Toolbox: Navigating Memory
Get the most from your storage media and digital camera
The xD-Picture Card is the postage stamp-sized media produced by Fujifilm and Olympus. Cameras from both manufacturers have taken advantage of the card's compact size to design very small digital cameras. The recent introduction of the M-series xD cards have increased its capacity to 1 GB, with promises of higher-capacity cards to come.
Microdrive is another media format that consists of an actual miniature hard drive rather than flash memory. This includes rotating platters onto which the data is recorded. It takes the form factor of a Type II CF card, making it usable in many digital cameras. The presence of moving parts makes it more susceptible to damage from shock and impact, however.
A lot of attention is given to a card's performance in a digital camera, but the speed by which those files are transferred from the card to the computer is just as important.
Digital cameras come with USB cables that allow the downloading of images directly from the camera. Much faster download times can be achieved when using a USB 2.0 or FireWire card reader, however. In addition to minimizing battery drain on the camera, a card reader frees you to continue shooting while your computer is busily downloading image files.
For photographers concerned with unauthorized access to the image files on their media cards, there are options to ensure security.
Lexar's LockTight system prevents computers or cameras from reading and writing data from and to a LockTight card until an authorization process occurs between the card, the host computer and camera. This system uses a 160-bit HMAC SHA-1 (secure hash algorithm) to encrypt that data.
Additionally, as the name suggests, SecureDigital (SD) cards offer some level of security features, including password protection utilizing CPRM-based security. This may not satisfy those for whom security is a primary concern, however.
Lexar Professional CompactFlash Reader
To ensure fast data transfer speeds from the card to the computer, Lexar has introduced a Professional series of CF card readers. Available using either USB 2.0 or FireWire, these readers are stackable and connected to a computer using a single connection. Whether daisy-chained using FireWire or connected through Lexar's USB 2.0 hub, up to four card readers can be used, allowing for simultaneous downloads.
|ATP Electronics, Inc., (408) 732-5000||www.atpinc.com|
|Crucial, (800) 336-8915||www.crucial.com|
|Delkin Devices, (800) 637-8087||www.delkin.com|
|Fujifilm, (800) 800-FUJI||www.fujifilm.com|
|Hitachi, (800) 801-4618||www.hgst.com|
|Hoodman, (800) 818-3946||www.hoodmanusa.com|
|Kingston, (877) KINGSTON||www.kingston.com|
|Lexar Media, (800) 789-9418||www.lexar.com|
|Memorex, (877) 474-8548||www.memorex.com|
|Olympus, (800) 622-6372||www.olympusamerica.com|
|Pretec, (510) 440-0535||www.pretec.com|
|SanDisk, (866) SANDISK||www.sandisk.com|
|SimpleTech, (800) 367-7330||www.simpletech.com|
|Sony (800) 222-SONY||www.sonystyle.com|
|Transcend, (714) 921-2000||www.transcendusa.com|
|Viking InterWorks, (949) 643-7255||www.vikingcomponents.com|