There are differences in digital memory cards - East Valley Tribune: Business

There are differences in digital memory cards

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Posted: Monday, October 1, 2007 8:28 pm | Updated: 8:00 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Size and shapes make the Secure Digital High-Capacity and Secure Digital digital memory cards look alike, but they perform differently.

They are becoming the standard for digital video and still cameras, MP3 players and even GPS devices.

Many high-definition video cameras are switching to SDHC storage for the higher capacity compared with DV tapes. A big advantage is that the cards can be used over and over, much more than a tape.

Additionally, card capacities are soon expected to be up to 32 GB. Several tapes would be needed to reach this capacity.

The time to download is greatly reduced since the cards do not need actual playback to download like the tapes do.

It seems like every day a company comes out with a high-resolution digital camera or high-definition video camera that demands higher storage capacities and faster data-transfer speeds.

SDHC cards are categorized with a class speed rating showing minimum data transfer speeds. They are classified as Class 2, Class 4 and Class 6. A Class 2 card has a minimum of 2 MB/ second, a Class 4 card is 4 MB/second, and the Class 6 is 6 MB/second.

Because SD and SDHC cards are postage-stamp size, they will fit into the same card slot. But because the internal electronics are different, they won’t work in devices where compatibility is an issue.

Devices that require SDHC cards will also work with standard SD cards, but devices needing SD cards will not work with SDHC cards.

These rules also extend to card readers and printers. Users should be aware before purchasing SDHC cards that they may need a new card reader or, if printing directly with cards in a printer’s reader slot, the printer must be SDHC compatible, too.

These pieces of hardware cannot be upgraded to work with the newer cards. The only upgrade will be a done with a purchase.

There are two simple ways to find out if a device is compatible: Look for the SDHC logo on the device, or check the manual. If the hardware was purchased even just two years ago, the odds are your stuff is outdated.

Check the camera before you buy it, if you want high capacity and faster transfer speeds associated only with SDHC, to make sure the camera is compatible.

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