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Using Memory Cards in Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony and Kodak Digital Cameras

Updated on March 20, 2015

Some User Concerns with Memory Cards

Users worry whether they have the right memory card. For the average use, it's a safe bet they do since it's used for basic video or still images.

An SD memory card can be transferred from your digital camera and your laptop to transfer the images provided your laptop has an SD slot.

If you've taken pictures on your cell phone and stored them on a micro SD card, you can use your micro SD adapter to view your images (or video) on your laptop or other PC. If you took images in JPEG format on your camera, you can view them on your micro SD card right on your cell phone.

Flat-screen televisions come furnished with an SD socket and will read your images directly from your card.

Professional and amatuer photographers seek control over factors like high -speed high-definition video or continuous photo shooting modes( 4-5 RAW images per second), and aside from the average user may have other sophisticated needs. Maybe a certain brand is trusted more than another, or they operate at a level at which differences in read/write speed are noticeable. Yet while SD cards we see in the market can certainly do more, the differences will matter little for everyday use.

Size and type of the photos will matter. If you like big megapixel images, seek big memory cards. Whether you can get that picture of that bird or your little girl walking for the first time may depend on the space left on your card. A digital camera, for example, can tell the user ahead of time how many more images, JPEG for example, will fit on their card.

So far, most popular card format is SD, SDHC, and SDXC.

The higher capacity memory card format or SDHC, is ranked in speeds up to class 10 (fast--there is a class 2, 4 and 6 as well). An even faster card is now available with write speeds of 30MB/sec, and it has been dubbed SDXC, for "extended capacity" since you'll find storage space on these cards up to 64GB.

Here are the four main card memory form factors that have emerged as the most popular—CompactFlash, Secure Digital(SD), xD-Picture card and Memory Stick by Sony.

A Compact Flash Memory Card
A Compact Flash Memory Card

Compact Flash

San Disk is responsible for the Compact Flash format, yet it’s losing favor in compact cameras due to its size. Digital camera manufacturers however include a Compact Flash slot as well as an SD slot, as in the Nikon D800. And expensive professional DSLR cameras use it. And it is still generally the cheapest flash memory card or drive available, along with successor SD.

Standards revision 5.0 to this form factor includes an upgrade to the memory configuration and a higher memory capacity taking it beyond the 137GB standard. Improved Performance Control, related to the performance quality of the card, and improved card design, will make it better suited to more advanced uses. Not only is Compact Flash the standard memory card for higher end DSLR cameras, yearly improvements by the standards organization maintain and enhance its suitability for video.

SDHC Memory Card.  Class 4 speed, storage capacity 8 Gigabytes.  Note the write protect switch is in the 'off'' position.
SDHC Memory Card. Class 4 speed, storage capacity 8 Gigabytes. Note the write protect switch is in the 'off'' position.
Micro SD card and adapter
Micro SD card and adapter

Secure Digital

Panasonic, San Disk and Toshiba corporations founded the SD industry standard memory card with encryption to combat the threat of piracy.

SD(along with her progeny, SDHC and SDXC), is the most popular and most used.

Already smaller than the Compact Flash format, SD (24x32x2.1mm) comes in two smaller sized formats, miniSD, similarly sized at 21.5mm, and microSD (11x15mm). The SD standard originally allowed for capacities of 2GB, but evolved to SD High Capacity (SDHC for short), or 32 gigabytes. Inserting the older SD card into an SDHC slotted device works fine.

The SD format currently offers the fastest and most popular of the flash memory standards. Cell phones, mp3 players and PDAs, as well as digital cameras use some flavor of the SD form factor.

Strictly speaking there is no canon camera memory card or nikon camera memory card, yet the SD card is compatible with both. For users concerned about using the card in either camera, remember that the SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards can be used in any device with an SD, SDHC or SDXC slot. And also even the micro SD cards can be used in the SD slots with the adapter.

Memory Stick memory card by Sony
Memory Stick memory card by Sony

Sony Memory Stick

Sony Corporation's proprietary memory card. This memory card format was originally sized at 50x21.5x2.8mm, and only had enough space for about eighty-five 6-megapixel images. The capacities of this memory card have since been increased to compete with the other formats, and its successor, the Memory Stick M2, is 15 x 12.5mm. Memory Stick Duo is second only to SD in speed, yet, because of it's proprietary nature can cost twice as much as an SD card with the same memory capacity.

xD Picture Card with Olympus Label
xD Picture Card with Olympus Label
The xD digital memory Picture Card
The xD digital memory Picture Card

xD Picture Card

This 20 x 25mm xD memory card is perhaps the newest type of memory card which can be used in a digital camera but the slowest in speed, which suggests it is not ideal for those of us who like to shoot in rapid or continuous mode. This card will only work in Olympus or Fuji digital devices, since it is another proprietary standard created by these two manufacturers. Again, it is stressed that it should be more than adequate for normal photographic purposes, and has widespread use.

5 Tips For Picture Recovery

To Recover Accidentally Deleted Photos on a Memory Card Recovering a lost or deleted file from your hard disk or memory storage device can be as simple as downloading a simple software program from the web. However, to make sure you have an environment for restoring deleted information it is a good idea to observe a few points:

1. Be sure your memory card isn't nearly full or full. Today this rule is not hard to observe due to the increasing storage capacity due to modern manufacturing techniques. A full card means deleted files have an extremely high risk of being written over because the electronics has less and less space to allocate for new data. That means the newly deleted file, even though intact, can be written over if you save more work to your card.

2. In addition to the first idea, it is good to stop work when you know you have a file deletion and the information needs to be recovered. A nearly empty card can have data restored much easier than one nearly full, and this will make your information recovery doable. On a hard drive or memory card that's nearly full, the system is looking for a location to write a new file, will likely find the location of your precious information and write over it. So, stop working and go get the file.

3. Avoid buying undelete programs if you want to save money. While they are excellent options for recovering accidentally deleted pictures, $30 to $60 to recover one deleted file a year is overkill perhaps for the average user. There are many undelete programs available for download that offer trial periods or are offered as freebies from software companies which offered a suite of utilities as their specialty.

4. Remember that flash memory, such as the memory cards and form factors discussed above are recognized by your computer as a drive, and using file recovery software to undelete your images or mp3s on these cards is still the same as recovering from the conventional hard drive in your desktop computer.

5. As a preventative measure the write protect switch can be used. The small switch is located along the edge of your SD card and for micro SD the adapter has to be used to engage this function. You will be able to see what is on the card with your camera or other device, but no data can be changed or overwritten until the write protect is switched back off.

© 2009 dorado


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