Flash Memory Cards

Digital cameras, cell phones, pdas and other electronic gadgets all use small flash memory cards to store information into.

Unfortunately, there is no standard, so a memory card used in one electronic device may not necessarily be used in another.

Here is a rundown of the most popular memory cards and which manufacturers use them.

– Compact Flash (CF) cards used to be the defacto standard in digital cameras and is still used in the top end digital SLR models. So, you’ll find Canon and Nikon mostly using them for their top end DSLRs.

– Secure Digital (SD) memory cards struggled for acceptance at one time but has now become the standard for compact digital cameras, entry-level DSLRs, and many other electronic devices. Their small size and low cost quickly established them as a favorite of many manufacturers and consumers alike.

– xD-Picture Cards are used by Olympus and Fujifilm (though the latter has introduced its newest digital cameras with dual memory slots for the xD-Picture Card and SD memory card).

– Memory Sticks are used almost exclusively by Sony in all its electronic devices.

Almost every manufacturer uses the SD memory card today and so these are expected to stay around for a very long time. Panasonic even has an SD card slot in some of its HDTVs. To be able to view pictures in the highest resolution available on your HDTV, you’ll need to be able to plug it directly in (as the Panasonic HDTVs allow) or use a special card reader; connecting your digital camera to your HDTV does not yield the best image quality — as some of you have sadly found out.

You shouldn’t be too concerned what memory card your electronic device uses; after all, it is just a storage device and does not necessarily impart any extra features to your gadget (except if writing speed is a consideration, as in sports photography). But it is irksome when one electronic device does not share memory card with another. At times like this, a memory card reader or an adapter might do the trick.

Buy the card with the largest capacity your device will accept (keeping in mind that some of the older devices might not accept the newer cards with faster write speeds and larger capacities) — and your budget allows. Waiting a few months for the price of a new card to come down is usually a smart move.