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Stupid CF Cards!

Roger S

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Well, my worst nightmare has become reality. I always worried about all those fine pins being shoved in and out of their sockets between camera and card reader and now I have a messed up camera, two messed up CF cards and two messed up card readers. I think I am going to either make it or break it now as I attempt to replace the CF slot in my D200. Thankfully I have a donor camera on it's way. Sorry, @SeanNeedham; this D200 has been a fantastic workhorse but it might soon become just a piece of history to me.
 

SeanNeedham

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Ah man, that camera has some stories under its belt; after 17 years and all the use I put it through before you took her over (plus the three new shutters, and the last had at least 20,000 before it emigrated), the CF slot has held up well. I wouldn't like to guess how many photos between us that's transferred to the cards... 500,000? 750,000?

When you look at it in that context, it's not held up too bad!
 

Phill104

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I’ve killed a few cars readers that way and the more recent ones seem to have become cheaper and crapier. Not killed one in a camera yet. What I have done however is destroy a £150k main board on a mainframe. I was on a training course in Germany. Slapped in the card and squished some pins. It didn’t go down too well, doubly so as the machine was about to be delivered to the customer. The trainer had to rapidly order a new board from Japan.
 

Pteranadon

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So, i have to ask?
Am i a bit of an outsider in connecting the computer directly to camera to upload?
 

Centurion

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I am with you Pteranadon, direct from camera to PC, problem solved.

Regards

Barry H
 

hooferinsane

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So, i have to ask?
Am i a bit of an outsider in connecting the computer directly to camera to upload?
I am with you Pteranadon, direct from camera to PC, problem solved.

Regards

Barry H
As my memory serves me we have had a member or two post that suddenly their pc would not recognise their camera anymore, and then had to resort to memory card readers
 

Roger S

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So, i have to ask?
Am i a bit of an outsider in connecting the computer directly to camera to upload?
I am with you Pteranadon, direct from camera to PC, problem solved.

Regards

Barry H
I have used a card reader since the early days when digital first came out. It's been easier to just swap out cards than to dig out the proper cord and wait for the camera to be freed up while photos transferred.

However, if I ever use something with a CF card again I will most certainly be using a usb cord transfer.
 

Petrochemist

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However, if I ever use something with a CF card again I will most certainly be using a usb cord transfer.
My first digital camera with removable media took CF cards. I decided within a month to stay clear of the things in future.
That was a dozen years ago & the only time I've relapsed was for a fit once backup memory on an instrument controller at work.

I agree 100% with the thread title!
 

Phill104

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I have always used readers. Only time I haven’t is when travelling when I have connected directly to my laptop.

The card slots in most cameras are pretty good. After my aforementioned mainframe incident our company did a lot of testing. While the chips on cards are usually from the same suppliers, the shells and socket are not. The quality of shells varies considerably. If the guides on the side are badly cut or out of line, that can cause damage to the pins. If they are made of cheapo plastic then they can wear rapidly, again causing problems. Worst of all were a couple of brands where the hiked in the socket were out of line it poorly made. These cards really wrecked sockets. So it seems, not all CF cards are made equal. For that alone it is worth spending on the better quality brands.

USB sockets on cameras are also a problem IMO. Micro and Mini USB are terrible connectors well k own to fail. USB C is far better, so let’s hope all cameras have that in the future.

SD cards also have their problems. At the time, they were slower. They are easier to loose but the biggest design flaw is the write protect switch. They are very easy to break. I’ve had a couple end up useless in my bag when the damn thing falls off as it is removed from the bag.
 

hooferinsane

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My first camera had smart media cards, very small and easy to lose. I had a floppy disk (yes that is floppy disk) adapter which gave transfer speeds which seemed like an eternity. I used to go make a cup of tea during the process, don’t think there was usb at the time. At that time, the adapter was relatively pretty expensive compared to today’s readers.
 

SFTphotography

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I try to avoid removing cards from cameras where possible and access the files on the camera through the USB port on the camera body.
 

SeanNeedham

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In the last 20 years, I've had 7 cameras with CF slots and 2 with SD and in that time... Both the SD slots have given me grief when the pressure contacts have worn down, but the only times the CF have is when the guiding rails on the cards themselves either get worn so producing slop or the card has twisted; which in turn changes the pressure on terminals.

Pinned CF in itself isn't a bad design, but in a use context it's not really the most suitable for a system that has a lot of changing movements on it. Now-a-days I'm running dual slot with SD and similar to one of these (note the position of the card slot) in the CF bay so it's only swapping out the micro card. Doesn't matter that the write speed takes a hit on protocol change as on the CF only cameras I'm not smashing video or smoking the shutter, and on the others it's only backup overflow.
 

Roger S

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SeanNeedham

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I have looked at those, but was worried about write speed.

I think you just convinced me to go ahead now.
It's worth trying out even though it's a bit quirky (turning the camera on without the SD in the slot would throw a CHR error and it may not be possible to read out to a card reader if the CF adaptor is plugged in to it instead of the SD straight), as it is at the moment, I doubt I'll be buying another CF card again even though all bar one I use have CF slots. If you've an older microSD kicking around from an old cell phone or the like, it'd be better trying with that before investing in a faster (but remember the max limit on the D200 is 32GB) one.
One of my mates is the same (was actually the person who pointed me in to this) and he's using micro-SD adaptors in a D5, but again he's also not running round at the red line with it either.
 

Minor Problem

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I remember the days when I wasn't using dual slots with two cards that cost nearly £400 for the pair!
 

SeanNeedham

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I remember the days when I wasn't using dual slots with two cards that cost nearly £400 for the pair!
I remember the first 1GB cards I got my hands on; myself and a mate ordered four each of the first Sandisks out and when they arrived he said "You know what, for the price of two of these we could have torn it up in Amsterdam for a fortnight..."
 

Roger S

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Thankfully I have a donor camera on it's way.
Hmm, the guy who offered me another D200 at no cost has changed his mind. Now he says that one looks a little abused so he's offering me a D300 in it's place tomorrow if I will accept that instead. I think I'll accept. ;) :partydance:
 

SeanNeedham

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I think I'll accept.
You'd be daft not to! I've had at least one kicking around since 2008, still have one here that sees fairly regular usage; whilst it's not a massive increase over the D200, nigh on everything is just a little more refined and polished.
 

balami

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I stopped taking the CF card out of my cameras a few years ago after a misaligned card into my PC started smoking. Those pins are a ridiculous design.

On my 7D I now always connect camera to PC via cable, and on my 5D3 I just eject the SD card (it has SD and CF) for file transfer.

I'd never buy a camera with CF-only card again.
 

MikeB

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The more you handle any plug/socket combination the greater the wear and tear on the connection. I always advocate leave the card in the camera and transfer images by cable only. While 17 years is a fantastic record showing how robust the design is, it can and has failed in far less time for others.
 

Phill104

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The more you handle any plug/socket combination the greater the wear and tear on the connection. I always advocate leave the card in the camera and transfer images by cable only. While 17 years is a fantastic record showing how robust the design is, it can and has failed in far less time for others.
Think is, the USB Micro socket is also vulnerable. While they are technically rated at 10,000 insertion cycles they rarely get anywhere near that. Good CF connectors are rated at 20,000 but not all connectors are made equal so again, many fail long before that. Whichever method you use, it is a matter of being gentle if you want them to last.
 

Roger S

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The more you handle any plug/socket combination the greater the wear and tear on the connection
but not all connectors are made equal so again, many fail long before that
I've now gone and ordered a CF to micro SD adaptor. It was hard to find the one with the SD slot opposite the pins, but I finally managed.

Untitled - 2.jpg

You'd be daft not to! I've had at least one kicking around since 2008
I drove over and picked up the donor D300 the other day, and just about shiite my drawers. He gave me (yes, gave me for $0), a D300 with charger, one battery and a 4 gig CF card. The camera looks and acts brand new and only has 3440 shutter actuations.
 

SeanNeedham

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I drove over and picked up the donor D300 the other day, and just about shiite my drawers. He gave me (yes, gave me for $0), a D300 with charger, one battery and a 4 gig CF card. The camera looks and acts brand new and only has 3440 shutter actuations.
Seriously? Usually takes me about 10,000 shots just to get the camera set right and get a feel of what it can do... That doesn't even sound run in!
 

Roger S

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Seriously?
Seriously. The fellow didn't look the part, but in retrospect the way he talked sounded just like those people we hear about who buy brand new gear and then toss it in a closet when something newer hits the market. Between that and the fact that he's a fellow veteran means I think I'll keep him in my friends list for a while. :drinks:
 

SeanNeedham

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Seriously. The fellow didn't look the part, but in retrospect the way he talked sounded just like those people we hear about who buy brand new gear and then toss it in a closet when something newer hits the market. Between that and the fact that he's a fellow veteran means I think I'll keep him in my friends list for a while. :drinks:
Happy days then Roger! Only thing left to do now is to go out and get busy with it, even though it doesn't have the "numbers" compared to a later one, it's still a hell of a workhorse of a camera and I doubt that you'll be disappointed with how far you can push it.
 
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