Demystifying Camera Memory Cards Byte By Byte
Author: Jared Greene
Within five years digital camera memory card technology has advanced to include enhancements in memory card reliability, capacity and the range of uses. The fast response time of the memory card industry to the needs of end-users has placed high-definition video and rapid, continuous shoot photography comfortably in the hands of digital camera and miniaturized electronics-users everywhere–feature films with DSLR camera video? –Doable. And with the astonishing capabilities of memory, of course, has come increased choice and more complexity. A few simple considerations follow below for camera memory card users.
Good things come in small packages in the digital world, but small packages can often be easy to imitate. On the web, memory cards for digital cameras might have a logo similar to that of an established brand. It may be attractively packaged and less expensive. However, imitation cards or cards that have attractive logos may not use the memory technology of the main stream memory cards, and may even have been produced with sub-standard manufacturing processes to save money. It may even be a different type of memory technology, other than advertised. Cards are not perfect and therefore are, occasionally, subject to failure. But imitation brands will do so at a much higher rate than the more dependable manufacturers. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t come from a familiar manufacturer, some due diligence may be necessary.
Generally, accidentally deleted files or images on your camera memory card can be restored just as files on your desktop hard disk can. While memory cards for cameras are solid state drives, the cards still use tables for storing information about files and how to locate them. Under normal circumstances a lost file can be recovered within a few steps. To ensure the likelihood of file recovery some memory card producers are shipping recovery software with their camera memory cards, sometimes pre-installed.
The old saying about not putting all our eggs in one basket is still a sound idea. As an example, many professional photographers are buying a few 4GB memory cards instead of using a single 16GB card, lessening the likelihood of losing all their work to a single memory card failure. This technique of spreading the risk over many cards works as well with four 16 GB cards as it does with four 2GB cards, since the basic idea is the more the better, and it is used to protect against the failure of one card.
If you prefer normal-sized photos, you can ensure enough space on your memory card by selecting the smaller image size as you take pictures, especially if you don’t seek poster-sized images. Another way in which technology has kept in step with this concern is a wireless camera memory card with built-in wireless functionality. Photographs can be downloaded wirelessly from your camera to your computer.
Today’s digital cameras take image information from a CCD (charge-coupled device) or CMOS sensor (complimentary metal oxide semiconductor) for the most digitized data about your picture. And camera memory cards can hold more of these files when they are compressed than when they are in their normal digital form. Some photographers prefer these high-resolution images or .RAW files because the data contained in the images can offer more control for creative photographers. Generally used on DSLR cameras, these files can be very large, and can require larger capacity cards.
About the Author
Jared Greene is from Tennessee and likes to write about technology. Camera Memory Cards are only one of the many personal electronics products he writes about.