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Viking 4 MB CompactFlash Card

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      04.12.2011 21:31
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      The sort of thing that interests me, but hardly anybody else!

      Now then... there's a little tale behind this review, which I'll keep short partly because I want to get on to the product itself, but mostly because it's very boring. The tale that is, not the product. Though come to think of it... anyway, I remember looking at this very card many, many years ago on some long-defunct website and wondering whether 4 MB was really likely to be enough for a digital camera. I felt, as anybody might, that you'd be bound to need at least, ooh, 16 MB. And lo, it came to pass that I was proved right. Well, sort of. Now we're in the world of the 16 *GB* memory card, anything not capable of storing the names and addresses of every electron on the planet is probably considered old hat. I wouldn't know; my area is the stuff that really *is* old hat. Or at least old card. Like this thing.

      Anyway, one of these 4 MB Viking CompactFlash cards turned up inside an ancient (and, as it turned out much to my annoyance, broken) camera I bought the other week. I don't think I'd even held a four-meg card in my hand before, so this was actually quite an exciting find. (I bet you're glad you're only meeting me electronically...) I thought I'd better give it a whirl, so I dug out a suitably ancient digital camera - a Canon PowerShot A10, of a mighty 1.2 megapixels resolution - and the first thing to report is that yes, the card fitted well enough. Mind you, it seemed somehow thicker and less (if I dare use this word) sleek than more modern CompactFlash cards, though comparing by eye didn't really reveal any difference.

      The A10's photos, at decent quality settings, tend to take up somewhere in the 300-400 KB range. That means that the Viking card can store a rather less than impressive 10-12 photos. Of course, you could reduce the quality, but with a 1.3-mp camera you need everything you can get! As you'd further expect, this card is no speed demon. Whether the image of a ferocious medieval warrior is supposed to frighten the electronics into working faster is something I confess I had not previously considered... but if it's true, it doesn't work. It almost certainly won't be a problem, since only continuous mode really calls for a fast card with old cameras, and with only a dozen photos to a card you're unlikely to be making many of those!

      I honestly have no idea how much this card costs on the second-hand market; as I say, mine came with a camera (which being bust is even less use than the card!) and I struggle to see why anybody would want one except as a historical curiosity. In other words, if you don't know why you'd want a four-meg CF card, I think there's a fairly high probability that you don't. Actually, I'd venture that 99% of the people reading this fall into that category, 0.99% of the rest would only be interested for the oddity value, and the remaining 0.01% are me. I'm going to keep mine, though heaven knows what for. To give to a clay-pigeon club, perhaps. In short: this card works, and works unfussily, but it still isn't of much - if any - practical use. Hence, one star.

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