy 'real' cards as opposed to fakes - buy from a reputable store like Adorama or B&H and you will not have any problems.
    "A few folks using the D3 are experiencing CF card problem" Phil, who are these 'folks' and what problems are they experiencing?
  9. pge


    Hi Anne
    Like everyone says, buy decent cards and you will have no problem. CF cards are as good imo as SD cards, I have 6, never had a problem, all Lexar or Sandisk. This should not be what prevents you from buying a nikon.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    First of all, memory cards with very fast write/read speed for DSLRs are only available as compact flash, not SD. Therefore, all pro and semi-pro DSLRs that can write 8 to 10 frames per second all use compact flash to maximize the write speed. SD is mainly for consumer DSLRs although some Canon bodies have dual CF/SD slots.
    CF use connection pins that are a bit vulnerable. As long as you keep the contact holes clean and insert the cards carefully, there shouldn't be any problem. I have been shooting Nikon DSLRs since 2002 with 5 different bodies that all use CF cards, incluidng a D300. I have never bent any pin on any camera.

    Additionally, I have one Lexar card that was bad as soon as I received it and one Sandisk card that went bad after 2, 3 years. I still have never lost any digital image for any reason in 6+ years.
    Expect CF to be gradually replaced by a new, incompatible CF-Fast card format in the next few years. Therefore, I wouldn't necessarily stock up on CF cards. Just buy what you need now but no more than that. They are quite cheap now anyway.
  11. Another user with no problems. I've used Lexar, Transcend and SanDisk, all bought from the reputable dealer NewEgg. I'm currently using 8GB SanDisk cards in a Fuji S5 (a D200 w/Fuji sensor) and the S5's "official" limit is a 4GB card. My 8GB cards are formatted on a computer as FAT32 disks and so far absolutely no issues. Buy quality brand names from a good discount dealer and you will be OK.
  12. CF cards are more bulletproof than SD cards as long as you stick to the "real" sandisk and lexar cards and not the ones drug stores sell.....the only good thing about the sd cards is there are no pins to bend or break in the card slot of the camera. but then as hans experienced, there is the sad thing re the lock on those cards.
    you will get used to having cameras with different cards. there might be times that it is a plus factor.
  13. Legitimate testing indicates CF cards are more durable than SD. For one thing, they don't have the exposed contacts that an SD card has. I worry more about the SD cards for my D50 than I don the CF cards for my D300.
  14. There were a LOT of CF problems early on with our D1 I used to use. LOTS.
    There are much fewer now, and I wouldn't worry about it, but I'd also, for the reasons Shun mentions, not stock up on more than I needed.
    I'd also avoid buying super-high capacity cards. imho, I'd rather have one card out of four I'm carrying fail with some of my images than one fail with all of them.
  15. i have an 8mb CF card that came with my first digital camera, a nikon coolpix 600 i purchased in 1998. the card is just an artifact now, but it still works!
    nowadays, i mostly use PNY's optima pro udma CF cards. at 266x, they're faster than the sandisk extreme III, and cost less at big-box retailers.
    in my experience, quality cards are as close to bullet-proof as any storage medium can be. problems, when they occur, mostly involve USB conflicts between card readers and external HDDs and such.
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    One point I would disagree with Peter is that I by far prefer large-capacity cards. For the one failed card I had, it showed some problems in the 2 weeks prior to complete failure so that I pretty much stopped using it. It is very rare that a card just goes dead all of a sudden. And even so, in many cases the images on the card can still be recovered.
    The much bigger risk is that people juggling too many memory cards. I have seen several times that people simply misplace them and lose everything on those card with absolutely no chance for any recovery. The very small SD cards are particularly easy to misplace. You might want 2, 3 cards, but I would not get like 10 1G cards. You are merely asking for trouble dealing with so many different cards. Having just 1 8G card inside your camera is much much safer overall.
  17. So, piggybacking on that, Shun, (good points you make, truth is I have one 1G card I use virtually all of the time as I rarely fill it before I can offload).
    Do you think it might be a good practice to put one huge card in your camera and simply offload it via USB so you never lose the card or, by extension, your photos? I've thought of that before (although my poor little old D50 only takes 2G cards actually...), and it would mean that you would never risk bending the pins on a CF card.
  18. I neve had a problem with CF cards in my D70, d70S and D300. I did have a problem with the design of the CF card system. A pin bent in my first D70. I never remove cards from bodies because of this.
  19. Lexar and Sandisk are the only two brands of CF cards I will buy, because of a history and reputation of quality, and a personal experience with both brands and no negative occurrences. I have had problems with data corruption and card failure with other brands though. Also, don't they make a CF card that you can slide SD cards into and use your SD cards that way?
  20. There are risks either way. If you use only 1 or 2 larger cards, you increase the chance that if a card is bad, more images are lost. If you lose a card, all those images are gone forever. If you use many small cards, you risk misplacing one or more, getting a bent pin, or even overwriting them because you forgot which one was used already.
    I split the baby by using 4-8Gb cards. The larger cards are especially useful for action shots where it is impractical to replace cards every few of minutes after a sequence. When a card is full (or near full actually), I turn it upside down and put it in my CF card pouch and replace it with another. I don't worry about losing cards because the pouch is always in my bag which I wear. I might be more concerned if I used a clothing pocket to hold the cards.
    I am not a fan of relying on only one card. If it goes bad, your photo day (or week or whatever) is finished. Never had one go bad yet but maybe it's just a matter of time. Even a couple extra small cards provides cheap insurance.
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My opinion is that various memory cards issues are overblown. All of them are rare. However, those are issues that you can now worry about.
    In the past, I have lost several rolls of film over the years, either because the lab messed up or it was simply lost in the mail. Once Kodak even sent me a box of slides of dental images that I never took, but I was nice enough to mail them back to Kodak so that hopefully that dentist could get his slides back. Famed wedding photographer Monte Zucker once lost all negatives (that were apparently not yet printed) from 21 weddings because his studio burned down ....
    People usually don't worry about losing film much because there wasn't a whole lot you could do about that, anyway.
    The fact of the matter is that any image you capture can be lost one way or another, but IMO memory cards are far safer than getting film processed at some remote lab or even in you own darkroom. For memory cards, I would buy name brands, avoid counterfeit cards, keep them clean, use a box to store the ones you are not currently using .... What I think is bad is that people keep repeating the "don't keep all you eggs in one basket" mantra so that they end up with a bunch of 1G, 2G cards that cause even bigger problems.
  22. I don't think it makes a huge amount of difference which type of card your camera uses, but it is far more convenient if all your cameras use the same card. There was a posting earlier today from a photographer who chose a D300 over a D90 as his second body because the 90 used SDs and he already had a big stash of CFs. The CFs are more or less the standard for Nikon and Canon's top of the line bodies for what it's worth. I prefer them in part because they are physically larger and therefore easier to keep track of. About a year ago, I had a photographer who shot a job for me who panicked when he got back to the studio because he couldn't find one of his memory cards. After about 24 hours he finally found it -- between the pages of a stack of papers on his desk. This was with a CF card and even with the size of the CF card this happened. SD cards are even smaller and thinner, so the chance of it happening are even greater.
  23. I have 4 CF cards ranging from 256MB to 2GB, never had one problem, first used in Canon, then in Olympus, now in a Fuji S5 Pro (Nikon guts) as well - never had a single problem, just reformated card when moved to different make of SLR, seemless, no issues. Two are Lexar, two are nondescript makes I've never heard of. All are solid as a rock.
  24. I use CF cards since I had my first camera, and I buying the cheapest one, I don't need high speed, specially for landscape. My first Digital camera was a Fuji S2 Pro, and still has the 1GB CF card get with the camera, using all the time, and the D200, D2X, D300, D700 using all the card all over, several 1GB, 2GB & 4GB. Most of the time the old 1GB and never had any problem. I don't need a expensive fast CF card for landscape photography anyway. I'm more afraid to losing the D40s I have, small SD card. And I would be disappointed if high end cameras has that little cards. They are not much bigger, then a pumpkin seed.
  25. Anne:
    I've owned 2 Nikon D70 bodies for about 4 years and have not experienced any CF card issues. As everyone else has stated I also use good quality CF cards from Sandisk (Ultra II 256 MB and 512 MB) and Lexar (Professional WA 256 MB, Professional UDMA 1GB and Professional UDMA 2GB) without issue. The cards have traveled with me a humid as well as arid climates without any ill effects.
  26. One thing about mem cards and cameras, finding a 32gig card for $10 is gonna get you in trouble, period. These cheap cards are very slow to load, I have seen a 5 meg picture take a minute to load on a cheap 1 gig card. Try loading 15 shots back to back at 5 fps and see what the card will do. Most likely it will fail and loose info, these are the complaints you read about. I have had CF cards for quite a while and never a problem. even had them go thu the washer, no problem. I have had a SDHC card that my reader woud not work with and need to use the camera to move files. I use 4gig sandisk 30mgps cards not a glitch.
  27. We develop hand held computers that use SD and/or CF cards for memory. In both cases you can have problems with the cards meeting the timing and other requirements defined for the format. We only support those cards that we have qualified for use in our terminals due to timing issues. The safest but not cheapest path is to use cards qualified by the camera manufacturer. Failures will happen so always have a good workflow and backup your pictures.
  28. The safest but not cheapest path is to use cards qualified by the camera manufacturer.​
    Excellent point. Fujifilm didn't provide this info on their site so I went to the CF card manufacturer's site and found it there. Here's the page for my cam: Product Compatibility - FujiFilm FinePix S5 Pro .
  29. Look, i know people love to spend thousands on the camera and then five bucks at staples on the memory, then post online and complain, but thats their problem.
    Do not hold back because of memory card format, none is truely more reliable (although CF do have pins that can be bent if you use brute force to insert a POS card).
    Get the D300. Get yourself a few nice Lexar Pro cards, and never worry about it.
    Because you didnt cheap out in the beginning, the cards and camera will serve you well.
  30. Hi I've been using CF since I moved to digital in 2004 starting with a Nikon 5700, Nikon D70 and now with Nikon D300. I never lost one image till now. For sure using very good brands like LEXAR and SANDISK reduces the risk. I'm currently using the SANDISK Extreem IV 4GB and I'm very happy for the performance.
    Consider that with CF like the one I've just mention you can buy also the #brand# FireWire CF reader that is really really fast if don't bother wait some minutes to download several giga of photo.

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