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07-28-2015, 04:03 AM   #1
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Feature request: MicroSD slots

I know I know, crazy idea. But hear me out.

microSD cards are great IMHO. They are as fast as SD cards. They are A LOT tougher than SD cards, which are stuck in a flimsy and unnecessary plastic enclosure that keeps breaking* (especially in my K-5 which seems particularly tough on those cars), inside the PCB is pretty thin, and once the casing is gone you're in big trouble. There is also this stupid little switch that is easy to break too. Try to break a microSD card. It's one thick bit of PCB. You can probably get it wet, just wipe it off. There is nothing that can physically break away without the use of excessive force (much higher than necessary to ruin a SD card). You can use them in devices with SD slots with an adapter, should the adapter break, just get a new one. And finally they are cheaper and more common than regular SD cards.

There is one big problem with them however: Storage. They get lost easily.

So the suggestion is that Pentax could have microSD slots all over the DSLR. Wherever there is unused space, after all they are tiny. No need to store the cards in some bag or so, it's inside the camera.

For the K-3 they could also have a SD slot and a microSD slot. Or a SD slot and a microSD slot that share contacts, you can either use a microSD card or a SD card (I have a card reader that works like that). It is not like a microSD slot uses up a lot of space. That way maybe even 2 microSD slots are possible. Or perhaps even as second slot 4 microSD slots in a row, with a physical switch to select which one actually makes contact. Like a car disc changer.

Ps: I have transitioned to microSD cards, and will only go back to the SD ones if absolutely necessary (I run out of space). They are simply so much better. If my phone had a microSD slot I could even connect it to an external drive on the go and copy the photos to the drive, without a computer.

* Yes, high quality cards are tougher. They still break, though, eventually. They aren't as tough as even the cheapest microSD cards.

07-28-2015, 04:18 AM   #2
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As long as the camera comes with a pair of tweezers!
07-28-2015, 05:29 AM   #3
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Anecdotal of course, but my failure rate has been MUCH MUCH higher with micros than standards. These are brand name cards too - Samsung, Lexar, Sandisk among others.

They're both based on the same technology, just with more miniaturized wiring and contacts for the micro so there is no reason either would be inherently faster than the other. but I suspect the miniaturization results in more electronic manufacturing defects among the micros than the standard size.

Putting slots all over the camera isn't just a matter of space, either, - each slot will need its own controller, software resources, etc.

My vote's for retaining standard SD.

Last edited by photolady95; 07-28-2015 at 07:55 AM. Reason: fixed typo
07-28-2015, 06:06 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Anecdotal of course, but my failure rate has been MUCH MUCH higher with micros than standards. These ar ebrand name cards too - Samsung, Lexar, Sandisk among others.

They're both based on the same technology, just with more miniaturized wiring and contacts for the micro so there is no reason either would be inherently faster than the other. but I suspect the miniaturization results in more electronic manufacturing defects among the micros than the standard size.

Putting slots all over the camera isn't just a matter of space, either, - each slot will need its own controller, software resources, etc.

My vote's for retaining standard SD.
Same here. I have never had an SD card fail. I still own a no-name 128MB card, and AFAIK, it still works. I have had several MicroSDs that just don't work anymore. Also, OP said they're just as fast, but is that true? Last time I checked, MicroSD had much slower transfer rates. And even if you can buy high-end MicroSDs that are just as fast, they'll be much more expensive than a comparable SD.

On an unrelated note, I also own MiniSD cards. It's a format that never really caught on, basically a standard SD, but half the height. IIRC, the MicroSD format was initially released under the brand name TransFlash, until the SD consortium adopted it.

07-28-2015, 06:54 AM   #5
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I'm surprised how you guys don't have SD card failures... Except for the ones that got lost all but my 2 latest SD cards have died, I'd say 4 or 5 dead or badly damaged SD cards. Plastic parts falling away, then the whole thing falling apart is what usually happens, though I have also had a Transcend just fail to work, despite being physically ok. The noname fell apart within weeks, but usually I buy Transcend, Kingston or SanDisk. My first microSD card is a bit worn out, but then again it was used in a phone that massively lacked RAM, so the microSD card worked as RAM (swap file). That means very high amounts of reads and writes, which can wear out flash storage quite fast.

I am not talking about having functional microSD slots all over the camera, I'm talking about dummy slots. Storage bins. I've already put a microSD card underneath one of those rubber seals, it wasn't perfect, but it worked. A safer, more protected place to store the cards right where they are needed (at the camera) would be great.

I bought a 32 GB Samsung Pro card (80 MB/s write, 90 MB/s read) for 12 or 13 Euro, significantly less than what such a card would cost in the SD version. At least in Europe (Spain) these cards seem to be cheaper than SD cards (which I'd say in normal shops are roughly 1.5-2x as expensive, especially for the faster ones). Finding SD cards also gets harder... it is not quite as bad as CF cards, but it is getting there. Maybe that is different in the US. MicroSD cards usually also come with an adapter or a card reader...

I'm curious, what microSD cards have you used, and how, and how did they die? Because I am using a 32 GB Samsung EVO and now a 32 GB Samsung Pro (the EVO moved into a phone, it is roughly half the speed), and using it a lot, without any issue.
07-28-2015, 06:54 AM   #6
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I've found that regardless of what class they are a micro SD card doesn't perform like a standard SD card. I've lost video clips due to the buffer running out and lost shots due to write times forcing me to wait with a few Sandisk Extreme micro SD cards, but not had that problem with their full size ones and both were rated the same.
07-28-2015, 07:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I've found that regardless of what class they are a micro SD card doesn't perform like a standard SD card. I've lost video clips due to the buffer running out and lost shots due to write times forcing me to wait with a few Sandisk Extreme micro SD cards, but not had that problem with their full size ones and both were rated the same.
Interestingly I do have a SanDisk Ultra microSD card that does not perform very well... not sure why. The Samsung ones are pretty damn fast though, much faster than my SD cards. My camera does 80 Mbit/s, and usually after a couple of minutes of recording it takes a couple of seconds, maybe even half a minute before the buffer is cleared. Not with the Samsung Pro... it is instantly ready.
07-28-2015, 07:20 AM   #8
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Interesting post. I don't agree but interesting nonetheless. Personally I find regular SD cards too small much less the silly micro ones I have to use in my phone. I only handle those once a phone switch and hope I don't drop it and lose it when I do.

You do realize you can just put an adapter in the camera and use your micro-thingys? Of course you do.

I've no idea which are tougher, nor can I image anything that would cause me to break an SD card. You must be a lot tougher on your gear than I am. I still have the original SD card I bought I think 128mb. I use 6 Sandisk Extreme Pro cards for work and they all get used regularly and all are at least 2 years old with no issues.

Well to each his own but I really hope RIcoh does not follow this suggestion. I have trouble actually seeing a microSD card much less having the dexterity to actually use one.

07-28-2015, 07:44 AM   #9
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I definitely prefer standard sized SD over microSD. Never really had a problem with my SD cards. I don't mind the idea of having an additional microSD card slot as a possible backup as long as they don't lose the two standard SD slots. It could be useful if you wanted to pop it into a tablet or phone afterwards but seems like wifi connectivity would be the better option for that kind of thing.
07-28-2015, 07:46 AM   #10
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I'm not sure it would be that practical to use on a DSLR sized body. However, it could certainly make sense on small cameras like the ones in the Q line, where the SD card slot takes a significant amount of space relative to the total size of the body.
07-28-2015, 07:56 AM   #11
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I've never had an SD card break. This is the first time I've ever read anything about an SD card actually breaking. Are you sure you're just not excessively rough on them?
07-28-2015, 08:13 AM   #12
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Wow, I have never broken an SD card. I can see how it might happen, if you put one in your back pocket, or dropped one
and then stepped on it with a hard heel. But simply inserting into a camera, computer or reader? Mind you, I have a K-3,
not a K-5. I suspect the SD slot is not very different between the two models but perhaps I am mistaken. As Jatrax suggests,
it may just be that you are hard on your gear. My wife is the same: she slams doors and drops tools and otherwise wears out
and breaks stuff at an alarming rate.

SD cards are already small enough to be annoying. They're easily lost and even a bit difficult to handle because of their
small size. MicroSD is pushing impractical. Even as the components inside get more compact, we have hit the limits of
our own ergonomics. The only way forward in terms of convenience will be fast, secure, reliable wireless transmission.
07-28-2015, 08:24 AM   #13
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The spring in the microSD slot can be quite strong and I've had a few times when the card was flung out and followed by many minutes on hands and knees searching for the tiny thing.
07-28-2015, 08:28 AM   #14
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I fail to understand what the issue here... I can use a microSD or a standard SD card on my k-3. I just buy whichever one is on sale and good value. I just need to make sure that microSD card comes with a SD adapter. And as some one mentioned, the microSD card provides more flexibility as I can use it for other smaller devices which can only take smaller card. With respect to reliability, it all depends on the brand and make.
07-28-2015, 09:57 AM   #15
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I like the micro because I can transfer shots to my tablet & show my mom what's new at our place. I have K.s1 and Flucard now so transfers just got easier, I think!
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