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Floppy discs
Most digital cameras use very expensive memory devices to record images but Sony have cameras which use floppy discs. As these are so cheap by comparison there must be disadvantages to using floppy discs. What are they and if they work just as well as other methods why aren't more cameras designed to use them?David Fenton.MANSFIELD,.

England..

Comments (9)

David:The two main drawbacks to using floppies to record images are 1) The 1.44 MB limit of a floppy, and 2) The amount of JPEG compression used to get a reasonable number of photos on each floppy. Beleve me, you would soon become disenchanted by these limitations.Lee..

Comment #1

You will probably be EXTREMELY dissapointed with the quality of your photographs using floppies, not to mention that it is a dying storage format...

Comment #2

Another disadvantage of floppies: you are too prone to simply leaving the images on the original floppies instead of backing them up to durable media such CD-R or CD-RW. Since floppies are not reliable (being magnetic-based devices they will erase themselves eventually in Earth's magnetic field) you will eventually lose all your photos.-bruce..

Comment #3

Backing up to CD-R is a good idea. However, floppies are no more likely to be erased by the Earth's magnetic field than a hard drive. That magnetic field is much too weak to matter..

Comment #4

News Flash from the Obscure & Trivial Information Department:Well, I haven't researched this one in any depth, but it seems to me that the steel case a typical hard drive is housed in might yield just a teeny bit more immunity to external magnetic fields than the average plastic floppy case... I can't really say whether Earth's magnetic field is strong enough to have long term effects on magnetic media, but then I do recall that simply aligning steel or iron with the Earth's magnetic field and striking it a good blow is enough to produce a weak magnetic field in the steel. Curiously enough, the field is oriented precisely with Earth's magnetic field... (until you reorient the steel)I'm still not sure how magnetic media is most affected, whether by external fields or a gradual weakening of the magnetic field in the media itself... It is interesting to note that most materials that are magnetized seem to exhibit lesser field strength over time. (simply put, "Yes Virginia, your magnets will eventually fall off the fridge.")..

Comment #5

Having an industry standard storage medium (floppies) is a great idea. You can take a picture and pop the disk out and view it immediately without software or cables on virtually any computer. The limitations (they didn't seem so bad a couple years ago) are:.

Slow speed.

Limited per disk storage.

Compression.

There are many good points as well - weigh them carefully. I think an ideal combination would be fast, removable memory storage with a removable disk and cable. I can't wait to get my hands on a Sony CD1000. It uses a 3" CD-R to store images. CDs are almost as ubiquitous as floppies so this seems a great solution. The JPEG compression can be turned way down when you don't have to worry about how many pictures fit on a disk.

The older Sony's are in the sub mega pixel category (1024x768). I really loved my FD91, but todays crop of camera do make it look pretty feeble. The comments regarding floppy longevity sound like hooey! I still have readable floppies from 20 years ago. They don't spontaneously erase. It's actually quite hard to erase them - refrigerator magnets won't do it.

They did a lot of research on the effects of placing floppies in the same pocket. They concluded it was not a problem unless you clipped the magnets around the disk - one on either side. I would certainly feel that floppies were as durable as negatives...

Comment #6

I agree, the FD91 is a great camera. The CD1000 is miles ahead. I also tried to erase a floppy with a refrigerator magnet, but it did not work. The Earth's field has no chance. Also, most hard disks I have seen have a cast aluminum frame which will not stop a magnetic fie..

Comment #7

There are definately disadvantages with a floppy:.

1. Hold 4-6 images at maximum resolution.

2. High jpeg compression affects image quality.

3. Size of camera has to accomodate a 3.5" diskThere are also advantages:.

1. Universal (no cables, etc.).

2. Cheap and can be purchased just about anywhere.

3. Copies can be made and immediately distributedYou must weigh your needs against what you want to use the camera for. I had a Sony FD88 then upgraded to the FD90. The picture quality is great for point and shoot. I recently went to Alaska and my pictures (printed or viewed on screen) out-shine many of my companions' photos that were taken with expensive 35mm cameras.Floppys will be around for awhile yet, and by the time camera image resolution improves and large memory storage is reasonably priced, I'll be ready to buy a new (and likely much cheaper) camera...

Comment #8

Does anyone know why after you formatte a floppy disk in your Sony Mavica FD83, take pictures , looks OK and then your computer says unable to retreive disk not formatted? Anyone else with that problem?..

Comment #9

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