I have an Olympus E20P camera that is about 10 years old, and the manual says it supports

3V (3.3V) SmartMedia: 4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB;

CompactFlash (type I and II) Microdrive (CF + type II standard)

Right now I am using a CompactFlash/Microdrive 256MB, which seems to work.

Does anyone know if a 8GB CompactFlash or SmartMedia will work?

  • Well, 8GB SmartMedia is right out, as that format only went up to 128MB. – Please Read My Profile Dec 19 '11 at 20:33
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    Have you tried Olympus support? – nuno_cruz Dec 19 '11 at 20:42
  • @nuno_cruz I had no idea that they offered support for old cameras, but they did indeed have an updated compatibility chart. 320MB for CF seams to be the max =( olympus.dk/consumer/images/… if you post the link as an answer I will accept it as answer. – Sandra Schlichting Dec 19 '11 at 21:05
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    I don't see Smartmedia at that link, only CF and SD/SDHC (and Micro SD). – Please Read My Profile Dec 19 '11 at 21:12
  • @mattdm : I thought SmartMedia and SD/SDHC (and Micro SD) were the same thing. Thanks for pointing that out. – Sandra Schlichting Dec 19 '11 at 21:17

The E20 FAQ from Olympus says that CompactFlash-interface microdrives up to "1gig" are supported. That doesn't necessarily mean that bigger cards won't work, though — unlike SmartMedia, CF doesn't require device support for larger capacities, since there's a standard interface with "smarts" in the card itself. ("Smartmedia" is an Orwellian misnomer; it's the exact opposite — which is one of the reasons it failed to catch on.)

But, it's also very likely that there are other limits that prevent a card much larger than the expected to work. (For one thing, you may run into a limitation on FAT volume size.) You could chance it — it may work. Or you can get a 1GB card which will almost certaily be no problem.

Update: this forum post confirms that the older FAT format is used, and that you're limited to 2GB Compact Flash cards. (As noted above, 128MB is the limit for SmartMedia.)

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  • Very interesting. If FAT32 only goes to 1GB, what file system does larger cards use? – Sandra Schlichting Dec 19 '11 at 21:36
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    FAT32 will handle up to 8TB; FAT (or as it's sometimes called, FAT16) won't. Cameras still using CF cards (the big pro behemoths) all use FAT32. For one thing, it's the only large-volume file system that's reliably readable and writable across platforms. And the very large files that cameras produce aren't too terribly affected by the large cluster sizes of the FAT32 format -- there are very few 1 or 2KB image files, so the space inefficiency of large clusters isn't a problem. – user2719 Dec 19 '11 at 22:18
  • Yeah; I'm just not sure which format this 10-year-old camera uses. – Please Read My Profile Dec 19 '11 at 22:39
  • Just FAT, most likely -- a 512MB flash card was about the same price as the camera back then, and 1GB microdrives were the Rolls Royce of the day. Who'd'a thunk you could fit so much storage in so little space? – user2719 Dec 19 '11 at 23:24
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    Yep, that and the post I found above confirm it. No 8GB for you, but at least you can go a lot bigger than the 256mb you are using right now. – Please Read My Profile Dec 19 '11 at 23:37

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