Lexar has set a new bar in SD memory card capacity with its new 256GB card — the largest size offered in the SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) format. SDXC has an upper limit of 2TB, compared to the 32GB cap that restricts the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) format.
The official name of the card is the Lexar Professional 400x SDXC UHS-I. It’s geared towards photographers who need to “capture, store, and transfer a large number of high-quality photos” and videographers who need to record massive amounts of HD video. Read more…
Professor and self-proclaimed cyborg Steve Mann created an eye and memory-aid device he calls the EyeTap Digital Glass. The EyeTap, worn by Mann above on the left, is a wearable device that is similar to Google Eye, pictured right, but he’s been making them at home since the 1980s. The goal of his project is to use images to aid memory, or even to augment the memories of people with Alzheimer’s Disease or who simply want to preserve their memories more permanently. However, a recent misunderstanding over Mann’s technology allegedly caused a confrontation between Mann and several employees at a Paris McDonald’s restaurant. Read more…
Here’s a great little-known tip coming at you via photographer Dan Carr that has the potential to make using Lightroom just that much easier. If you didn’t already know — and it seems most people didn’t — assuming you have enough card readers, you can actually import multiple memory cards into Lightroom all at once.
Many amateurs and most enthusiasts never shoot more than one card at a time, but professionals often fill up several over the course of a photo shoot. For them, this tip should help get the process of importing all of those cards into Lightroom closer to that ideal “set it and forget it” scenario.
KEH has published a helpful primer on memory cards that describes the different types, common error codes you might come across when using them, and how to take care of them:
Memory cards are quite sturdy and commonly expected to work through one million read/write/erase cycles. The weakest part of the card is the connectors however, and should withstand around 10,000 insertions/removals into a camera or card reader.
No matter which type of card (CF I&II, SD, XD, SM, MS, etc.) your camera takes, it’s a good idea to format it on a regular basis. While it may not happen often, these little cards of information can fail and reach the end of their life unexpectedly. To keep your card in good health, format it in the camera from time to time. (I format my card after every major download). This clears up the card and erases all of the data. Of course make sure that you have downloaded and saved onto a computer all of the files on the card before formatting.
Since the number of insert/remove cycles a card can handle is far less than the number of read/write cycles, it’s very important to handle your cards gently in order to prolong their lifespan.
Samsung has released a new line of SD and microSD memory cards that focus not only on speed and durability but appearance as well. They come with a brushed metal look in silver or black, and are able pretty dang tough as well:
In order to ensure their reliability, Samsung has designed both lines of memory products to be waterproof, shockproof, and magnet proof, allowing them to withstand some of the harshest conditions. All models are guaranteed to survive up to 24 hours in water, withstand the force of a 1.6 ton vehicle (3,200 lbs), and resist up to 10,000 gauss (slightly less than the power of a medical imaging magnet).
Prices range from $10 to $90 for 2GB to 32GB cards.
Perhaps lost amidst the excitement over new cameras at CES 2012 earlier this month was the SD Association’s unveiling of a new Wi-Fi data transfer standard. This new specification should make it easier for other memory card manufacturers to jump into the Wi-Fi-capable memory card game — an arena currently dominated by Eye-Fi (and more recently Toshiba).
Eye-Fi is, predictably, not happy with this latest development. The company is itself part of the SD Association, but has chosen not to back the standard. In a blog post published last week, CEO Yuval Koren argues that any company implementing the new standard would violate Eye-Fi’s patents for technology that took “tens of millions of dollars and several years” to create.
At the end of last year a new format called XQD was unveiled as the eventual replacement for CompactFlash. About a month later at CES 2012, Sony announced the first XQD cards. If you’re not sold on the new format, here’s some good news for you: Lexar and SanDisk have both announced that they have no plans to release XQD cards in the near future and that they’re both committed to the CompactFlash format (a bit strange though, given that SanDisk was one of the companies that announced XQD in November 2010). Lexar’s actions certainly back up its words: at CES it unveiled its largest (256GB) and fastest (1000x) CompactFlash cards ever.
Well, well, well, look who’s first to the XQD game. It’s not Sandisk or Lexar, but Sony. On the same day Nikon announced its new D4 with XQD compatibility, Sony has announced the first line of XQD memory cards (intended to eventually replace CF cards). They offer 125MB/s transfer speeds, and can quickly store up to 100 RAW images in continuous shooting mode. A 16GB card will cost $129, while a 32GB one will be priced at $229. They’ll hit store shelves sometime in February.
In other news, Lexar has announced new 1000x CompactFlash cards, which can read at 150MB/s. A 128GB one is priced at a staggering $900. They’ve also announced the industry’s first 256GB card, which has read speeds of 60MB/s.
Perhaps in response to the growing capacities and falling prices of SD cards, the CompactFlash Association has announced a new format to replace CF cards for professional photographers. It’s called XQD, and has a size that falls between CF and SD cards (it’s thicker than SD cards, but smaller than CF cards). The interface used is PCI Express, which has a theoretical max write speed of roughly 600MB/s, though the target for real-world write speeds at first will be 125MB/s. It’ll start making public appearances at trade shows early next year, and will be licenced out to card makers around the same time.
Did you know that a third of the SanDisk memory cards being used on Earth are actually fake? A SanDisk engineer recently shared this startling fact with a reader over at The Online Photographer:
[...] at any given time, approximately a third of the SanDisk memory cards (made by Toshiba) being used out there in the world are counterfeit. As in, not SanDisk memory cards at all—some other kind of cards dressed up as lookalikes.
Thirty percent, was the number quoted. A third, more or less.
To make sure you’re getting the real thing, always purchase your memory cards from reputable dealers. Read more…