Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Chance To Wow Me Goes By The Wayside: Lexar 1 GB Picture Card Fails!

The Good: Great capacity
The Bad: Lost pictures!
The Basics: Having lost a whole vacation worth of images on a Lexar CompactFlash 1 GB picture card, I'm in no mood to be charitable to them.

When it comes to digital cameras, I've never been picky toward any one brand name. My wife, on the other hand, has had a lot more experience with digital cameras and flash drives. It is through hanging out with her and moving large sums of information between computers that I have come to truly appreciate some brands and their products. I have also come to loathe some memory products. When I began using her digital camera, I had no particular bias against Lexar. Indeed, the only reason I was down on the Lexar Jumpdrive Sport (reviewed here!) flash drive was the fact that it did not store much in the way of information or pictures. But now, having used her Lexar CompactFlash 1GB picture card, I think I'll be steering away from Lexar for the foreseeable future.

The reason for my loathing of the Lexar CompactFlash 1GB picture card is simple: ours lost all of the information on it. Without removing it from the camera, the contents of the picture card have become scattered and unreadable. You know the phrase "You only get one chance to make a first impression?" Well, when your first impression of a memory card is "it loses my entire cross country trip with my partner, including my wife's first experiences with caves, Western states and a Star Trek convention," that's pretty insurmountable. For my personal feeling, I'm wary of anything that has such extraordinary capacity because it leads to taking such risks as losing two weeks of images, but my partner is more liberal in that regard. Or, she was until last week when our Lexar CompactFlash 1 GB picture card failed and wiped itself.

Lexar CompactFlash cards are what my partner's Nikon Coolpix P5000 digital camera (reviewed here!) used and the 1GB capacity was impressive. That amount of capacity held 1,000 images when the camera was set to the middle quality level on the camera. Unfortunately, my partner used the card for a week and it failed. The thousand image capacity of the CompactFlash is wonderful for my partner, as she is a professional photographer and she was able to take pretty much unlimited pictures and then delete unusable ones en route to our next photo-worthy locale. For me, it's a bit too many pictures on the camera at a time, but then, I'm not a professional. For her needs, a gigabyte is pretty much the minimum for a day trip.

In other words, this would be a great picture card for professionals, but it managed to lose all of the images on it. Technically, they are on there in some capacity, but they cannot be extracted and that makes this card virtually worthless.


The Lexar CompactFlash Card with the 1 GB capacity is a small chip designed to store digital images on compatible cameras. This picture card is a medium sized, flat storage device that fits into virtually any digital camera that uses a fifty pin connection to a camera. The fifty pin connectors use two rows of tiny pins to insert into the female end of this card. For those who do not know if this is appropriate for your camera, this is information that every camera's manual will have. "Pins" in this case are actual tiny pointed, round metal pins in the depth of the camera's memory card slot (usually gold) that conduct the information into the video card. The easiest way to check is to read the manual or check the number of pins on your current picture card.

The Lexar CompactFlash card is approximately one and five-eighths inches wide, one and three-eighths inches deep and 1/8" thick! This is bigger than the most compact cameras' chips and not as easily lost. The chip may be kept in the camera or removed to plug into a chip reader to extract the data on it. This is medium size, but because most people never remove them from their cameras, losing them or damaging them from extracting them from the camera ought not to be much of an issue.


As one might guess, the 1 GB Lexar CompactFlash Card holds only one gigabyte worth of visual information. This is an incredible amount of capacity for people who are spending a day out shooting the sites at places they are likely to only go once in their lives or just kicking back and getting great candids at a party or event, unless one is a professional in which case it can be filled in under ten minutes with the right camera! I have found the one thousand high quality pictures this will store to be great for the concept, but a bit nerve-racking when I find myself in more risky situations, especially considering ours lost all thousand of the images that were on it!


The Lexar CompactFlash card is essentially a tiny piece of plastic and it appears to be strangely more fragile than the smaller, thinner and more exposed chips I have used in the past. Without being exposed to sparks, energy sources, or any form of trauma, our CompactFlash lost the ability to read what was stored on it. Inside the camera and out, it cannot read what is on the card. It knows that the capacity is full (my wife was peeved when the device was filled up, then lost the information!) but it cannot read any of the images. Removing it from the camera, putting the chip in a chip reader, the information is still unreadable.

This is a relatively small chip and is easily lost, at least when compared to a flash drive (compared to a camera card, it is pretty much the standard size or somewhat larger). Users must be very careful while handling it. Still, even with taking proper care of this card, it gave up on us and once you've had a product give up like this, it doesn't matter what the ideal is in terms of capacity, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.


Lexar does not extend any warranty on the CompactFlash 1 GB card, but as they say, if you lose the memories, no warranty matters.


The Lexar 1 GB CompactFlash card is the worst card I've ever used in that it is the ONLY one to ever lose all of the information on it, even though it was used properly in a device it was designed for. That makes it very easy to not recommend and to pan as well.

For other memory devices, please visit my reviews of:
Fujifilm xD-Picture Card (256 MB)
Data Traveler 2.0 1 GB Flash Drive
Tribeca Pinkdrive 2 GB


For other electronics reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment