In this article, I would like to address the digital memory cards. These cards contain some amazing technology and are not just used in today’s cameras and other electronic devices. The SD format memory card is the most popular card available today. This stands for Secure Digital. SD cards are endorsed by most of the worlds electronics producers, and increasingly, in digital cameras. Not so long ago, there were a number of competing standards, with Sony in particular trying to push their Memory Stick format. The SD card is now the most popular, and even Sony cameras now support SD cards. You can learn more about digital photography digital photography here.
Technological Limites on Digital Memory Cards
Not long ago, the capacity of these digital memory cards was quite limited because of technological limits. Cards were measured in Megabytes, for instance, 256 Megabyte cards. A 512 Megabyte card was considered quite big. The card capacity grew though, as the technology progressed. Today, a 1 Gigabyte card is considered small. It is not uncommon now to use cards between 2 and 4 Gigabytes. And, the cost of these cards has dropped significantly. A memory card of 8, 16 or even 32 Gigabytes, is now considered somewhat normal. Wow. That is a lot of memory for a digital camera with the new digital memory cards. The standard SD format tops out at 32 Gig, while a newer SDHC or Secure Digital High Capacity, card tops out at 64 Gig. At that capacity, you can take a lot of digital photos, or hours of High Definition video on just one card.
But, technology doe not rest. We now have a new SD card format, the SDXC or Secure Digital Xtreme Capacity. This new version will allow cards to have a capacity of up to 2TB, yes, 2 Terabytes!!! Wow. Amazing. This is a large enough capacity to allow you to make a full length video all on one card. Or perhaps a hundred thousand still images, or maybe a few years worth of music.
But, one of the main concerns will still be your need to back-up and properly treat and store these digital memory cards. If you were to take a few thousand photos on one of these cards, and then have the card become corrupt and lose all those images, can you image the angst you will suffer. So, even with these new capabilities, it is more important than ever to treat them right.
Firstly, make sure you have a case to store these digital memory cards away from any harsh environments, especially liquid environments. Also, I would suggest that you not purchase a single large card, but rather several smaller ones. This will help to ensure that if you have a failure of a card, you will have another card with at least some of the same information or photos from the same event. I would not want to be the photographer, who shoots an entire wedding on one SDHC card, and then has to tell the bride that the memory card is corrupt and all the images of her special day are lost.
Digital Memory Cards Guidance
To ensure that this does not happen to you, be sure that you understand and master the following guidelines.
1. Be sure that your camera supports the speed, capacity and format of the memory card before buying cards. And if you purchase the high capacity cards, be sure that your camera supports the format.
2. You should never format the digital memory cards in your computer, even though the computer will format the card. It is always advisable to format the card you are about to use in the same camera you will be using. It is critical to make sure that if you are about to use a card that was previously used in another camera, that you format the card before taking photos for your event (after backing up the files of course). This will ensure that the card is properly formatted. If there is a problem on the card, the problem will usually surface when you try to format the card in the camera. Sometimes, it may be possible for the computer to format a card, and not detect problems that may surface when used in the camera.
3. Make sure that you format the card before any big event to ensure reliability of the card. After you have securely backed up all the files of course. Formatting before each event will maximize the reliability of the digital memory cards.
Right now, the new SDXC format digital memory cards are becoming available. Only a handful of the newer camera models support this format, so be careful when you buy these cards. The new Nikon 7000 DSLR camera has just been introduced, with the provision to take 2 SDXC cards, wow. So, do not buy more that you need. If you were to try and put a SDXC card into a SDHC device, the unit will ask if you want to format the card. Doing so could ruin a valuable memory card and make it unusable for future use.
And lastly, always take along several digital memory cards, and switch them out during the event, so that not all the photos you take are on the one card. This will help ensure that you always have at least some images if the worst were to happen. You can learn more photography atlearn photography here.