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Storage media and card readers

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Arts and Culture

Images taken by a digital camera are stored in a memory card that is present within the camera itself. The card is actually a chip which stores the images in an encoded format. There is no danger of losing any content even if the power in the camera is switched off. The chip also has several electrical connections and is encased in a plastic compartment. The encased chip is called a card.

High memory is one of the major advantages of using a card. You can increase the storage capacity by buying few more cards. Cards are available in any camera showroom and are not very expensive. The danger of damaging a card is very low. They are very sturdy and the plastic encasement increases their life. The only disadvantage of using a card is their incompatibility with other systems and other cameras.

Most camera companies have come out with their own flash cards that can be used only in their own models. The most common memory cards are Smart Media cards, PC Cards, CompactFlash, Memory Sticks and xD-Picture Cards.

The PC cards boast of the highest memory capacity and are used by most professional photographers. In contrast, the Smart media cards have low memory storage. Compact flash cards are available in two types. Type I cards are 3.3 mm thick and require a specific slot to work. Type II cards are 5mm thick. The micro drives produced by the company are the best Type II cards that are available today. Compact flash cards can be used in most digital camera users.

The SanDisk's Connect low power Wireless LAN Card is a compact flashcard that allows you to store images as well as a LAN card. Wireless transfers can be made possible if this was built in the camera.

Sony uses a memory stick instead of cards for its cameras. The memory sticks are cylindrical in nature but their function remains the same. They cannot be used in any other camera model that is of a different make. The smallest of all the cards are the xD-Picture Cards. They were jointly produced by Fuji and Olympus for use in smaller cameras.

Even though most memory cards are sturdy they need to be kept well. A small damage to the chip can make the card dysfunctional. The best way to store the cards is to keep them in a memory card case in a cool and dry place. Many international companies also produce cases specially designed for keeping the card. For instance, the Microtech Internationals MediaVault is made up of aluminum and is lined with rubber to absorb shocks.

Instead of cards you can also choose magnetic and optical disks as an alternative form of storage. Hardisk designed as micro drives are the best way to get unlimited storage. The micro drive produced by Hitachi is the best bet. Optical storage in the form of rewritable CD can also be tried.

The memory cards have certainly made life easy for photographers. They can shoot as many pictures as they want, and not worry about wastage.