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Your digital photography knowledge should have grown after reading Part 1 of this series of PhotographyTalk.com articles. Part 2 presents a number of other memory card options, but, most importantly, it continues to emphasize how important it is to check that your DSLR camera has the technology to take full advantage of the faster transfer rates of a memory card you are thinking of buying.
Compact Flash Memory Cards
You’ll find two types of CF memory cards, type I and type II, and they are larger and faster than SD memory cards (See the PhotographyTalk.com article, Digital Photography—How to Select a Memory Card for Your DSLR Camera, Part 1.) If you are considering the purchase of a CF memory card, then check your camera because newer DSLR cameras will only accept CF type I cards.
There is now a CF memory card (CF type I) with 64GB capacity, and it transfers data at 90MB/second. You’ll pay $300 to $600 for that size and speed, however. The Security Digital Extended Capacity memory cards, explained in Part 1, have super capacity (2TB) and speed (as much as 300MB/seconds) and also cost as much as $600. You may be tempted or even legitimately think you can use a very high-speed card, but once again the limits of your DSLR camera may make a SDHC memory card a better choice.
UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) technology increases the speed of data transfer even more, and is used in CF memory cards, but not necessarily all of them. This is another reason to read the card specifications carefully. Your DSLR camera must also be compatible with CF UDMA cards. You can buy and use these cards, but you may not receive all the value for your money. This also applies to another benefit of UDMA technology: an increase in the transfer speed of data from your camera to your computer. You need an UDMA-enabled memory card reader, however.
Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo
The Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo is not the biggest or fastest memory card (32GB and 36MB/second transfer rate), but it’s compatible with Sony DSLR cameras; so if you’re currently in the market for a digital camera, then the Sony combination is an easy choice. You’ll know that the memory card works in the camera and the camera is able to utilize all of the memory card’s speed. Sony digital cameras have two memory-card slots and all models accept a Pro Duo or an SD or SDHC.
FAT32 File System
Some older designs of DSLR cameras are “FAT32 Enabled.” This is the latest file system for digital cameras and memory cards. This system was updated, so it could handle the massive data capacity of newer memory cards. FAT32 is now a standard feature of all digital cameras, so don’t be swayed when a seller or store uses that feature to convince you to buy a particular camera. This is knowledge that may save you money!