For people who can remember the eighties, and years before then, we used to have digital cameras that used tape as the storage media. This meant that no editing was possible, and it could take ages to transfer it a computer, especially as they were only 8 or 16 bit, and the CPU ran at about 333 MHz in those days. This meant that once the video was on the computer, it would take ages to edit it. These days we have many different types of memory card, and you can transfer gigabytes of data in minutes, and even edit on the camera itself.
Memory cards are not only used in video cameras, they are used in virtually every kind of technological device that we carry around with us, such as SLR’s, smartphone, mobile phones, music players, and a host of others. In fact,technology in the memory card sector has advanced so fast that it is used in solid state drives for laptops now. The storage size on them has also increased to 1TB, working at speeds of x600.
Below are the memory card type explained.
Compact Flash (CF): These were invented back in 1994 by ScanDisk, who are still big players in the memory market today. These cards are able to operate at two different voltages, unlike the others which only use one. They can switch between 3.3V and 5V.
Secure Digital Card (SD): First appearing in 1999, SD cards are still in use today in many technology products. You can now buy them with 4GB’s of data for only a few dollars.
MiniSD: Was introduced mainly to be used in the mobile phone sector. These memory cards measured only 21.5mm X 20mm X 1.4mm.
MicroSD: As devices have got smaller, it was only a matter of time before a memory card appeared that was smaller than everything else, and even though these are only 15mm X 11mm X 0.7MM, they can still store gigabytes of data. These are backwards compatible with an adaptor.
Multi Media Card (MMC): Introduced as a new storage media type by Scandisk in 1997, and had the fastest transfer speed at the time.
Sony Memory Sticks: There have been three different version of this storage media, the Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Pro and the Memory Stick Pro Duo.
Smart Media Card: First appearing in 1995, this was developed by Toshiba, but has fallen out of favor over the years, due to the speed and capacity of SD cards.
xD-Picture Card: These are used in Fujifilm and Olympus cameras, and are quite large compared to others on the market these days.
Although memory cards had a shelf life when they first started appearing, they are now much more robust, and can easily handle over a million read, write, and deletions. They are not built to be strong though, so any data on these cards should be transferred somewhere else as soon as possible. With memory cards constantly increasing in size, and prices dropping, no other media comes close when it comes to using it in cameras and phones.
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