Saturday, February 18, 2006

Conspicuous Consumption: The CF Card Dilemma

Mom and I have many things in common, including starting many of our sentences with "So..." So much so in fact that SHE named her blog in that vein. I love it!

I have this terrific digital camera, and two 1GB compact flash cards for it, with the intention of buying two more of that size. Each holds about 90-or-so RAW+(small) JPEG images. Which is great unless you are traveling out of the country and don't want to take your laptop with you. Which will be me on April 1.

I researched the heck out of this and had originally intended to go buy a "photo storage device." There are several nice ones out there, including:
  • Epson P-2000
  • Image Tank G2
  • SmartDisk Flash Trax
  • Transcend Portable Photobank
Most of them don't have a color display, something I personally feel is a must. I read bad reviews about the Flash Trax, good reviews about the Epson, and no reviews about the other two. At this point I'd pretty much set my sights on the P-2000 when I spied a discussion board post about using the new video iPod to the same end. More research ensued. You could ask why I even bothered since we already have (ahem, KENT already has) an iPod. First, you have to understand that the P-2000 and the 60GB video iPod cost about the same and have many of the same features. You also have to understand that Kent's original 40GB iPod was behaving more like an iBrick. It weren't doin' nuthin' for nobody. Dead dead dead. We talked, Kent and I, and saw an opportunity. He gets a new iPod and I get an image tank. I like the sound of "image tank" even though it belongs to something else. This saves us the cost equivalent of two iPods and hundreds in compact flash cards. Really. Logic doesn't work here. This is all emotional. Do the emotional math.

Wednesday. Off we go to Best Buy, get the iPod. Then to CompUSA, get the iPod photo upload adapter. And, apparently, an iHome. It stuck to Kent's hand all the way to the register, where it finally fell off and scanned itself before jumping into a bag with the camera adapter. Sneaky iProducts. Anyway, the iHome is way cool.

Thursday. Loving the hell out of that iHome, man. We woke up to Brazilian Girls Thursday morning, and Billy Joel Friday morning. I can't wait to see what random song from our entire music collection
(which, by the way, consumes 19.81 GB, leaving 40GB or so for me, although I may ditch some tunes before I take it with me but it'll be entertaining on the plane) shows up randomly on Saturday morning. But wait, we won't be awaking to an alarm Saturday morning (even though we actually did by mistake; it was Depeche Mode).

Friday. Proof of concept. I shot a few photos and uploaded them to the iPod no problem! Well, minor problem. iPod can't view RAW images so I have to shoot RAW+JPEG (small jpeg, so I get the most megapixels in the RAW image - it's just so I can preview it anyway). (Also, if you plan on trying this at home, dear readers, make sure you set your iPod in iTunes to Use As Disk if you want to be able to synch those photos back to your computer.) So, this isn't such a problem. I'm stingy with my megapixels, though, and would prefer not to have to shoot both RAW and JPEG but what the hell. I'd rather spend that money that I would have spent on the P-2000 on a new lens with image stabilization (more on that topic another time). I was also thinking I might be able to use a CF card reader to upload the images because that won't be such a drain on my camera batteries. I've read that uploading a 1GB card from 20D to iPod is a major battery drain and I'd just as soon not have that situation out in the field. Or on the Isle of Skye.

Saturday. Pilot the whole solution before the snow starts. Go buy CF card reader (SanDisk). Go shoot two cards full of pictures. Load one card from camera to iPod, then load one card from card reader to camera. See just what kind of battery drain there is, how much time it takes, blah blah blah.


  1. Addendum: I'm hoping that Apple will come out with an iPod update that will recognize RAW image format. Hope springs eternal!

  2. Boy, you are waaaaayyyy techie! Michael would be very proud of you! Even though I own a mini-pod and a digital camera, with image stabalization, I didn't understand half the stuff you wrote. I did understand not having enough room on the camera for all your pics in Scotland or losing your battery life! My camera takes 4 AAs and I am taking 4 with me. Hope that will be enough. I will have to be choosy about what I take pics of probably.....

  3. I'm envious of your image stabilization. Do you get tremors? I get some tremors, always at the worst time. Minor, but enough to make a picture fuzzy. AA's are standard so if you run out of juice you should be able to get more while we're over there.

  4. I don't notice that I am having tremors but I probably do. Since the image stabalization is turned on I don't see much fuzzinesss. I haven't been taking pictures in the past few weeks. Too busy I guess, to stop and smell the daffodils!

  5. Erin,

    You must post again. I keep visiting and there are no changes! Only 11 days until G. Eddy and I go stay in the Seatac hotel and then fly out in the morning!!!!! Can you tell I'm very excited?!