Here’s some good news for people who find memory card readers and data cables a hassle — Toshiba has unveiled a new “FlashAir” SDHC memory card with built-in wireless LAN functionality. It’s similar to Eye-Fi‘s offerings, but Toshiba’s cards will offer something that Eye-Fi’s don’t: two-way transfer. This means they can not only send photos wirelessly, but receive photos as well — perfect for quickly exchanging photos on the go with a friend’s camera! You’ll be able to purchase the cards starting in February 2012.
Some Leica M9 owners are discovering that their camera will suddenly stop functioning and render their SD card unreadable on any device. Photographer Gil Lavi writes on his blog,
A couple of weeks ago I got a new Leica M9. All excited, I put in the best SD card on the market, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 8GB. It took only a few hours of taking pictures before the card crashed and the camera become unresponsive until I removed the card. I wasn’t worried at the beginning. I was in love.
A few days after, I had a high profile portrait photo shoot for an important client. Of course I took the M9 and my beloved Leica 90mm with me, together with a new SanDisk SD card, not before installing the newest firmware update. It was a very long photo shoot with heavy production, a tight schedule and sweaty assistants. It was just before that end of the photo shoot that the other new SanDisk SD card Extreme crashed inside the M9, making the camera dead and the card unreadable in any device. With all the embarrassment, I had to reshoot everything all over again with my backup equipment.
Leica and SanDisk are currently investigating this issue after a number of customers have reported it, and currently recommend that SD cards be FAT formatted.
Instead of labeling their memory cards in MB/s, some manufacturers choose to use “Times” ratings (e.g. 8x, 12x, 20x, etc…). While it’s pretty clear that a higher number indicates faster speed, what exactly is the number a multiple of? Read more…
Photographer Linhbergh recently purchased a used camera from B&H Photo Video and found a Compact Flash card left inside the camera containing photographs taken from inside the store offices. They offer an interesting glimpse into the operations at the largest non-chain photo equipment store in the United States. Read more…
Photography lovers in Canada may soon be caught in the crossfire of the music industry’s fight against piracy. The Canadian Private Copying Collective is pushing for a new tax on memory cards that would be based on the capacity of the cards — $0.50 for 1GB or less, $1 for 1-8GB cards, and $3 for any card with over 8GBs. Law professor Michael Geist writes,
The financial impact of the levy would be significant. A 2GB SD card currently sells for about $6.00 and this would add an additional dollar or almost 15% to the cost. Given that the levy would remain static (or even increase) but the costs of SD cards are dropping by roughly 30% annually, the percentage of levy in the overall cost would likely gradually increase over time. Moreover, music plays a small role in the use of memory cards. A recent report indicates that digital cameras are the primary market for SD cards with smartphones the second biggest (and fastest growing) market. Music is a small part of the equation, yet the CPCC is demanding payment for every memory card sold in Canada regardless of its intended or actual use.
You can read more about the current state of Canada’s private copying levies here.
Eye-Fi announced their new Mobile X2 memory card today, which allows you to instantly transfer photos taken with your camera to mobile devices running iOS or Android. With the card in your camera and their special app on your device, a direct Wi-Fi connection will be established allowing you to shoot straight to your device. The 8GB card will be available later this week for $80.
Judging from the strange novelty products coming out of Japan, there’s apparently a huge population of people there who love both photography and cats. If a picture taking cat isn’t enough to satisfy you, you can add this cat-shaped memory card reader to your collection. It reads SD cards and Memory Stick cards using slots that are exposed when you lower the cat’s tail. They’re available from Donya for ¥399, or about $5.
Sure Lexar just launched a 128GB SDXC card, but that only transfers at a meager 20MB/s. SanDisk’s new Extreme Pro Compact Flash card announced today boasts the same 128GB capacity but has a write speed of up to 100MB/s. That extra 80MB/s is quite costly — unlike the $700 it costs to buy the Lexar SDXC card, this SanDisk one costs $1,500. But as they say, time is money… right?
When Apple designed the iPad, they opted for simplicity and omitted things like a USB port or memory card slots. This made it more tedious for photographers to transfer a large number of photographs onto their iPads, since the Camera Connection Kit needed for USB and SD Card support comes in two separate dongles. Luckily, there’s a made-in-China knockoff that can ease a little of the pain — the 3-in-1 iPad Camera Connection Kit combines the two dongles into one nicely designed apparatus. Available in both black and white, it comes with a USB port, a SD Card slot, and a Micro SD Card slot. Pick one up over at the M.I.C Gadget store for $29.90.
Have numerous SD cards you need to access at once? The Elecom MR-C27 SD card reader is a four-slot card reader that allows you to do just that. It allows you to access up to 64GB of data, and looks like a cute little toaster connected to your computer via USB. It’ll be available for ¥3,980 (~$48) starting mid-December in Japan.