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Old Feb 18, 2004, 12:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Default Why so many types of memory cards?

This is one of those subjects that I should have researched before I bought my camera but its too late.

Why are there so many different types of cards? Why didn't the manufacturers get together and come up with a standard?

Is there one type of card that is greatly superior to the others? Is the industry moving toward making that one the de facto standard?

If a de facto standard is evolving, are those of us who use a different type of card going be orphaned in the foreseeable future?

Should I be stocking up on SmartMedia?
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Old Feb 18, 2004, 12:55 PM   #2
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The industry couldn't come up with a single standard because, imo, one size doesn't fit all. Take Compactflash for example. It's fast, it's got plenty of capacity and its roadmap for the future already reaches 12GB in the forseeable future. But it's too big for some camera manufacturers' designs, and others don't feel like paying royalties to use compactflash. Now there are xD, mini SD, and I heard about three new formats that are making their way to market. Some manufacturers decide to use a proprietary format so they can keep their customers within their grasps, and not buying third party memory options. As for Smartmedia, it is a defunct format now as Olympus and Fuji no longer produce cameras that support that format, instead using the xD format. Smartmedia is still available, and if you plan on keeping a camera that uses it, get some Smartmedia while you can. But if you start anew, the big formats now are as follows: SD, Compactflash, and Memorystick Pro. Keep that in mind for your next camera purchase, but don't let it be the absolute deciding factor in your buying decision.
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