Your camera will almost certainly be supplied
with a memory card, but most manufacturers cut costs by providing one
with a very low capacity.
Alongside some higher capacity rechargeable batteries, a new memory
card is likely to be your first extra purchase after you buy your camera.
All memory cards
perform basically the same function. They differ only because manufacturers
have not established a mutual standard, but are usually interchangeable
between cameras which use the same type of card.
Widely used in the higher spec cameras, this is the available in the
widest range of capacities and is the most cost-effective.
This is not a card but is actually a miniature hard disk. It is featured
here because it is usually interchangeable with CompactFlash and is
used as a higher capacity alternative. Available in capacities over
A very compact card, smaller than CompactFlash and thinner than a credit
card. Favoured by Fujifilm and Olympus cameras.
Also known as ‘multimedia’ cards.
The Sony proprietory format and therefore essential if you have a Sony
Developed as a joint venture between Olympus and Fujifilm and designed
for compactness and fast data transfer.
Although your camera will connect straight to a computer, perhaps via
a docking station, a card reader is a very useful accessory. It will
save having your camera on the desk, powered up, while your photos are
transferred. Many photographers keep their card reader permanently plugged
in to a USB port. The card is removed from the camera and the camera
can then be put away while the photographs are transferred.
Card readers will also write files to the card from your computer, so
edited photographs can be taken in to a print shop in this format.
Card readers can be single-format – for just one type of card
– or multiple-format. The multiple format is a better purchase
and is not significantly more expensive. Buying a multiple format reader
allows for more than one camera, future changes of camera, and exchanging
photographs with friends.
Although not a camera memory card, it is useful here to mention the
range of flash drives, because they are basically similar in their technology
and perform a short-term memory function. They are card / reader / writer
FlashDrives are small data storage devices which are available in a
similar range of memory capacities to memory cards. They will have a
USB socket at one end and will therefore plug straight in to your computer
or a USB cable.
Because they are so compact they will be presented as key fobs, or incorporated
into pens or even the famous Swiss Army Knife!