G500 Secure Digital Compatibility - A warning

Started Oct 27, 2003 | Discussions thread
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Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,342
G500 Secure Digital Compatibility - A warning

I've repeated this before, but since more people seem to be buying this camera, I want to let everyone know about a potential problem.

I e-mailed Konica Minolta U.S. about this problem, but I don't think their site has been updated to reflect it yet.

According to Konica-Minolta Japan, you can use Toshiba, Sandisk or Panasonic Secure Digital in sizes of 128mb or smaller.

In 256mb size, use only SD manufacturered by Toshiba or Panasonic are compatible.

In 512mb size, use only SD manufactured by Panasonic

It is my understanding, that their are 3 controller types used in Secure Digital, and that these 3 companies (Sandisk, Toshiba, Panasonic) OEM cards for the other "manufacturers".

Konica-Japan has documented problems with Sandisk, and only recommends them in sizes up to 128mb.

Toshiba's are apparently a little faster, and you can use them in sizes up to 256mb.

Panasonic's cards are the fastest (their 256mb and 512mb SD are both rated at 10mb/second sustained read and write).

The Pansonic 512mb Secure Digital card is the ONLY 512mb SD approved by Konica-Minolta Japan.

My best guess, is that the Sandisk Cards are simply far too slow to work in larger sizes. I'm speculating that the camera is only allocating a certain time within a program loop for updating the FAT (and with larger cards, you'd have more FAT entries to sort through).

In any event, I'd follow the compatibility chart for the KD-510z on the Konica Japan site for the G500, also (they are identical, except for the logo).

It is my understanding that the Simpletech Secure Digital in 256mb and 512mb sizes are also manufacturered by Panasonic. Their specs are identical (10mb/second sustained read and write in 256mb and 512mb sizes). Ditto for the faster 32x Lexar Cards (but their slower cards may or may not be compatible -- some may be manufacturered by Sandisk).

Here is a chart showing the Simpletech specs (note the 10mb/second speed in the 256mb and 512mb sizes) -- click on a size for speed -- smaller cards are slower. These specs are identical to Panasonics (so Panasonic probably manufacturers them for Simpletech).


Note how slow the Sandisk 256mb SD is in a USB 2.0 card reader, compared to the Lexar 256mb SD -- it's no wonder that Konica Minolta does not consider them to be compatible in sizes over 128mb:


Here's the Konica Minolta Japan compatibility chart:


BTW, I've seen users of the older KD-500z with intermittent file corruption cards using Sandisk 256mb media -- even when reformatting the cards in the camera after each use. So, apparently, their is some merit to Konica Minolta not considering these cards to be compatible with the KD-510z (identical to G500).

I plan on buying either a Simpletech or Panasonic SD for my next Memory Purchase. I would not risk buying a card from another manufacturer.

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