Professional photographers use microdrives in order to take large numbers of high-resolution, good quality pictures in one sitting. Microdrives are essentially tiny hard drives – usually one inch big – and slot into the camera where the flash memory would normally fit. Their biggest benefit is their 4BG size, ensuring solid storage space for the photo enthusiast.

To their advantage, microdrives cope well with power loss – whereas flash disk memory is easily jumbled, should your computer experience a power surge. However, microdrives have a slower shutter speed than advanced CompactFlash cards, and their transfer speed is also relatively sluggish. They are more sensitive to shock, considering their capacity-size ratio.

Hard drive manufactures are continually upgrading their microdrives to correct the running speed and sensitivity drawbacks. Notably, Sony is closing gap on its microdrive speed, offering 2 and 4GB drives that are compatible with devices that hold a PC card type II slot.

Digital videos and quick-shutter succession photos can be easily stored in these minidisks, whereas flash memory will quickly run out. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has created a 4GB microdrive with a data transfer rate that’s 70% faster than previous models. The new microdrive has the distinction of being the world’s smallest hard disk drive, at only 16 grams and the size of a matchbook.

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