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Memory cards and Devices

Memory cards are used by digital cameras to store data. So memory cards can be viewed as 'film' for digital cameras. But the important difference between film and memory cards is that unlike film, memory cards can be reused thousands of times.

Memory cards use flash memory. They are extremely tough, durable and relaible. The speed of read-write to a memory card depends on the type and manufacturer of hte memory card, and the camera which does this read-write.

Following are the most commonly used memory cards. Remember that these cards are not interchangeable in a camera. Every camera supports only some particular type(s) of card(s), and no other type of card will work in that camera.

Compact Flash (CF)

This is the type of cards most commonly used by digital SLR cameras. The capacity may range from 8MB to 8GB.

Compact flash cards are available in 2 flavours, type1 and type2. Type2 is more modern and cameras with Type2 card slots can handle Type1 cards, but not the other way round.

SD and Mini SD Card

SD (Secure digital) cards are fast becoming the de facto memory cards of today's digicams

Mini SD cards are also available for cell phones, MP3 players and other gadgets.

XD Card

XD (eXtreme Digital) is a format jointly developed by Olympus and Fujifilm. The only cameras which support this card come from these two manufacturers.

XD is extremely compact (size of a postage stamp) and very light weight (about 5 grams), but they are slower than CF cards in read-write operations.

A new format of H-XD cards can now read-write 2-3 times faster than the older XD cards.

Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Duo Pro

Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Duo Pro are used in Sony cameras and camcorders.

Memory Card Readers

Memory card readers are available in the market, which can be directly connected to a PC via a USB port. A card reader typically can perform read/writes on multiple types of cards.

The presence of a memory card reader eliminates the need of carrying the digital camera and connect cable everywhere.

Since the memory card uses the same type of flash memory that thumb drives / pen drives use, and are compatible with PC formats, any data (even other than pictures) can be written on them, and they can be used as portable storage devices as well! Now that's what I call convinience :-)

Pen drives

Small pen drives (flash drives) have revolutionized the way personal data is carried around. They are very convinient, tough and durable. A very necessary accessory for any digital photography enthusiast.

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