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Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:52 am
by hoodoo voodoo
I'm pretty sure the Zoom website listing for tested, reliable SDHC (and SDXC) cards, suitable for the R16, contained a few 32GB cards, as the recommended maximum size....or was that simply an economically sensible ceiling, given the price of cards back them ?

Forwarding on to the present and the 'new normal' for SDXC cards, used in digital cameras and camcorders, is probably between 64 and 128GB, at quite sensible prices for cards that aren't blazingly fast for writes and reads (which the Zoom doesn't require them to be anyway...Class 4 always suited the R16 just fine for recording)

I'm just wondering if anyone here has tried cards of 64 GB and beyond, and can report findings: does the Zoom recognize the additional capacity beyond 32G, or is that a true and hard numerical limit ? Does the Zoom even permit formatting a larger than 32 G card within the device ? I doubt that one could find a card larger than 32G which was still class 4 or 6 (these were considered the ideal recording speed maxima, due to the way the files are laid down in the recording process)...and is Card Class still important, when all the new ones are 10's ?

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:25 pm
by Wulfraed
Per the manual (page 95), the R16 can use SD and SDHC cards.

SD cards max out at 2GB (the rare 4GB were not standard conformant).
SDHC cards run 4-32GB

The R16 is not rated for SDXC cards. SDXC cards start at 64GB. SDXC cards are nominally formatted in exFAT, which the R16 does not understand. I don't know if the electrical connections are compatible enough to allow it to format the card in FAT(32) -- if it does, the resulting block size may be obscene.

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:23 am
by hoodoo voodoo
Thanks Wulfraed, that sounds quite plausible indeed. I've got a handful of class 10 Sandisk 64GB cards on order to use in my camcorders, so when they arrive of course I'll try one out in the R16 and report back here....just getting past format will be the first hurdle. Of course for all practical projects I can imagine tackling a 32 gig card would be perfectly adequate, but it's fun to push limits sometimes !

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:49 pm
by Jim_Fogle
Be aware that past digital recorders have a history of formatting SD cards in such a manner that the SD card appears to work but, what happens is the unit slowly corrupts stored data over time as the unit performs read and write tasks to the card. You'll slowly see more and more errors creep in until crashes start.

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:52 am
by sciurius
So it would be advisable to reformat the SD card once in a while in a PC?

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:54 pm
by Wulfraed
There are some recommendations to NOT rely upon the OS formatting logic (which is mostly optimized for disks).

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

(note: the URL says v4, but it is up to v5)

Note, also, that some end-user devices may, if they do not find their special configuration files on the SD card, do a local format and initialization of the configuration files.

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:09 pm
by flamesong
I just bought a (genuine) Samsung 128GB card for my camera and thought I would try it in my R24. It seemed to recognise the card but said that it needed formatting which I did in the R24 and then it seemed quite happy. However, when I put the card in my Mac, the capacity appeared to be 32GB. I tried reformatting it again with Disk Utility but no matter what format I selected, I could not get the card's full capacity back until I used a formatting script in Terminal.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the R24 32GB card limit is confirmed.

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:02 pm
by Wulfraed
flamesong wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:09 pm
I tried reformatting it again with Disk Utility but no matter what format I selected, I could not get the card's full capacity back until I used a formatting script in Terminal.
I believe there is a Mac compatible version of the SD Formatter (see my prior link)

{My biggest gripe is my BOSS BR-600... It uses CF cards, which to my knowledge never had a size restriction -- but it can't use anything larger than a 1GB CF card!}

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:20 am
by Beatnick
Do they make the dual slot mini SD cards? Where you can put 2 mini SD cards into one regular SD card. I wonder if using 2 32 GB minis in there would work. I have one of those in my PSP, but, of course, that doesn't use SD cards.

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:15 pm
by sciurius
Wulfraed wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:54 pm
There are some recommendations to NOT rely upon the OS formatting logic (which is mostly optimized for disks).
It raises the question what they consider "optimized for SD cards."

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:04 pm
by Wulfraed
Beatnick wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:20 am
Do they make the dual slot mini SD cards? Where you can put 2 mini SD cards into one regular SD card. I wonder if using 2 32 GB minis in there would work. I have one of those in my PSP, but, of course, that doesn't use SD cards.
If stacked, they'd be too thick. If side-by-side, there may not be enough space when one takes into account the guide/latch system, along with needing some sort of internal logic in the adapter to do I/O remapping. Those video cameras that use multiple memory modules in one cartridge tend to use them for speed: they don't stream continuously to one card until it is full then switch; rather they send blocks in a cycle to each card -- the cards can high-speed buffer a block, and then feed it into the actual memory during the time period that the other card(s) are being loaded. On a system with four memory cards in the cartridge, that means the memory speed can be ~1/4th that of the data stream
sciurius wrote:
Wulfraed wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:54 pm
There are some recommendations to NOT rely upon the OS formatting logic (which is mostly optimized for disks).
It raises the question what they consider "optimized for SD cards."
Among other things -- using large formatting blocks to avoid having the card do reallocation/erase/fill cycles.

Many decades ago, formatting a drive required writing one track as a unit, with properly interleaved sector headers. These days, many drives actually ignore formatting commands due to the tight tolerances of sectors on the surface. Formatting merely writes a file system data structure onto the disk.

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:32 pm
by sciurius
With magnetic media, formatting involved writing the actual tracks (physical formatting) followed by writing disk and file system information. But with CD, DVD, USB memory and SD cards, the physical formatting is permanent. Therefore, as you wrote, formatting an SD card merely writes file system information. So the question remains what 'they' consider "optimized for SD cards."
I assume developers of formatting tools for modern operating systems have not been asleep since SD cards were invented...

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:55 am
by hoodoo voodoo
flamesong wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:09 pm
I just bought a (genuine) Samsung 128GB card for my camera and thought I would try it in my R24. It seemed to recognise the card but said that it needed formatting which I did in the R24 and then it seemed quite happy. However, when I put the card in my Mac, the capacity appeared to be 32GB. I tried reformatting it again with Disk Utility but no matter what format I selected, I could not get the card's full capacity back until I used a formatting script in Terminal.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the R24 32GB card limit is confirmed.
It would have been illuminating, once you'd formatted the SD card in the R24, to select the option of 'show data remaining on SD card' on the R24. My guess is it would have showed around 30GB...and not 124GB. (there's always a few GB less actual capacity than shown on the card label....), validating your suggestion that 32 is indeed the maximum usable ?

Re: Theoretical maximum SD card capacity for R16 ?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:44 am
by Beatnick
I remember on the PS-02 we were dealing with MB. I can't remember what the max was, I want to say 64 MB. You could put a 128 MB card in there and it actually would show you had that much space, but would stop recording once you filled 64 MB.