Storage media cards for digital cameras come in many different types, sizes and capacities, however, all do the same job - they store images and data in an electronic format. Here's a guide to the most common formats. Compact Flash (CF) While one of the oldest of the storage media cards, the CF card is still the choice of a number of camera manufacturers, including the prosumer and up Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras from Nikon and Canon. CF cards come in two types - Type I and Type II, with the distinguishing factor between the two being the Type II card is physically thicker. When choosing a CF card, be sure to match the card type and capacity recommended for that model camera. While Type I cards do work in a Type II slot, the opposite is not true due to the thickness differences. CF cards of each type come in range of storage capacities from 4 GB to 128 GB. While each type card is physically the same size, not all cameras can use the higher capacity cards. Consult your ownerâ€™s manual for the correct card. Secure Digital (SD) Generally available in capacities ranging from 4 GB to 32 GB, SD cards are typically found in many compact bridge digital cameras and most point-and-shoots. Besides being physically smaller in size than CF cards, SD cards have another advantage - the write protection tab. When slid to the locked position, images on the card cannot be altered, meaning images also cannot be accidentally erased from the card. SD cards come in five types used in digital cameras: â€¢ Secure Digital - High Capacity (SDHC) â€¢ Secure Digital - Extra Capacity (SDXC) â€¢ micro SD â€¢ micro SDHC â€¢ micro SDXC Storage capacities generally remain the same and micro cards can usually be used in full-size SD slots with the use of a card adapter. Proprietary Card Formats Some camera manufacturers use their own storage media card type. Two such companies are Sony and Olympus. Memory Stick Sony still uses the Memory Stick storage media cards in many of their consumer cameras, however, several cameras in their digital camera line are dual-compatible . . . also having the ability to use the SD series cards along with Memory Sticks. xD Most of the older Olympus digital cameras use the xD type card. Almost all of the newer ones, however, now use the SD series. Storage media cards are very durable and dependable, but many users fail to use them properly by either: â€¢ erasing images from the card while it is in the camera, or â€¢ deleting images off of the card while the card is still attached to a computer. The proper way is to format the card in the camera each time after images are downloaded and no longer required on the card. Doing so this way will prevent most of the read/write issues people have when using storage media cards.
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