December 14, 2007, Newsletter Issue #68: Compact Flash Cards

Tip of the Week

One of the most common digital camera memory devices is the Compact Flash (CF) memory card. CF cards are one of the older designs, but continue to serve as the workhorse card in advanced and high-end digital SLR's. They're not a good choice for compact digital camera's because of their relatively large size.

There are two types of CF card: Type I and Type II. Type II cards are 5 mm thick, while Type I cards are only 3.3 mm thick. When you're buying memory for your camera, be sure you get the correct size. (Most current models accommodate both.)

Compact Flash memory cards are available in various capacities. You can still find a few older cards that hold a mere 8 MB, but cards smaller than 256 MB are now less common. Capacities of up to 8 GB can be purchased for under $300. A new Compact Flash standard - called “CF+” – promises capacities of up to 137 GB.

CF cards are also available in varying data transfer rates. How fast data can be written to a card becomes important when working with large files – such as from 8 or 10 MP cameras – or when shooting in “burst” mode – firing several frames per second.

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