Does any body know if there are any CoolWalkers available in the UK? I've ordered one but nobody can tell me when it will arrive. Nikon and the camera dealers all appear to be unaware of the supply situation. I'm covering a major event 14-19th July, have no laptop and cannot afford to buy a handful of extra memory cards.
I'm starting to panic slightly.:'(
#1. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 0Wed 30-Jun-04 04:04 PM
There's a goodly number of portable storage devices out there that will do what the Coolwalker can do (including display RAW format files) at much lower cost. If you're buying for the brand, that's understandable, but I don't think there's anything in the Coolwalker's feature set that justifies the additional cost.
#3. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 0yungbessen Registered since 01st Jun 2004Wed 30-Jun-04 05:06 PM
I inquired about the CoolWalker in another forum. Most responses have mentioned the FlashTrax as an available alternative. However, one response did mention there is an awful lot of button pushing to accomplish various tasks.
Does anybody know of a current high quality comparison of various high capacity storage devices which have LCD displays? Like many Nikonians, I want a high capacity, easy to use device with a good LCD display.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#4. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 3Wed 30-Jun-04 05:20 PM
I don't understand why Nikon is being so hush hush about something they would like to SELL (unless they're having problems). Shooting the D70 (or the other Ds) in raw format takes up a lot of space and I would guess there's a pretty big demand for such a storage device as the Coolwalker.
But being as Nikon won't provide any info, I would guess that a lot of other people will "settle" for a competitive brand rather than wait indefinitely. It's a shame. They might be losing a lot of customers (in the short term at least) because of their silence.
I too am leaving for a trip in late July and can't wait "forever" to get something...
#5. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 4Wed 30-Jun-04 05:46 PM
Guess I should have contributed something to the discussion..
Practical Photography's July issue compares portable storage devices.
The products were:
Vosonic X's Drive Pro
Nixvue Digital Album 2 (Best Buy)
Archos Gmini 220
Delkin eFilm PicturePAD
Innoplus Phototainer (Testers Choice)
The Innoplus unit (£300 / 20GB) comes in 20, 40 & 80GB versions, has a 3.5" colour screen (some had B&W or no screens) which folds down for protection and has single button push for copying.
See http://www.intro2020.co.uk/ (strangely their site makes no mention of an 80 GB version and suggests a RRP of £550).
#6. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 5Wed 30-Jun-04 08:03 PM
It's midnight here and i'm knacked. I really appreciate the feedback on this slippery subject from you guys, and will continue the discussion tomorrow.
The event is the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, which used to be (still is?) the world's biggest military airshow. A little less PC than the Open, but hey, I enjoy the challenge.
Have a good one.
#17. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 6JamJar Registered since 07th Jun 2004Fri 02-Jul-04 08:12 AM
>The event is the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, which used to
>be (still is?) the world's biggest military airshow. A
>little less PC than the Open, but hey, I enjoy the
I am also going to the Air Tattoo with my D70. I have a 2.2GB microdrive (Magicstore which cost £100) which will allow me to capture in excess of 200 NEF and JPG files. Last time I was there (2 years ago) I shot about 5 rolls of 36 exposure so I think I will have enough.
#7. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 0
New press release today from Nikon Japan -- Coolwalker MSV-1, originally slated for release in June, has been delayed due to a "change in production schedule" to September.
#12. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 8vchong Basic MemberThu 01-Jul-04 01:01 PM
Could be... though I have my suspicions that Nikon may be outsourcing the manufacture of the CoolWalker.
No hard facts to back up this thought on my part, but since there are enough manufacturers of such digital wallets out there already, it may make sense for Nikon to send the specs to a third-party for manufacture.
Maybe finding a suitable manufacturer is holding Nikon up?
#9. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 7
>New press release today from Nikon Japan -- Coolwalker
>MSV-1, originally slated for release in June, has been
>delayed due to a "change in production schedule" to
(mediocre Babelfish translation):
About digital photo storage viewer "COOLWALKER MSV-01" sale timewise modification -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2004 June 29th Corporation Nikon (president: Teruo Shimamura) subsidiary company and the Nikon camera sale corporation (president: Takao Nishioka), we modify the sale time of digital photo storage viewer "COOLWALKER MSV-01". In regard to digital photo storage viewer "COOLWALKER MSV-01", June sale schedule we had done to inform distantly, but lag occurred in production schedule, made September sale schedule modify inevitably and came to the point of with receiving. In only relationship comes to the point of with applying annoyance the product including the customer who is waiting, we apologize from heart. That no soldier/finishing, understanding it grants, the ｡which we ask - Product name digital photo storage viewer "COOLWALKER MSV-01" - sale due date September sale schedule Ahead the inquiring regarding this case (http: //www.nikon-image.com/jpn/support/toiawase/index.htm) The "Nikon imaging" (http: //www.nikon-image.com/jpn/) So, the commodity information of the corporation Nikon image company in various ways we have introduced focusing on. Appearance of the commodity after this news release announcement day, concerning the up-to-date information of specification and desired retail price etc., by all means, please view that sight. The information which is published to press release is information as of of announcement day. After that without notice because there are times when it is modified, please acknowledge beforehand.
#10. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 9Thu 01-Jul-04 11:22 AM
Thanks for contributing you guys.
All opinions have been valid. As Nikonians I assume we are mainly loyal customers, but this is an emergency (of the photographic type, of course) and I can't wait until "whenever" and Nikon don't appear to be giving a clear release date. I'm forced into buying another brand of product.
As I've mentioned in another discussion, companies that advertise such items for sale lead the customer to think the product is available to purchase. But if it's not even built yet, what is going on? I find that just as frustrating as the "oh, that will be 17.5% VAT on top of our advertised price" brigade.
Anyway, ranting aside, I now find myself like many others, having to purchase a non-Nikon product such as an iRiver iHP140 or a Innoplus Phototainer/Smartdisk Flashtrax. Maybe I should look into a cheaper portable CD-R device as a stop-gap?
Any ideas people
#11. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 10Thu 01-Jul-04 12:25 PM
Anybody out there know anything about the Apacer Disk Steno Cp-100? This is the temporary CD-R stop-gap I've come up with, after a bit more research (It's a jungle out there)
#16. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 13Fri 02-Jul-04 05:38 AM
Hi, Hope this attachment gets through, I'm not a master of PC-type stuff.
Edited to correct a corrupted attachment.
#14. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 11tdesanto Basic MemberThu 01-Jul-04 05:18 PM
Paul, have you considered the Epson P-1000? Here's a review of the product: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0401/04010501epsonp1000.asp. I have seriously considered this for when I don't want to take a laptop or to simply lighten the load. It looks like a nice, large screen. Print directly to your printer, connect a portable CD-R drive for archiving too.
#15. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 14Fri 02-Jul-04 05:33 AM
Yes, the Epson P-1000 does look good. However, 10GBs for £500 works out at £50 per GB, not a very good exchange rate. Most of the other storage devices I've looked at are all nearer £10-15 per GB. Appreciate your input though. "This really is a slippery one."
#19. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 15tdesanto Basic MemberFri 02-Jul-04 11:07 AM
Wow, that is expensive. I wouldn't have thought that it would be £500 in the UK, since it's about $600 here in the states. I've never tried this myself, but I wonder if you could order it from a reputable US supplier and have it shipped to you across the pond? I just checked B&H (www.bhphotovideo) and they sell it for $599. If you've never heard of them, they're a very reputable dealer here in the states--do a search on this forum or others and you can easily confirm this. They have a few stipulations about international orders; however, unless your government's customs department chooses to levy high taxes/duties/etc. then you should come out ahead with the high dollar/pound exchange rate (about 1.72/1).
I know this may be a bit of a hassle, but it might be worth it. I think the higher price is due to that large screen--a big plus in my opinion.
#20. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 19Fri 02-Jul-04 01:36 PM
Thanks Tony, I think I visited the B&H store in NYC this January. Is that the large one near 30th street and 9th Avenue? I was skint at the time and not even thinking about getting a digital camera for a while, then later the D70 came along - at last!
I think B&H charge about $88 to ship things over the pond and I'm sure Her Majesty's Customers could well put import duty and VAT on top, adding another 27%. So too risky.
I contacted Nikon UK today and they say they've not heard a thing about any Nikon Press Release from Japan, re the great CoolWalker delay saga. So the fog of war continues, in the land of cliches.
I appreciate your contribution.
I think I might go and buy an iRiver iHP-140 - at least it's supposed to be much better and far cheaper than a 40GB iPod. Plus I can listen to some music whilst thinking of what might have been, if only I had a CoolWalker in my grubby little hands.
#21. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 20Mon 05-Jul-04 01:06 AM
Just a few pointers for those who are interested in getting a storage device to support your shooting spree. There are certain issues you need to look out for, just in case the one you purchased may not suit your need, thus throwing your money down the drain.
There are basically 3 types of storage in the market:
Type A) Without any display. Cost the cheapest. The only disadvantage is you can't really tell whether your batch of photo is transfered into the storage. You can only guess and you have to trust your storage that it is working properly by looking at the LED light flickering. Risk is very high if you use to download while on the job. You have to be very careful before you delete your card for reuse. Good only for bringing batch of photo from one place to another. Currently I am using one of this for travelling. Its a X drive 2030 (http://www.xs-drive.com/). Bought more than 1 years ago. The only storage available at that time. So far so good.
Type B) With a simple text-only LCD display to indicates that the storage is working while transfering your photo. You can check whether your batch of photo is being transfered, but you can NOT view the photo. Risk of using it for on the job transfering is lower than above.
C)With colour LCD display. The best of all choices, but come with a heavy price too. The cost went into the colour LCD unit and the additional features to run it. Can cost 2 to 3 times more than those without display for the same memory capacity. It also consume more battery power to drive the LCD. Can display all Jpec format photo, but MAY NOT display Nikon RAW format picture. You need to check the spec whether it is compatible to Nikon Raw file format! The spec may not be compatable to other camera RAW format.
Other things to consider when choosing a device.
- apart from the storage device what memory storage capacity does it come with. Some devices only price for the casing only and storage memory has to be purchased separately.
- what type of memory card slot can it take as compare to what you are using. Some brand are made for their own digital camera only.
- Buttons. Something unusual to look out for. Device that come with extruding buttons, are "badly" designed above the surface and tend to accidently switch on by itself in your camera bag with a slight jolt, draining your battery. It happen to mine while travelling, even with the case provided. Can be a big problem when you are travelling in a country where electricity come only from 6pm to 10pm or somewhere in the jungle or desert when you need to download your pic.
- Battery. All have the capability of self powered with limited capacity using rechargable battery. Never use the device battery to power if you are transfering anything more than 1G at one go, unless you know your device working condition. It is OK if you are using card 512M or below. Always connect to power supply to drive the device while transfering photo if supply are available. Battery do get drain off even without using. Can be very scary when you transfer half way and the LOW battery indicator blinks. Most device come with 2 to 3 hours rechargable battery enough for one 1G transfer and become weak.
- How much storage? 10G, 20G, 30G, 40G or 80G? Base on 5Mega pix Raw picture, 10G is enough to support your shooting assignments for any events in one day assuming you will be going back to your studio by end of the day. For travelling a minimum of 20G is more appropriate. It all depends on how much you can shoot. Having more is always better if you are travelling more than 2 weeks. For Jpec only, 20G is more than enough for most cases. Some device allow you to upgrade the memory.
Most of these storage devices are getting cheaper because of dropped in memory price. Hope Coolwalker don't turn out to be exhorbitant!
Hope it help. Am looking for one to replace mine too.
#24. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 23bicksvilla82 Registered since 30th Jun 2004Mon 05-Jul-04 05:06 AM
In the UK the Delkin eFilm PicturePad is available at a list price of around £300, It has the added advantage of being able to read RAW (NEF) files, which many of the other similar devices don't.
It was reviewed in the latest edition of Practical Photography and scored highly, it had the best screen, though not the largest but it does incorporate the ability to zoom in and around the image. It also had fast download times from the cards it was tested on. It is slower to transfer files to your PC due to it only having USB 1.1 but it has a 30gb capacity (available in 40gb and 60gb also).
It came out second best in the test to the Innoplus Phototainer but as this was a general group test and not Nikon specific thats hardly shocking. On the strength of that review, I ordered one due to its ability to read and display NEF files. In my opinion its the best of its type available for Nikon users for that feature alone. Slow Download times to a pc is something I can live with as a trade off for the ability to read NEF Files on the move
More info on this device can be obtained here - http://www.delkin.com/delkin_products_picturepad.html
#25. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 24Mon 05-Jul-04 08:18 AM
Seems that there are USB2/Firewire adapters for this product. See:
#27. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 25Mon 05-Jul-04 10:44 AM
A big thank you to everybody that has contributed some very useful bits of information, over the last few days.
After weeks of research and Nikon UK admitting the further CoolWalker delays, I have finally ordered an i-River iHP-140.
40GB for 250 of my English Pounds works out at GBP6.25 a GB, so very good value for money. The reviews all seem to be very favourable with the MP3 capabilities some of the best around, rugged construction, USB 2.0, blows the iPod away (apparently), the list goes on.
I just hope it's the beastie for the 'simple' task of freeing-up my memory cards whilst on location. The down-sides of no picture screen or built-in CFII card slot, I can live with.
If the HP-140 does the job, I'll let you know.
Thanks again and good luck in your image making.
#28. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 26Fri 16-Jul-04 09:03 AM
According to iRiver technical support you cannot download photo files, in the way I wanted to. Maybe a Delkin USB bridge will become available in the future - iPod stylee, who knows?
So I ordered a Smartdisk Flashtrax 40 GB. The iRiver is better made and the sound quality smooth and very impressive, but I had to resort to the Flashtrax, which seems to be easy to use so far and (touch wood) reliable. It also has received very good reviews and apart from the screen quality in certain light, I am happy with it.
At £350, it is cheaper than a CoolWalker and has 10GB more. However, I still would have preferred a CoolWalker. I'm not very impressed with Nikon messing shops and customers about the way they have. The largest photo dealers here in the UK, have been told since Easter "they'll be arriving soon" and every month after that. Also if Amazon.co.uk hadn't lost my iRiver in a "delivery loop" and took over a week longer to deliver it than agreed , I would have had more time to assess the situation.
But, hey....I now at last have a storage device - very nice but not as sturdy or as smooth as my HP-140, so a protective case of some sort is now on the shopping list, and Nikon have lost a sale from a dedicated Nikon customer.
Thanks again to the people who contributed.
Good luck with your photographic storage.
#32. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 28Thu 05-Aug-04 11:24 AM
Avoid the SmartDisk Flashtrax/Innoplus Phototainer! Please think twice about your digital storage needs, whilst on location.
This (not cheap) 40GB device let me down on two out of three very important shoots.
It would not allow me to download my cards on several occaisions, when at least 60-70% of the hardrive was free, and the screen sucks - sorry, but the word is very apt. Also, the copy LED is so dim that you have to cup your hands to read it outdoors - even on the darkest, grey-skied British Summer's day! A pain when all you want to know is that it has started to do it's intended job. The menus are unreadable, even in a darkened room - when you cursor down, each word only flickers very subtly for a millisecond....pathetic.
To make things even more interesting the so-called FlashTrax would also refuse to switch off and then start to over-heat. Oh, and the battery life is very poor. No, I did not use it as a viewer - I only wanted it to download my cards during busy one-day shoots.
Surely that's not too much to ask?
Despite my not being impressed with Nikon's procrastination concerning the CoolWalker, I still have faith in their brand, so I've ordered one for September. Reliabilty please, Nikon.
#33. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 32bobj Charter MemberThu 05-Aug-04 12:37 PM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on the Flashtrax. The copy light is a bit dim, but it is still quite visible. In general, you don't even need to see the light since I simply ignore it while shooting with another card. The hadware is much better built than most similar products and I have never had it fail yet at all. I have also never heard of others failing as you describe. Perhaps you had a bad unit.
Battery life is not the strong suit of any of these sort of units, but the Flashtrax has the distinct advantage of having a battery that can be easily swapped out. Most others require you to connect a small connector inside the device which can be quite difficult to do. The Flashtrax batter simply clips on the outside. Having a second one obviously doubles your battery life. Not watching the screen as it downloads also helps significantly. Just leave the device closed while copying a card.
The Coolwalker may or may not be what is hoped. That remains to be seen.
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
#34. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 33Thu 05-Aug-04 02:48 PM
Sorry, but I beg to differ.
The light on my unit was extremely dim - three other experienced photographers thought the manufacturers were having a laugh. In general, I like the idea of a visual confirmation during a hectic shoot, and if it has a copy light.....I think it should work properly.
The supplier and very helpful staff at Flashtrax did admit they do get a few units that refuse to download from cards, whilst on location, so maybe mine was not a one-off. Both parties also admitted that the screen and it's weedy menus were not the best they had ever seen.
I'm glad you mentioned the battery - I'd forgot to mention that it simply clips out (partially or completely) when you don't need it to, whilst in your camera bag, etc.
Finally, I always left the device closed whilst downloading, assuming the device would let me, of course.
If I find a product lets me down in many ways, I will do my best to help others avoid the same mistake. I also give praise where it is due.
It's called "freedom of speech".
#35. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 34bobj Charter MemberThu 05-Aug-04 03:06 PM
As I say, I can not speak to your specific unit, but the copy light on mine is quite satisfactory with the note I previously mentioned about it being slightly dim. Certainly nothing that has ever given me cause for concern though. I know of a number of other Flashtrax users as well and none have ever mentioned any problems with this either.
The menus on the Flashtrax are quite good for such a device. No, it does not run Pocket PC or anything like that. I don't expect a flashy GUI and it's menus are better than other similar devices. You state that the menus are not the best. If you know of others that are better, please let us know.
Removing the battery requires pressing in on *both ends* of the battery while at the same time pulling it out of it's holder. If yours has come out in your bag, you may be being fairly rough on your gear. I have found it to be a quite nice solution and have had no problems. Again, I have never heard of other having this problem either.
Be sure that when you help others, that you put your experiences in context. That way, you are truly helping them rather than simply complaining to them.
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
#38. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 35Sat 07-Aug-04 09:23 AM
PLEASE DIGEST THIS....
THE FLASHTRAX IN MY LOCAL CAMERA DEALER HAS THE SAME PROBLEMS AS THE ONE I RETURNED TO A DIFFERENT DEALERSHIP.
WE (EXPERIENCED PHOTOGRAPHERS, SHOP STAFF, ETC.) CAN HARDLY READ THE MENUS AT ALL.
WE DO NOT NEED "FLASHY", WE NEED READABLE.
THE BATTERY CAN BE DISLODGED BY PRESSING ONE BUTTON ONLY.
I HAVE BEEN TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OTHER THAN FAMILY SNAPS FOR WELL OVER 20 YEARS. I AM A FREELANCE PROFESSIONAL AND TEACH PHOTOGRAPHY AT MANY LEVELS INCLUDING DEGREE. I AM VERY ANAL WHEN IT COMES TO MY EQUIPMENT - IF YOU DO NOT TREAT IT WITH THE NECCESSARY RESPECT, IT WILL LET YOU DOWN. I AM NEVER "FAIRLY ROUGH WITH MY GEAR" THANK YOU.
I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN COMPLAIN TO PEOPLE, BUT I DO CARE WHEN IT COMES TO PHOTOGRAPHERS PURCHASING THE WRONG PRODUCTS DUE TO MIS-INFORMATION. THE ADVERTISING BLURB FOR THIS (AS WITH MANY OTHER PHOTOGAPHIC PRODUCTS) FAILS TO POINT OUT THE THINGS THAT I HAVE MENTIONED. I DONT EXPECT THE ADS TO SLATE THEIR OWN PRODUCTS, OF COURSE, BUT DURING MY RESEARCH, FEW OF THE NEGATIVES WERE EVER DISCUSSED. I THOUGHT THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WAS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MADE A SITE LIKE THIS A GOOD THING, OR IS IT JUST ME? £350 IS A LOT OF MONEY FOR SOMETHING THAT COULD LET YOU DOWN MID-SHOOT.
THE VISUAL ARTS ARE A WONDERFUL THING, A POSITIVE THING, BUT LIKE WORLD POLITICS AND MILITARY POLICY, THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE A FEW WASPS IN THE HONEY. ROSE-COLOURED SPECTACLES, SWEEPING THINGS UNDER THE CARPET AND BURYING MY HEAD IN THE SAND ARE NOT MY TYPE OF CLICHE. I PREFER TO SEE BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN.
P.S. DO YOU HAVE SHARES IN FLASHTRAX, OR SOMETHING?
#39. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 38walkerr Nikonian since 05th May 2002Sat 07-Aug-04 02:13 PM
I suspect Bob has had positive experiences with his Flashtrax, just as I have. Let's not lose sight of the fact that needs and priorities differ between photographers and not everyone will view things the same.
#42. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 39Sun 08-Aug-04 01:57 PM
I agree, Rick.
Maybe the US are getting all the good ones (paraniod time).
All I desire is a product that does everything it says on the box.
Time to chill. Is this why Nikon called it the CoolWalker?
#43. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 42walkerr Nikonian since 05th May 2002Sun 08-Aug-04 02:11 PM
No problem, Paul. I don't believe any of the portable devices are perfect at this time. I'd love to have one that was as rugged as an F5, had a very high resolution screen, and could handle twenty 1GB downloads on one battery charge. Unfortunately, that device doesn't exist yet, and the Flashtrax is one of the better compromises for me. I suspect the Coolwalker may have many of the same compromises as others on the market, but optimism is rarely a bad thing.
You may very well have encountered a bad sequence of units - it certainly happens at times.
#41. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 38Sat 07-Aug-04 03:25 PM
discussion is left by the wayside. Everyone calm down.
This is not just directed at a specific person - If you're typing up a posting, just take a moment to look at the content and the tone. Remember this is the Internet, and virtual discussions don't have the benefit of eye-contact and body language. Make sure what you're saying is CONSTRUCTIVE and any additional content you add doesn't distort your message. Like any other writing initiative, effective communication begins with quality authoring. Take a moment to Quality-Assure your work before pressing the "POST MESSAGE" button. Thank you.
#44. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 41Sun 08-Aug-04 02:11 PM
We Brits dislike being spoken to as if six years old. (This does not refer to your reply by the way, so please don't take offence).
I agree with your point and apologise if my disappointment with a product is seen as being too negative, but I wouldn't like a fellow Nikonian to be let down in the way I have, by the product in question.
I can assure you - I do try not to write or say anything without engaging my cranial filling first.
Toodle-pip, old chap!
#40. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 21
There is one other category that sort of falls between B & C and these are the ones with a B&W LCD screen that allows you to view the pictures ( JPEG only ). Little use actually except to verify that the pictures have actually been transfered. Based in Shanghai, and I found a couple of local / Taiwan brands here. Main issue with these are the battery life. I ended up getting an Archos 220 Gmini (made in China of course) after reading good reviews, and boy am I pleased. Transfers RAW no problem and its read/write time is fast. What's really neat is that its the size of two EN-EL3 and no thicker. 20G suffices for my needs and it downloads up to 10GB of pictures in a single charge. The CF card pops into the side easily and the transfer is automatic.
#46. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 40Wed 11-Aug-04 06:53 AM
Base on your review on Gmini 220, that's exactly what I need for my travelling. All I want is just to off load my pix from my 1G to 4G Microdrives without much hassle so that I can continue to shoot! Normally I do it in the hotel. Not on location. The B&W viewing is good enough to check that all the pic are transferred. I do my editing at home. Viewing actually eats up the battery life. Perhaps thats the reason why CoolWalker is late, the charged battery life for transfer and viewing in colour LCD. My current Xdrive can only take one 1G transfer and the battery becomes weak. Its made in Taiwan and so far haven't fail me yet. Keeping my finger cross. May I know how much does the Gmini 220 cost in China RMP?
#47. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 46shanghaishah Registered since 07th Jul 2004Wed 11-Aug-04 10:05 AM
Unfortunately I paid a premium. RMB 2950.00 or USD 355.00 when it first came out here in Shanghai. Seen prices on the web now for around USD 255.00 form US websites - even lower in Hong Kong. It was that or another one of the local / Taiwan made storage tanks. Went through two of these ( below USD 150.00 with 60GB Hard Drives) within two mths, but finally gave in after losing pictures when the battery failed during transfers on a few occasions - the battery indicators on the generic brands are hopelessly inaccurate and the 2.5" hard drives suck a lot of power.
I use the 512MB Ultra II and shoot in RAW, and use bracketing a lot... so on a normal weekend outing would need to transfer 3 -4 times on average. Sucessfully transfered over 10GB on a single charge once, but didn't want to push it after past experince with losing power in mid transfer with other brands - even though the battery indicator still showed one bar.
I don't think you will have any regrets if you do decide to go with the Gmini. Transfer speeds are pleasently fast (compared to generic brands) and automatically starts when you pop the CF in. The unit is also small enough to pop into a pants pocket while it transfers and you continue shooting with another CF card. A new folder is created each time you pop a CF in.
Transfer to a computer is automatic the minute you connect the USB cable if you are using XP and set it up such...the computer reconises the unit as a removable drive.
The B&W photo wallet isn't great and I hardly use it except to check if important pictures really transfered. Decided to part with the $$$ after reading numerous reviews, in particular the one by Stephen Voss.
The coolwalker would be my first choice ( depending on retail pricing and availability) but IMHO, the Gmini holds its own.
#36. "RE: Nikon CoolWalker" | In response to Reply # 0
for all of you still waiting on their Coolwalkers (and all the others considering buying similar devices, of course): On dpreview were several discussion about portable storage devices, and there I found a link to a web page with a comparison of different makers and models:
I was really surprised about the number of available devices. The information there is updated continously, and besides the basic specifications also the transfer speed (CF to device and device to PC) as well as the battery life are listed, mostly based on user experiences.
As a second note I would like to mention that there are devices available that have a built-in "compare-after-copy" function, which is a very high added value IMHO.
Hope that some of you might find it useful.
All the best, Robert