As opposed to recording graphics on film, digital cameras use removable memory
cards. A number of cameras ship with a starter card, but it’s normally a small-capacity
card that can hold very few photos. So it’s a safe prediction: You’ll need to
buy a memory card, or two, or more.
When you shop for memory cards, you encounter many different card types.
But the decision regarding which type you need is pretty much made for you
due to the fact most cameras, with the exception of a few high-end models, can use
only one kind. So check your digital camera manual to find out which of the following
card types it accepts:
? SD (Secure Digital): The most popular card kind because of their small
size, durability, and high capacity, those cards are supported by a wide
variety of digital cameras.
? SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity): These cards look same as SD
cards, but they use a new technology that allows greater storage capacity
than SD cards.
Although feel free to use SD cards in most devices that support SDHC, the
reverse isn’t always true. Note, too, that if you want to download images to
your computer using a memory-card reader, the reader also must be compatible
with SDHC, not only SD,
? MiniSD: About half the size of an SD card, MiniSD cards are often used
in very small digital cameras. If your card reader doesn’t support MiniSD
directly, you can get a special MiniSD adapter that lets you use them in
your SD card slot.
? CompactFlash: Those cards, which are physically bigger and squareshaped,
are very popular in larger digital cameras. They support a wide
variety of storage capacities ranging from small to very large; some
CompactFlash cards can store more than 16GB (gigabytes) of picture
? xD-Picture Card: Designed by Fujifilm and Olympus, those cards are
smaller than a postage stamp but hold a remarkable amount of pictures.
? Sony Memory Stick: About the size of a stick of chewing gum, these
cards are used in some Sony cameras as well as other Sony devices.
After finding out any card type you need, the next decision to make is what
card capacity you need. The excellent news is that most types of removable
camera memory are very affordable — unlike gasoline, memory cards possess
dropped dramatically in price in the last couple of years, so you can
afford to carry around a lot of picture-storage capacity. Keep in mind that the
more memory you can carry with you, the less often you need to stop shooting
to download photos to your pc.