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16 Apr 2024

Memory Card

memory card
Term: Memory Card
Description: A memory card is a form of flash memory used to save digital information. Because of the way data is saved, the information cannot be lost once it is unplugged. Unlike a flash drive or USB port, you insert this card directly into a slot on your phone, computer, or tablet and your information can be transported from one device to another allowing you to edit, copy, and share the files stored on it.

The good old days of floppy disks and CDs are over. Now, people can save everything to a small card with thousands of times the capacity of the older technology. Good for storing photos, videos, and files of all sorts, memory cards make it easy to keep your devices organized and files accessible.

The memory card changed the way information was stored, and also improved the safety of that information. Unlike the common mechanical issues found in the traditional hard drives, memory cards use a solid-state media software that has fewer physical limitation and is more reliable over the long term.

What is a Memory Card?

So, what exactly is a memory card? It is a form of flash memory used to save digital information. Because of the way data is saved, the information cannot be lost once it is unplugged. Unlike a flash drive or USB port, you insert this card directly into a slot on your phone, computer, or tablet and your information can be transported from one device to another allowing you to edit, copy, and share the files stored on it.

Where Did They Come From?

The memory card was created by an employee at Toshiba in 1980. Then, it was the first of its kind. This was a large version that was mainly used in industrial companies using large computers.

Since that time, the cards have become smaller and easier to obtain. They are an inexpensive way to save digital content in one physical location.

What Kinds of Memory Cards are There?

You can use a memory card for just about anything these days. You will find them in your phones, gaming consoles, and computers. Another helpful use for memory cards is storing the hundreds of photos you take each year of your family, friends, and pets.

Compact Flash

The compact flash card is commonly used for photo storage but can also hold music and video recordings as well. These cards come in a universal size that should fit right into your camera.

SD Cards (Secure Digital)

Sandisk Extreme Pro 1TB SD Memory Card - SLR Lounge

The SD card is known for being a non-volatile form of media storage. It is capable of holding up to 2 GB of data or around 600 photos.

The SD also has an option for a micro card, this can be used to store photos and other digital information from devices like your phone, and then can be transferred to a larger port, that will fit into your computer making your pictures available to you.

SDHD (Secure Digital High Demand)

sdhc card

This card was designed with the same shape as size as the original but offers were created to hold high definition photos and videos. This is more geared towards photographers who take many pictures and need them to retain large, high-quality files. These cards hold up to 64 GB of memory, which is about 16000 photos or 800 minutes of HD video

5 Tips on Memory Cards

Here are some key pieces of advice on purchasing, managing, and salvaging memory cards.

1. Invest in Reputable Cards

Make sure you are buying reputable cards from reputable companies and from reputable places. Two major brands out there and the ones we use are Lexar and SanDisk.

Also, make sure you purchase them in retail packaging which are sealed so you know they haven’t been tampered with or repackaged.

2. Memory Card Speed Matters

Speed is important, especially if you’re shooting fast action, sports, live action events, etc. Whatever you’re shooting, if you’re shooting Raw and want to shoot 5, 6, 7 images per second for 10 seconds (or whatever amount of time), you’ll need fast cards.

For instance, if you have an SD card and it’s 45MB per second, class 10 and holds 32GB of data, it basically means is that it can write 45MB per second. If you’re shooting at a rate that’s creating more images than 45MB per second, it will back up the buffer. There will be a delay, so once the buffer fills up, it has to pause as it’s transferring images over to the memory card and you might miss some shots.

Faster cards will affect the overall cost of the card, but it’s worth it. Gauge exactly what you will be shooting, so you can get the appropriate speeds.

Memory-cards

3. SystemaTize The Way You Shoot

Make sure you have a workflow in place for the way you handle your cards while you are shooting – Don’t just shoot and pull the card out and set it down, as it’ll get confusing because you risk mixing up cards you’ve shot with cards that are ready to use.

When we finish a card and take it out, we place it in our Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket upside down with the label facing away from me. This tells us immediately that the card has been used, and I will grab a card that isn’t upside down, with the manufacturer’s label showing.

when-to-replace-bad-memory-cards

3. Label Your Cards

It’s a good idea to label your cards with your name, phone number, and the date you started using the card. You should also number your cards to help you keep them in sequential order as well.

4. Back Up Your Memory Cards

It should go without saying, but warrants reminding that you must back up your memory cards and try to back them up right after your shoot.

In our studio, we take the cards and dump them onto a local computer. It then goes onto a server which has redundant backups. Before we clear a card, it’s backed up in three different locations, just in case; one of them is on the Cloud.

the-most-famous-artist-matty-mo-kishore-7

5. What if Something Goes Wrong?

Hopefully it won’t happen to you, but it does happen more often than we’d like to think.

What if something goes wrong with your cards? Maybe you accidentally formatted it before backing it up. In that situation, all is not lost. Generally, when you format your memory card, what happens is the camera just preps the file system. So it hasn’t actually cleared everything. Essentially, the camera is preparing it to be written on. So, as long as you don’t start shooting again on that card, you can actually recover all the images.

Let’s say you happen to throw your card in your washer and dryer. There’s still a good chance you can still recover images. If the cards have been damaged or such, many of the images can possibly be recovered. Look for image recovery software (SanDisk and Lexar cards come with their own software), and it is possible in many cases to save those images, particularly with CF cards

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