As most digital photographers know, flash memory is something you can never have too much of. Prices have dropped over the years, so I've amassed quite a collection of CompactFlash cards ranging in size from 8 MB to 1 GB. Most, apart from the 512-MB and 1-GB cards, sit unused at home when I travel. I used to bring my laptop on every trip I went on to offload the images, but these days I've been using my iPod and Apple's photo adapter to do that. This is less than ideal, since it kills the battery on both my iPod and camera. Excess baggage be damned, it's all changed now with the Seagate 8-GB CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive.
Seagate holds the crown for the highest-capacity CF card available. And for a street price of just over $200, the 8-GB model costs roughly half of what a 4-GB flash-based CF card goes for. After spending the past few years seeing the number "394" on the screen of my Canon PowerShot S-50 every time I formatted a 1GB CF card, it was pretty rad to pop in the Seagate 8-GB CF Photo Hard Drive and see "3,098" there instead. Let that sink in a moment: we're talking about over three thousand 5-megapixel images on a memory card. The image counter on my 8.2-megapixel Canon EOS 20D maxes out at "999," but I'm looking at around 2,300 shots on that one before I run out of space.
Since it's a hard drive, and not flash memory, the drive is slower when saving and transferring images. Compared to my run-of-the-mill SanDisk 1-GB flash card, I did notice a bit more lag saving images after they were shot, and copying images to my PowerMac G5 using a generic USB 2.0 card reader took a few seconds longer neither of which are deal-breakers. Also, since it's up to the CF slot in your camera to power the tiny spinning hard drive (flash memory has no moving parts), theoretically it'll drain your battery a bit faster, but I didn't notice any difference in that regard during my testing.
Verdict: One more time over 3,000 5-megapixel images on one card. For around $200. I love this thing. Just make sure your camera has a CF Type II slot and supports FAT32 partitions (Seagate has a camera compatibility page here: http://seagate.com/support/kb/disc/faq/photo_camera_comp.html).