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12-08-2006, 06:23 AM   #1
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Where are memory cards headed?

Every year cards seem to go down in price (lots) and about double in capacity. There was 256 followed by 512, then 1GB, and now 2GB. What will they do next year? The SDHC card seems to mess this up. Can you use a SDHC card in a non SDHC camera? Guess not. So are all the older cameras (like many of the fine Pentax P&S) going to run out of cards some day like Smart (not) Media users? In the future will new cameras that use SDHC drop normal SD card usage? Like everything has dropped support for Windows 98.
None of this will be a problem for CF cards. Except for the physical pin design of CF they seem to be much better thought out than SD. I do prefer SD. Just wish they would have thought ahead more.
Trying to decide if I should invest in more cheap SD cards (that K10D is arriving soon and it loves to eat raw) or buy the new SDHC cards. Maybe a comination of both. Where are we headed?
thanks
barondla

12-08-2006, 10:33 AM   #2
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A professional's approach

Since "smaller" cards are getting cheaper and cheaper it is better to get more smaller cards. I am thinking of getting several 512M for my *istDS.

Why is this good? I spoke to a professional wedding photographer who carries dozens of 256M and 512M (I think he had like 30 cards or more) and shooting with Nikon D2x. When I asked him why not 2G or larger he told me the following: if my multi-gigabyte card fails or if I erase it by mistake all or most of my photos from a wedding will be lost. In contrast, if I capture 50 shots per card but use 20 cards for 1000 photographs and if I loose one card I'll still have 95% of my work preserved.

Makes sense to me.
12-08-2006, 11:00 AM   #3
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Cards are pretty stable from everything I have read, and should not deteriorate over time. I am using now in my P&S regular SD cards and will purchase more SD's for the K10D. I see the cards outlasting the camera so if you stock up on what you need now and one or two go fritz you will still have plenty for years to come even if they gradually faze out the standard SD series. Who knows, as fast as the fixed memory card is moving, there will be Mega memory cards in the future and the cameras will change to take advantage. The investment now is reasonable. I got an extra battery and more cards for my P&S so I could not only take advantage of more memory but so I would never have to pass up that one last shot or have to cut my day short. Now I have over capacity (except in cold weather which give my batteries fits). By the way SD cards work in other electonics too so they will probably have low end 'stuff' for years even if the cameras require SDHC cards so you can give them to someone with less demanding equipment should you no longer be able to use them.
12-08-2006, 03:30 PM   #4
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SDHC is formatted in fat32 as opposed to fat16 or simply fat.. its a size thing more than anything else.. fat32 is needed to get past the 2 gig limit.. things will be rearward compatible for quiet some time..

hardware that cant read fat32 wont be able to use the new cards.. for still pics i cant see much need for more than 2 gig cards to be honest..

trog

12-08-2006, 11:20 PM   #5
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Ultimately more space for fewer dollars. Not sure of the number of pro's here, this may not be relavant.

Taking with pro yesterday she stated her camera had recently been stolen. She's out 1100+lens (Nikon) until the insurance pays off--then even, except for 150 deductable---net loss for equipment $150.

And card content valued at $6500--one whole job! That loss is permanant; client is quite upset, may sue! Net loss for card/content 6500 and climbing!

Has me thinking that a pocketful of small cap cards may be good insurance for purely practical reasons.
12-09-2006, 01:10 AM   #6
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cards are pretty stable these days
this is true
I am not a heavy user compared to alot of others but I have had a couple failures over the years and the most recent is several months now, but it was SD with my DS. I am not sure what happened or even if it was my own fault through carelessness, but I do know pretty stable is not perfectly stable.
12-09-2006, 04:21 AM   #7
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Experience talks - IF many cards AND smaller sizes THEN better protection AND fewer losses.
12-09-2006, 06:29 AM   #8
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cheap cards also mean less need for expensive storage devices also..

trog

12-09-2006, 10:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
cheap cards also mean less need for expensive storage devices
I'm not sure I follow you, trog.


I'm pretty pleased with my 2 gb cards. I probably won't go to 4 gb, for the reasons mentioned above.

That said, I won't ever drop to 512mb cards, and 256mb is completely out of the question. I'm not so worried about losing pictures that I would subject myself to something so ridiculous. I'll never become a quantity over quality photog, but I'm also just now getting the hang of being able to take so many frames (bracketing is great!) after so many years of a film-induced conservative approach. The K10 can produce some monster files, and I'd be more irritated at having to change cards all the time than if I lost a few shots.

I'm also not a pro. If someone was paying me $6500 for a shoot, I might switch to 1gb, but until then...
12-09-2006, 11:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by i.glisin Quote
Since "smaller" cards are getting cheaper and cheaper it is better to get more smaller cards. I am thinking of getting several 512M for my *istDS.

Why is this good? I spoke to a professional wedding photographer who carries dozens of 256M and 512M (I think he had like 30 cards or more) and shooting with Nikon D2x. When I asked him why not 2G or larger he told me the following: if my multi-gigabyte card fails or if I erase it by mistake all or most of my photos from a wedding will be lost. In contrast, if I capture 50 shots per card but use 20 cards for 1000 photographs and if I loose one card I'll still have 95% of my work preserved.

Makes sense to me.
It doesn't make sense to me to be honest. In four years of shooting digital, I have lost ZERO cards and had ZERO failures. I have however missed shots because a card had filled and an inopportune time. Now, when shooting a wedding, a photographer thinks he/she can count on getting 30 or so shots per card and not having the card fill at the worst possible time. The chances something important is missed because of small cards far outweighs the chances that a card fails or gets lost IMO, especially if even a modicum of care is taken. With 10mp files, shooting an event with small cards is just stupid as far as I am concerned; this is coming from someone who, up until a year ago, specifically chose 512mb cards. I now see the error of my ways.
12-09-2006, 11:27 PM   #11
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You also have to balance the risk of cards malfunctioning vs the risk of loosing some or all those cards. Not sure companies will give us the choice of using smaller cards. Try to find 64 or 128mb today. Don't even remember seeing 256mb lately. Will older cameras have firmware update to allow using new SDHC cards? I do agree huge cards will reduce the need for external memory storage devices on trips.
thanks
barondla
12-10-2006, 10:22 AM   #12
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I agree with Darren - especially when travelling I take several 2GB cards and back them up to an Epson P2000 - I dont format any of the cards until I have filled all of them so I have a backup.
Keeping a large card in the camera and not constantly removing it and replacing it seems like a much safer option to me. I will be very happy when I can afford a batch of 4GB or even 8GB cards.
So far I have only had one card malfunction - it was a CF card and was DOA. I have had no other failures in 6 years although I did lose a few cards along with my travelers cheques when my bag was rifled in a crowd - luckily the camera was round my neck.
12-10-2006, 04:27 PM   #13
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New big cards will be good for backup too, instead of using 4.7GB DVDs use the big SD cards - much easier and more reliable.
12-10-2006, 04:59 PM   #14
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i used to burn dvds (films) and stuff to err dvds.. but i now simply use large usb external drives.. they are not likely to fail cos they are not even running most of the time and when one is full i just buy another..

80 or so for a 320 gig external usb drive that can be plugged into any computor is cheap storage.. u can now buy the smaller 2.5 inch drives that have their on built in sd card reader.. very usefull for trip type storage..

trog
12-10-2006, 07:58 PM   #15
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cards will become obsolete...

...just like everything else.

At some point, cards won't be necessary since we will all have near-instant wireless access to vast personal storage from anywhere.

Camera phones almost do this anyway... snap a picture, have it uploaded to the lab for printing.
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