Imagine taking your new digital camera on a vacation and then realizing that you can barely click 20-30 images at a go. So, what do you do to avoid such a situation? The answer to this question lies in the purchase of an extra memory card or two.
One of the important components of a digital camera is the memory card. Most digital cameras come with quite a low amount of memory and it is always better to include the cost of a memory card while purchasing a camera. There are several types of memory cards so you must check out the memory options available in the camera that you are planning to buy.
Also, remember that if the resolution of your camera is high, then you will also need a high capacity memory card. There is no predetermined number of images that you can store on a particular memory card. It depends on the kind of images, the file type of the images and the compression rate per photograph. Normally, a 128 or 256 megabyte card is adequate for the average photographer using a 3-5 mega pixel camera.
There are several types of memory cards available. Here is a list of the kinds of memory cards available in the market today:
? Compact Flash Memory Card: Compact Flash is a relatively cheap memory card. It is available in most shops and is compatible with a large number of digital cameras. It is very popular and is commonly used by camera lovers. These cards come with an in-built controller which results in high transfer speeds. However, in order to use this facility, you normally need to be using a digital SLR.
? Secure Digital & Multimedia Cards: Commonly known as the SD card, these cards are one of the smallest memory cards which are available today. These cards can be used in different types of equipment, i.e. digital cameras, phones, MP3 players and video cameras as well. However, the maximum memory capacity is only 512 MB. The difference between the SD card and the multimedia card is that, as the name suggests, the SD card comes with an additional write-protect switch for data security.
? Memory Stick: The memory stick is an invention by Sony. As a result, these cards can mostly be used only on Sony devices. Hence, if you have a Sony digital camera, a Toshiba laptop; then it is most likely that you will not be able to use your memory stick on both equipments. It is a very durable and rugged memory option. So, unless and until you are a Sony fan, the memory stick has limited use for you.
? Card Reader: Once you have purchased a memory card for yourself, you will also need a card reader in order to transfer your pictures onto your laptop or PC. The advantage of a card reader is that it can be directly attached to your computer through the USB port. Then you simply need to slot in the memory card into the reader, and you can transfer files easily. The card reader does not require any additional cables and neither does it use up the battery of your digital camera.
The bottom line with digital camera memory cards is that you need to always have more on hand than you need, prices are often very affordable, and you should choose your camera based on the version of memory card that it takes. Don't buy into a camera system if you feel the memory card will not accommodate your photo taking needs.
Kevin Rockwell worked as a network TV cameraman for 20 years shooting news and sports. Now a devoted fan of digital photography and video he works to gather information, tips and news for digital camera users. Oh and he loves to shoot pictures of his kids playing sports.