Friday, October 8, 2010

The New Generation of Digital Memory Cards

There's constantly new digital memory cards coming out on the market, and with many of today's digital cameras coming with video capabilities, it's important to know which card will best meet your needs. Here's a little run down of the newer cards available...

SD Memory Cards
These come in various speeds indicated by a “Class”. The least expensive cards may not show a class designation, they are usually a Class 1 or 2. A Class 6 card is the minimum that should be used when shooting digital movies. A Class 10 card should be used with High Definition Movies. The difference in the classes indicates the speed at which the card can handle information. Even if you are not doing movies, the faster speeds will transfer to the card in a camera and transfer information to the computer faster. An SD HC card is adding High Capacity to the type. The transfer rates on these cards are Class 6: 15 megabytes per second & Class 10: 20 megabytes per second. These will work on almost everything made in the last few years.

SDXC Memory Cards
Just starting to enter the market, these cards are the same size as the SD and SDHC cards, but will attain extreme capacity. The next-generation SDXC memory card specification dramatically improves consumers’ digital lifestyles by increasing storage capacity from more than 32 GB up to 2 TB. Its exFAT file system handles large volumes of data. The specification for increasing bus interface, "UHS-I," with speeds up to 104 MB per second and a road map to 300 MB per second, and UHS Speed Class are available for SDXC cards and host devices. SDXC's extended capacity will provide more portable storage and speed, which are often required to support new features in consumer electronic devices, mobile devices, and industrial devices. Currently there are a couple of Canon SLR models with this capability.

CF Memory Cards
CF (CompactFlash) cards are primarily used in Professional grade SLR cameras. There have been changes in the last year in regard to digital SLR cameras, such as many models now offer High Definition movies. As with the SD memory, if you are going to shoot HD movies, you need a high speed card. We now have cards that are rated as high as 600X speed. A better gauge is the amount of write and read speeds that card can do. A 400X speed card can read at 90 megabytes per second and write at 30 megabytes per second. A 600X speed card can read and write at 90 megabytes per second. These are necessary when shooting 1080 resolution HD movies, plus transfer to your computer will also be very much faster.


Missed our card maintenance and tips post? See it here.