Memory Cards Digital Camera
Digital Photo Storage Device

Conventional photography uses film as a storage medium and when one film is used up, you just take it out and pop in a new roll. The roll of film is eventually developed and the stored images printed. Digital cameras also have a form of removable digital photo storage called memory cards. The advantage of digital camera memory over traditional roll film is that they can be erased and reused.

Images stored on a camera memory card can be transferred to a computer for additional processing and permanent storage, or they can be transferred straight to a printer. Although a camera memory card is by far the preferred storage medium on a digital camera, other media such as mini removable hard drives and optical disk storage are also used.

Digital Camera Memory comes in a variety of sizes, so you need to decide how much storage space you are likely to require for your photographs. However, several variables come into play when trying to figure the amount of memory card storage needed. These include the mega-pixel rating of the camera, the format (JPEG or raw data) that the images will be stored in and also the amount of compression used to store those images.

The most common form of image file compression is JPEG . However, in order to compress the image data and thus make the file size smaller, some of the data that makes up your image is discarded and cannot be retrieved. This is the reason that JPEG is termed a lossy format. In most instances, this loss of data is of no consequence to the quality of the image. The savings in terms of storage space more than compensate for the discarded data. However, in some circumstances the loss of any of the image data would not be acceptable so the image would have to be be stored without any compression at all which requires quite a lot more storage space than with JPEG .


Digital Camera Memory - Compactflash

CompactFlash is a type of memory card that is most widely used for digital camera memory because of it's availability and relatively low cost. Several digital camera manufacturers use CompactFlash as a standard means of image storage.
One of two different CompactFlash storage cards are used and these are termed Type 1 and Type 2. It is important to know which type of CompactFlash card that the camera will accept as some cameras will work with one type but not the other.

Secure Digital MultiMedia Card - SD MMC

Digital Camera Memory - Secure Digital Multimedia Card

Secure Digital MultiMedia Cards or SD MMC are the smallest of all of the memory cards. SD MMC are the same except that SD cards possess a write-protect switch which prevents images from being accidentally erased. They can be used in ultracompact cameras and also in personal entertainment devices such as MP3 players and the like. SD -MMC cards have less maximum storage capacity than CompactFlash cards (currently at 1 GB) but still offer enough space for most digital photography needs.

xD Picture Cards

Digital Camera Memory - xD Picture Cards

xD Picture Cards were developed by Olympus and Fuji for their own range of digital cameras. However, they can be used in other makes of camera by using a CompactFlash adaptor. The xD card is also very small measuring in at less than 25mm (1 inch) square.

Memory Stick

Digital Camera Memory - Memory Stick

Memory Stick was developed by Sony and is used in nearly all Sony digital cameras. It can also be used in additional Sony devices such as MP3 players and PDAs . Memory Sticks are used on very few other cameras beside Sony cameras, so switching to another brand name will most likely mean being unable to use this type of memory.


Digital Camera Memory - Microdrive

A MicroDrive is an actual mini hard drive housed in a CompactFlash Type II casing. Being a mechanical drive that contains moving parts, a MicroDrive is a lot more delicate than flash memory cards. They must be handled with extreme care and are more prone to breakage. Again, because a MicroDrive is mechanical in operation it has slower access time than CompactFlash cards, but has the advantage of a larger image storage capacity.