Not sure if anyone has done this this before...anyway, I was inspired by this thread here
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any lost of data or problems which may arise to your CF card or camera after doing this.
10D support FAT32 (32 bit file allocation table)
FAT32 support larger CF card (>2GB) while FAT16 is limited to 2GB
FAT32 support smaller cluster size
Advantage of smaller cluster size
Less wastage of space due to slack (a 1KB file still occupies the whole cluster, no matter the cluster size is 2KB or 64KB)
Disadvantage of smaller cluster size
Small cluster size = more number of clusters.
(eg. 1024 x 2KB == 32 x 64KB)
it is easier for the system to manage 32 large clusters than 1000+ small cluster, therefore the size of file allocation table will be bigger as the cluster size getting smaller.
Larger file allocation table means long time to find a particular file too, since the FAT need to be access very frequently, the performance drop will be very significant.
To cut the long story short.
If you format your CF card using 10D, it will be using FAT16 format @ 8KB cluster size. Although u can save some space by formating your CF card to use 512byte cluster with FAT32, there is a great performance hit.
My TwinMos 512MB CF card was attached to USB reader and formatted to various cluster size, the command to format the CF card in DOS mode is as follows:
format X: /FS:FAT32 /A:512 /q where X is the drive letter
(Instead of 512, you should type "64K" if you want 64KB cluster size)
This will format your CF card to FAT32 with 512bytes cluster. I notice that the LED display now show 78 instead of 77. I also formatted the card to FAT32@4KB, FAT16@8KB, and FAT16@64KB for testing
Theoretically I should be able to format the CF card to FAT32@64KB, however I encountered an error when doing so, I can't format the CF card at FAT32 anything above 4KB. Probably I need another method to format the card to 64KB cluster.
Anyway, I set the camera to Tv mode @ 1/4000s, continuous shot mode, RAW file format, no lens was attached, I checked the file size and each RAW file is about 4.1MB each. The timer starts when i press the shutter, I press and hold the shutter and release once 3 shots was taken. The timer was stop once the Red LED stopped blinking
The results is as follows (average of 3 repeated tests):
FAT16@8KB - 15.5s (this is same as formatting your CF with 10D)
FAT16@64K - 14.2s
FAT32@512bytes - 34s (yes! 34s)
FAT32@4k - 17.53s
I notice that when the cluster size was 512bytes, the LED blinks slowly while with larger cluster size, the LED blinks so fast that it actually lit up all the way and only blinks a few times. This shows that larger cluster size means faster write speed.
I tried to playback the shots, when cluster size is <4KB, I notice that the LCD will display ‘busy” while loading from the CF. It took <2s to load the picture. When the cluster size is big, the loading was instantly. When I tested with FAT32, there was once when the LED show Err 99. I have never encounter such problem before I format the CF to FAT32. However that only happened once.
If anyone with a 10D and manage to format your card to FAT32@32KB or 64KB, pls try out the test and post the results here. In the mean time, I will leave my CF at FAT16@64KB because the performance is much better.