- Memory Cards – An Introduction
A convenient way to store and transfer files, memory cards is small devices that can hold many types of data. Text and images, as well as larger files like audio and video clips, can be stored on Memory Cards if they are large enough. New devices such as cameras and cell phones come with storage capacity, but you can also buy cards separately to store extra data. As long as they are cared for gently, memory cards perform well for years.
Since there are a variety of devices that use memory cards for storage, there are just as many types of cards that come in a range of speeds, sizes, and features. Compatibility varies across device, hardware, and software models. When you are in the market for a memory card, be careful to choose one that works with the device(s) you intend to use with it.
Hundreds to thousands of files can be stored on memory cards, even the smallest. When you are storing standard-sized files (as compared to high resolution photos taken with a new digital camera) you do not usually have to worry about buying a huge memory card. If you are storing big files; however, you will want to look for one that can hold as much as you want to store. This is especially true for audio and video file, as well.
Cheap memory cards can last for a long time as long as they are taken care of in a sensible manner. They may be flimsy or more susceptible to damage, but precautions can be taken to ensure they stay in-tact. For example:
*Do not try to bend or force a memory card in any direction or slot.
*Keep memory cards in storage containers when being used by a device.
*Make sure devices are turned off before inserting or removing a card.
*Do not use a card on a device that is not compatible with.
- Memory Cards for Digital Cameras – Speed is not so Crucial
If you are on the look out for a Memory Card for your Digital Camera it is important to recognize that not all memory cards are equal. They vary by their format – SD, SDHC, Compact Flash, etc; memory capacity – how much data they can hold; and by their speed – how quickly the data can be transferred from your camera/phone/camcorder and stored on the card.
One consequence of these different factors is we have a vast array of different memory cards. Choosing which card is most suitable for our needs can be daunting to even those who would consider themselves to be “techies.” So, what is the consumer to do?
Firstly, identify which format of memory card your digital camera equipment accommodates. The user manual is the best place to find this information. This will help you to narrow down the list of possible formats to hopefully just one, say for example, SDHC.
SDHC memory cards – their memory capacity ranges from 4GB to 32GB and the speed of a card of any memory capacity can range from Class 2 to Class 10. So, we have SDHC 4GB Class 2, 4GB Class 4, 4GB Class 6 … 32GB Class 10. That is at least 20 different options and then all the various manufacturers offering their cards as the best.
Your budget will probably help you narrow down the remaining list of possible memory cards. Put it this way – you can pick up an SDHC 4GB Class 2 for less than $10, whereas an SDHC 32GB Class 10 will set you back around $200.
From this point purchasing a memory card for your digital camera is a matter of balancing your budget with the largest memory capacity you can get and the fastest read/write speed. For most users the Gigabytes are more of an issue than the speed, but it very much depends on your need. If your using this in an HD camcorder you’ll probably want at least an 8GB Class 6 card whereas a camera will get by with lower GBs and speed is not such a massive issue, Class 2 may suffice.
Not to sow seeds of doubt, but whilst you can be pretty assured that the memory card does have the memory capacity specified on the label, the cards do not always live up to the Class number. In studies Class 2 cards have outperformed Class 6 and so on.