Photography Knowledge

Memory Cards…

Memory Cards…

Hey everyone!

        Whao, Chinese New Year this time around is no different from any other.. streets are quieter, skies are clearer and business slows down.. Hopefully by Monday things will crank back up to speed.. the usual forecast of jams with everyone returning back from their hometowns this coming weekend..

        We @ Ardent are also taking a break from the crazy workload a week before..  with all this free time, I guess its only right for me to write a bit on our experiences in this photography line..

And today we'll focus on memory storage SD and CF cards from a Photographer's point of view..

What I want from my memory card is quite essentially three things.. 

Data Integrity.. Meaning that the data doesn't get easily corrupted or lost.. now that's easy enough.. just don't get those immitation memory cards which is slower and more unstable than the original.. sure you save a few bucks but the increased risk of losing any pictures is like a death kneel to your photography career..  
Oops, sorry boss.. could you re-do your marriage ceremony? kinda lost all the pictures.Yell 
Even if you aren't doing a photography job, pictures that you took are slices of time and nothing will ever wind it back for you to take another shot at it.. (Even machine gunning the camera won't help you as the gazilion pictures of the same thing is still stored on the same card..)
Size .. This of course is dependant on the picture quality, picture type (jpeg/raw/nef) and type of camera (Megapixel dependant).. anything that allows me to shoot one complete event without worrying about running out of space..  but not big to the point that I've start using it to store movies and mp3s as well Tongue out
Want to know whether that photographer shoots Jpeg or RAW/NEF? easy! just look at their memory card size..  I think the largest SD card size at time of writing is at 32GB.. just barely sufficient for 250 RAW/NEF pictures of 12MB each to fit.. My memory card is only 4GB, sufficient to hold easily 600 JPEG Fine pictures.. The debate to shoot RAW/NEF vs JPEG won't be addressed in this entry.. later!
Speed ..  Transfer speed may not look like much but imagine transferring 4GB worth of pictures or if you are that super RAW/NEF shooter, 32GB (worse case scenario) the waiting time is enough to drive you up a wall.. a tree.. or whatever high that's worth driving up to.. 
I'll recommend those higher speed memory cards such as from SanDisk.. 


@ Ardent, we are currently using for SD cards, this lovely morsel.. the Ducati SD Plus and the Ultra 2 SD Plus.. I fell in love with this simply because I can literally walk around with my camera and just plug out the SD card and into any USB.. seriously, would you expect me to carry my card reader everywhere I go? 
The other good thing is that in USB mode, the transfer rates are up to USB 2.0 where as even with the high speed SD cards, it is ultimately Card Reader dependant..
A tip for CF card users
For those who's thinking of buying the Extreme IV 45mb/sec CF cards, in order to reach that speed (the main reason why you bought such a card in the first place) you'll need: –
  • A specialized Card Reader
  • That uses the large FireWire cable.. 

In saying so, laptops are OUT since all laptops uses those tiny firewire cables.. and how many desktops have those large firewire slots anyway? So forget about taking this damn expensive card reader to a cyber cafe and expect it to plug and play..
The best is to get the Extreme III 30Mb/sec (get the newer version which is 30Mb/sec where as the older one is at 20Mb/sec) along with the Extreme III USB reader.. which works with any USB 2.0 port.. 
End of CF Tip 
So there you have it.. the things to consider when purchasing memory cards for your photography career.. we @ Ardent are currently using all SanDisk memory card related products.. haven't actually seen those SD Plus on other brands tho I may be wrong.. 
That's the end of this entry.. catch all of you later..
Adrian Y. 
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