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					Jim Wolf’s Digital Camera Tips Camera Memory
Have you bought an extra memory card yet?! A starter card that comes with most digital cameras is fine for testing the camera when you first get it, but you'll quickly discover it doesn't hold enough images. Memory cards: Often referred to as digital film, a memory card is the recording medium where digital image data is electronically stored. There are several types of memory cards including CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, SmartMedia and xD-Picture Card. Memory cards are rated at different speeds. You can record more images on a card at low resolutions than higher ones. Memory card come in various capacities from 16 megabytes to more than a gigabyte. A 16 mb card, for example, holds anywhere between a few to more than 150 images depending on the file size and compression settings. Very low-priced digital cameras have built-in memory only, which limits the number of photos you can take at any given time. When the card is full, you must transfer images to a computer or other storage device, then delete the images from the card before taking additional photos. If you take lots of pictures, buy a digital camera that accepts removable memory cards. Prior to purchasing a high capacity card, make sure it's compatible with your camera by checking the manual or contacting the manufacturer. Inexpensive "consumable" flash memory cards let you store pictures indefinitely, bypassing the need to store images on a computer or other storage device. Shoot and Store cards are available in supermarkets, convenience and drug stores. 1. Flash Memory CompactFlash Types SmartMedia MemoryStick and others are being added With the increase of size in digital camera memory cards such as SmartMedia and CompactFlash, it can be tempting to buy a multi-gigabyte card to hold your photos. This way you have less media to maintain, and with the larger memory cards you won't have to swap out media as often when you run out of room shooting photos. However, there are some downsides to purchasing one large card versus several smaller cards. * One large memory card may be more expensive than the equivalent of multiple smaller-memory cards. * Very large memory cards may not be supported by your digital camera, especially if it is an older or less-expensive device. * If one large memory card fails, you will lose far more photos than if a smaller card fails. * Likewise, if you accidentally remove all photos from the larger card, you'll lose everything. If you remove all photos from a smaller card, you may not lose any many photos (no matter how careful you are this can happen!). 2. Mini-discs If you're looking for a lot of extra storage for your digital camera, if it supports CompactFlash Level II (most CompactFlash-supported digital cameras do nowadays), you may want to consider purchasing a MicroDrive. These devices, miniature hard drives, can have huge storage capacities, and their cost per megabyte is usually considerably less than CompactFlash cards, especially as the storage goes up. However, there are cons to purchasing these devices. MicroDrives, though cheaper, are slower than CompactFlash cards, meaning you may have to wait an extra second or two after taking a photograph to save it to the device. Also, MicroDrives are very susceptible to shock damage, meaning that if you drop a MicroDrive, it may destroy files or render the drive completely unusable by damaging its small mechanical parts.

Prepared by: Jim Wolf of Quality Software (540) 967-5302 www.jawolf.com Page 1 of 4

Jim Wolf’s Digital Camera Tips Camera Memory
If you need the extra storage space, don't mind a small wait, and are careful with your digital camera memory, however, MicroDrives may be your answer. If you are using MicroDrive media, be forewarned that these miniature hard drives may take up quite more power than Compact Flash cards 3. Safe from X-Rays If you travel with your digital camera, you may be worried that airport x-ray machines may damage photographs on your digital camera memory or even the memory cards themselves. Relax! Though I cannot give a 100% guarantee, everything I have read in books, on the Internet, and in magazines states that these machines do not have an adverse affect on such cards, unlike film. If you are still concerned, you may want to consider archiving your digital camera photos to compact disks before returning on an airplane. This provides an extra level of backup and should ease your mind. To ease your concerns, the I3A (International Imaging Industry Association) released a press release on December 15, 2004, regarding tests on digital camera media performed by the imaging industry and United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In it, they state that x-ray machines used by the TSA should cause no damage to digital media, whether or not the media is in checked or carry-on bags. According to a quote of Lisa Walker, the I3A president, "Our tests should put travelers' fears to rest, that their digitally captured ... memories won't be damaged in transit." 4. Turn your camera off before switching memory SUMMARY: Switching media while a digital camera is on may cause damage. It is recommended to turn off your camera when switching media devices such as CompactFlash cards, Memory Sticks, SmartMedia, etc. Ensure your camera is completely off and all lights have dimmed before ejecting the old media and inserting the new. Failure to do this can corrupt files, or worse yet, damage the media itself. Granted, on some newer digital cameras it may be possible to switch media as long as the camera is not actively reading or writing photos, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Your CAMERA has a storage limit that is NOT based on what kind of card you put into it. Before purchasing a new, high capacity memory card for your digital camera, especially if your camera is a couple of years old, make sure it actually supports the higher capacity media. For example, just because CompactFlash cards can support 4 GB or higher doesn't mean your camera can support any media higher than 1 GB. It is best to check your digital camera's specifications first - either check your digital camera manual or your manufacturer's website. Some newer CompactFlash cards come with a feature called WA, or Write Acceleration technology. In theory, this reduces the photo storage time, allowing you to take photos quicker. WA-enabled cards are normally more expensive than their slower counterparts. Therefore, if you are planning on spending the money on these cards, first make sure your digital camera supports WA technology. You should be able to find this information in your digital camera's manual. If your digital camera supports this mode, the extra money may be well spent if you take a lot of photos. If not, then you're paying extra money for virtually nothing unless you plan on changing digital cameras in the

5.

Know your camera’s storage limits

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Jim Wolf’s Digital Camera Tips Camera Memory
future. 6. Media speed / Camera Speed Your CAMERA has a storage speed limit that is NOT based on what kind of card you put into it. Memory comes in different speeds. Some memory may claim to be 4x, 8x, 16x, or more. It seems that faster memory cards may result in increased digital camera performance because photos should be written to and read/from memory quicker. However, realize that your digital camera must support the faster read/write mode of your memory card in order to take advantage of the speed increase. If your camera only supports 8x, then spending the extra money to get a 16x card may be worthless, unless you plan on soon purchasing a camera that supports the extra speed. 7. Don’t put your storage in somebody else’s camera Considering swapping photos with your friend who has a digital camera with compatible media? If you and a friend are out on a photo shoot or vacation and want to look at each other's images, you may think you can just swap media cards and view the photos on your camera. However, this may fail. Digital cameras format their media cards differently using incompatible folder and filenames, and some create preview folders with miniature JPG files, which is actually what you see on your LCD when previewing photos. If the two of you use different digital cameras, more than likely the incompatibilities of the formatted media will prevent you from just swapping memory cards to view photos directly with your camera. 8. Keep your memory dry. Make sure that wherever you are storing your digital camera memory is completely waterproof, be it in a camera bag, digital camera memory wallet, plastic case, or whatever. Rain, high humidity, or a spilled drink can possibly damage the files on your media card, or worse, it can render your media card useless. When taking photos in extremely cold weather conditions, you should not have to worry about your digital camera memory. Most digital camera memory types, such as CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, and xD, should handle frigid temperatures with ease. It's everything else you'll have to worry about (the digital camera circuitry itself, your batteries running out quicker, keeping yourself from freezing, etc). Note that this may not apply to MicroDrives. Since MicroDrives are actually miniature hard drives, they contain mechanical parts that may be susceptible to extreme temperatures. 10. Copy your pictures to computer – without using your camera. If you travel a lot with your digital camera and bring along a laptop to transfer photos, you may wish to consider purchasing a PCMCIA digital memory reader, such as a PCMCIA CompactFlash Reader if you use such type of digital camera memory. You can slide this device into your laptop if it has a free PCMCIA slot, and then insert your digital camera memory into the device. At that point, your digital camera media acts as a hard drive for easier photo transfers to your laptop. The advantage of this over a USB card reader is simple - no wires! 11. Format media on your camera to avoid problems. Many USB media readers, such as USB Compact Flash readers, let you manipulate Compact Flash media on your desktop or laptop machine as if the media was an external hard drive. While this is great in that it makes it much easier to copy files from your digital camera's media to your hard drive, you might start performing other operations on the media, such as deleting or renaming files. Unfortunately, doing advanced file operation on digital camera media may lead to problems. Each camera expects the files on the media device to be arranged a certain way, i.e. some even set up special preview directories. Thus, after you are done copying over your photographs from your Compact Flash or other media, and making a backup

9.

Temperature and memory

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Jim Wolf’s Digital Camera Tips Camera Memory
copy or two, you may want to format the media in your camera as per your camera instructions before using it again to take pictures. Failure to do this might result in corrupt files, photographs you thought you took not showing up later, or other "bad things". 12. Media Care Make sure to insert your digital camera media carefully, whether it's in a digital camera or USB memory reader. Insert the media as per the manufacturer's instructions. Don't force memory in - you may have the card backwards. Forcing memory to fit could break the card, rendering an investment useless and possibly making it impossible to recover photos stored on the card. Are you reading digital photos off a memory card via a USB or Firewire reader? When done, don't just yank the memory out of the reader. Use the operating system's recommended mechanism to eject memory first. If you don't: 1) The operating system may constantly ask you to reinsert the memory. 2) There is a very slight chance you might damage files on the memory card, if not the memory card itself. 13. Storage limits

Approximate number of shots on a Memory Card Camera 2 MP 3 MP 4 MP 5 MP File size* 900 KB 1.2 MB 2.0 MB 2.5 MB 64 MB card 71 53 128 MB 142 106 64 256 MB 284 212 128 102 512 MB 568 426 256 204

*the average file size for a high resolution (fine) JPEG Source: Lexar Media

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