Memory Cards - Understanding The Various Formats


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Now that you have finally upgraded from a traditional 35mm camera to a new digital camera, you will come to realize that the digital camera no longer needs the traditional film to store images, but instead uses a modern digital storage medium called the memory card to save all the precious pictures.

To put it in simplest terms, a memory card is an electronic data storage device. It is also referred to as a flash memory card. Apart from digital cameras, you will find the memory card in use in many types of electronic equipment such as the handheld and laptop computers, cell phones, music players and video game consoles.

Generally, you will find the memory cards in solid state, but sometimes they are also available in a non-solid state, though these types of memory cards do not use flash memory. These are based on cutting age technologies and used mostly by the gamers and the technical professionals and are often referred to as “mem-cards" by these techies.

There are different types and qualities of memory cards using various types of flash memory format. Many of the leading electronic companies in the world offer a wide range of models packed with many state of the art features, including high re-recordability, power-free storage, compact size and many more.

It was during the early 1990's that memory cards were introduced to the market for the first time, and it soon revolutionized the whole concept of data storage in the PCs, cell phones and other industrial applications. The late 1990's and early 2000 witnessed the competition amongst electronic giants heat up as they battled to introduce more and more sophisticated and compact memory card formats to the market, such as xD Picture Card and Memory Stick, thus meeting the growing need for smaller and smaller memory cards for compact electronics such as PDAs, cell phones and digital cameras etc.

The result is that today the market is flooded with a new generation of memory cards in a variety of formats ranging from SmartMedia and CompactFlash to the more sophisticated Memory Stick variants and xDs. In recent years the more popular memory card for digital cameras is the SD/MMC but with stiff competition coming from the Memory Stick formats such as xD and CompactFlash.

Memory cards are manufactured by many of the world's leading electronic companies and you can get the device in the electronic and computer section of virtually any computer or electronics store. The cards come with different speed limit and varying memory sizes, and these differences account for the wide fluctuation in their price range.

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