In digital photography, the memory card has replaced film. The advantage of a mem-
ory card is that images can be viewed immediately after they are taken, then
retained or erased and reshot if the image isn’t exactly as the photographer wanted.
Captured images are easily transferred from a memory card to a PC, either directly
from the camera or using a peripheral card reader attached to the PC.
There are several memory card formats currently used for digital still cameras.
The following overview of the different cards may help you decide which camera is
the right one for you.
Smart Media Cards
(MMC, SMMC, SD)
Used in all Sony* Digital Still Cameras.
Used for example in Olympus* C220
Designed for use with both PC and a
Zoom. SmartMedia cards are also known
MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cards
wide variety of digital AV (audio/video)
as solidstate floppy disc cards (SSFDC).
use a similar technology to SmartMedia
products, the Memory Stick can be used
SmartMedia cards are very small,
cards at about half the size. MMC is at
to store, transfer and play back AV content
roughly the size of a matchbox and around
present available in a few flavours.The
such as images, sounds and music, as
the same thickness as a credit card. They
differences are mainly in the level of con-
well as information including data, text
are also very light, weighing in at 2 grams.
tent security and write protection.
SmartMedia cards come in two voltages,
Secure Digital (SD) memory cards pro-
Sony*’s Memory Stick digital storage
3.3 V and 5 V. The 3.3 V cards have a
vide a more secure way for you to distrib-
notch on the right side, the 5 V cards
media, which is no larger than a stick of
ute your files than Smart Media, Compact
gum, is about 1/8 the size of a regular
have a notch on the left.
Flash or normal MMC, and are available in
Used for example in Olympus* E-20P.
Can be used in Olympus* C-5050
The xD-Picture Card, a new standard
floppy disk and is currently available in
SmartMedia cards contain a single
16 MB, 32 MB and 64 MB capacities.
The CompactFlash cards are about one
Zoom for example and any camera sup-
of ultra-compact memory media devel-
4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB and
flash chip embedded in a thin plastic
Secure MMC (SMMC) is another format
third the size of a PCMCIA card and less
porting CompactFlash Type II.
oped jointly by Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.
card. A floppy adaptor can be used to
similar to SD. MMC cards are increasingly
than half the thickness, yet they offer simi-
One of the most impressive digital
and Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.,
The Sticks can also employ an
input images from the card straight into
being used in DV camcorders to provide a
lar ATA functionality and compatibility. It’s
camera storage solutions at the moment
With a volume of 0.85 cc and a
authentication technology. Protected
the PC’s floppydrive.
digital video storage solution as well as a
this small size that has made Compact-
is the IBM* microdrive. The microdrives,
weight of 2 g, the xD-Picture Card boasts
content is recorded and transferred in an
digital still storage solution.
Flash the most popular type of flash for
currently available in 340 MB and 1 GB,
the smallest form factor of any digital
encrypted format to prevent unauthorised
are extremely small-sized hard disks that
memory card, making it exceptionally
copying or playback.
CompactFlash cards come in two
can fit in a CompactFlash Type II memory
portable and convenient. The miniature
At the moment, only Sony* has provid-
sizes, type I and type II. The type II cards
slot. These drives allow digital cameras
size of the new card will enable develop-
ed any products that support Memory
are larger and can contain the IBM*
with CompactFlash Type II support to
ment of even smaller digital cameras.
stick, although several companies have
microdrive, which holds 340 MB or 1 GB.
break through the frustrating memory bar-
xD picture cards have fast data transfer
expressed interest in the technology.
CompactFlash type I cards are small (43.0
rier many users face when dealing with
speeds. xD-Picture Cards hold capacities
x 36.0 x 3.3 mm), roughly the same size
high resolution uncompressed images.
of up to 128 MB. By end of 2002 they will
as SmartMedia cards, only 4 times as
On the downside, this is a hard drive
also be available with 256 MB, yet this
thick. CompactFlash cards will operate at
storage solution, with all the inherent
new standard has been created to poten-
both 3.3 V and 5 V unlike SmartMedia
problems with regards to issues associat-
tially support capacities up to 8 GB.
cards. Currently CompactFlash cards can
ed with stability and ruggedness. The sort
Thanks to unique adapter solutions (PC
be manufactured in larger sizes (MB) than
of rough handling that may be OK for a
Card adapter, USB Card reader and
the SmartMedia cards.
Compact Flash card, SD card or Memory
CompactFlash adapter) xD-Picture Cards
Stick is not recommended for a Microdrive.
can work with most digital cameras and
other multimedia devices.
Digital Photography Made Easy