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Know Your Memory Cards

Monday, June 22nd, 2015 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography, Hardware & Peripherals

If you are into photography, choosing the right type of memory card is key to a happy shutterbug’s life. The criteria for it depends on the type of card that is compatible with your camera, the transfer speed class, the storage capacity and the price. Please remember that the choice of memory card, irrespective of its capacity and price, does not alter the quality of your image. However, the difference is that the cheaper card is less reliable, stores data slowly and has poor backup measures. What’s worse, it could stop working anytime.

Types of memory cards

Hundreds of manufacturers develop memory cards according to SD card standards for various portable devices. However, different devices require different types of SD cards. Following are the four popular memory cards that are used primarily in cameras.

  1. Secure Digital (SD) card
  2. Micro SD card
  3. Eye-fi card
  4. Compact flash card

SD Cards are the most commonly used and are compatible with the majority of the digital cameras. That includes point-and-shoot cameras, DSLR cameras and camcorders. The original SD cards released in 1999 had storage capacity of up to 2 GB. This is for cameras that were made before the release of SDHC and SDXC memory cards.

Again, these SD cards fall into two categories:

–           SD (‘High Capacity) – SDHC was invented with a maximum capacity of 64GB in 2006. Though it may fit into your old SD slot, your camera may not recognize the media type if they were made before the release of the new SDHC cards.

–           SD (‘Xtra capacity’) – Released in 2006, the SDXC cards have a maximum capacity of 2TB. Like the SDHC cards, though they are identical in shape and size of your old SD cards, cameras made prior to their release may fail to recognize this media type. Even your computers should be able to read the exact files to be compatible with SDXC memory cards.

sd card

Micro SD card

This is the smallest commercial memory card that can store up to 2GB capacity. It was the most commonly used memory card for mobile phones. However, a small number of digital cameras are being made to accommodate the Micro SD cards. Also, a Micro SDHC version is available to store larger files from 4GB to 32GB.

micro sd

Those are the most widely known types of memory cards, but there are still more. I’ll get to them and talk about speed and storage capacity in part 2 of this article.

~ Zahid Haroon Javali / Pics: Pixabay



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3 Responses to “Know Your Memory Cards”

  1. […] In Part 1 of this article, I started talking about the different kinds of memory cards available for… Today, we’ll look at more varieties and how they work. […]

  2. Markj says:

    Some old information and I suspect a typo. First the typo SDXC was announced in 2009 not 2006, SDHC was announced in 2006 as stated in the article.

    The author for some reason has completely ignored micro SDXC cards. Currently the largest capacity micro SDXC cards I can find are 128GB, though Sandisk apparently announced a 200GB one in March 2015.

  3. srsquidizen says:

    I believe he 2GB pictured is in the original “standard SD” category (not HC or XC). Those cards were a maximum of 2GB. While devices using the old standard are pretty much off the market, I mention this only because people looking at a used camera or some such gadget need to be aware and ask. It might have very limited SD capacity.

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