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09-17-2013, 03:05 AM   #1
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memory cards

I have a Pentax Optio S4i with a memory card 256 Mb;
I want to buy and use a new card .No 256 Mb cards seem to be available. I found a 512 Mb agfa card but the camera does not work when I insert it.I guess I need to format it and have the relevant instructions
but when inserted the camera has no screen display. Is this a lost cause?
Thanks anyone who can help.
Judys

09-17-2013, 03:14 AM   #2
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A point-and-shoot that's 10 years old: yes, it's a lost cause. You can get a brand-new Pentax P&S from last year for well under $100, like this one:

Pentax Optio RS1500 14 0 MP Digital Camera White 27075188457 | eBay

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09-17-2013, 04:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A point-and-shoot that's 10 years old: yes, it's a lost cause. You can get a brand-new Pentax P&S from last year for well under $100, like this one:

Pentax Optio RS1500 14 0 MP Digital Camera White 27075188457 | eBay
Agreed, it is well past time to move on from that one.
09-17-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Even if you could get the camera to format a larger card, there's no guarantee that it would actually be able to use any more than 256 MB of the card. Also, the old battery might not be able to hold as much of a charge as it used to.

I have an old 4 megapixel Casio with a 256 MB card, I think I can fit about 140 images, which is still better than a couple rolls of film. And to think that we took that on our trip to Tahiti back then .... Anyhow, I just carry it around in my work bag in case something comes up. Still funner to use than my cell phone camera.

09-17-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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Does the old card still work in the camera?
If yes, the battery is most likely near the end of its lifetime.
You should be able to get a replacement for less then $5.

The camera should support SD cards up to 2GB (I am using the S5i with these).

I owned this model, and sold it to a friend who is still using it.
I replaced it by 2 copies of the follower S5i (only difference: 5MP instead of 4MP).

The S series, specially the S4i/S5i, do offer a couple of things newer Pentax P&S are lacking:
  • They are the smallest cameras Pentax ever built.
  • They have a massive die-cast aluminum case - much sturdier than most of the newer models.
  • They still have an optical viewfinder. Pentax abandoned it with the follower S5z.
  • The accu can be charged without taking it out of the camera.
  • Very low visible noise in the pictures.
  • As nearly all Optios, very good short distance/macro capability
The disadvantages of these models (and the reason why I use the slightly bigger high end models A30/A40 more often) are:
  • AF needs a lot of light to function - and significantly more if the batteries are not very fresh anymore.
  • No AF help light.
  • Zoom a bit long at the wide end - but that's true for nearly all Optios.
  • Lack of manual exposure and manual distance setting - I am really missing these, when I switch from an Optio A to an Optio S model.
But sometimes I prefer the S5i, because of its size and sturdyness.
At DIN100, the 5MP of the S5i are good at least! for prints up to A4.
09-17-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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Right, as RKKS08 says, the problem might just be the card, and you could try another SD card. The only SD cards that seem to be manufactured any more are the 2 GB cards, which are about ten bucks or so online. Your camera probably will not support an SDHC card.

In my case I was able to format a 2 GB SD card in my 4 megapixel Casio, but the camera will not address more than 1 GB. The camera firmware just won't support it. Hence my caution, that even if you can format another SD card, you might still be limited in how much you can use.

You might want to check the user manual for the camera, and see if they state any maximum size for the memory. If it says you can support 512 MB or 1 GB or whatever, then at least you know that it might be worth trying another SD card (not SDHC card).
09-18-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
"In my case I was able to format a 2 GB SD card in my 4 megapixel Casio, but the camera will not address more than 1 GB"
I know this, and I must confess in my P&S cameras I have never used enough of the 2GB to find out if this is also true for Pentax Optios.

It shouldn't be this way. The internal structure of these cards is top secret of the manufacturers, as it is one o the deciding factors for speed and number of lifecycles. But to the outside it is mapped to a full FAT16 structure, so cameras and card adaptors will see only a true FAT16 system. Indeed some programmers have crippled this (because when they wrote the programs, only 128MB or 256MB cards existed), just to save a couple of bytes in the internal RAM for administrating.

But usually formatting is not affected, because it is not done by camera firmware. The camera only sends an unconditioned format command, and the details are done non-transparent by the controller on the card.

The reason why you should format a card in the camera is the fact, that after the formatting the camera firmware may rename the partition and create sub directories. If this structure is not there as expected, it may not accept the card, or mess up saving of files.
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