My 10-MP digital camera takes fine photos. It also routinely produces JPG files in excess of 5 MB. As a practical matter, this means that space on my memory card tends to disappear quickly. Because Himself and Yours Truly are newly retired and in travel mode, that's a problem.
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Given that most such problems these days produce solutions in short order, my solution was to purchase a memory card with a 4-GB capacity. This means that I can store about 500 photos on my card. That's a small miracle. More than that, it means I can enjoy a full day of sightseeing without reviewing, deleting, or downloading my photos.
You might think that 500 photos is a lot for a single day of shooting. Not really. Photography is a my pastime and my passion. Daylong excursions to a new location or grandparental appearances at crucial soccer games or dance recitals require the capability for non-stop photography. The result may include countless photos that never see the light of day, but a few gems always emerge to make the effort worthwhile. The higher capacity of the 4 GB card provides that capability.
Case in point: I purchased my 4 GB card just before leaving for 5 days in London. Few cities offer more photo ops than does this ancient metropolis. We began our visit with walks in the parks--the four great parks of central London:
~ Parks that include Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, and Wellington Arch
~ Parks that include rose gardens, national memorials, and wildlife sanctuaries
~ Parks that include children's playareas, bridle paths, bandshells, and countless sculptures
My 4 GB card handled all that with room to share--about 450 MB to spare, to be exact--on the first day of shooting.
Day 2 featured the landmarks of official London--the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, the Victoria Embankment, and so on and so forth. Once again, I failed to max out the card.
Day 3 . . . well, you get the idea.
Throughout our stay in London, I never managed to overextend my camera's memory card and I never had to miss shots I wanted to take and I never had to sort through my images for on-the-spot deletions.
The flash memory cards I've owned have always been reliable. The technology on which they're all based is similar, and when carefully handled, they can be used, downloaded, erased, and reused through literally countless cycles. My 4-GB SanDisk Card is no exception. It has logged thousands of miles on my travels and thousands of photos transferred to my computer.
Despite the fact that I use the same software (from Canon) download images from my 4-GB SD as I use form a larger Ultra II card from an older digital camera, the transfer speed for SD card is much faster. I can download 400 images using the new card in half the time it takes to download 200 smaller image files from the older card. When we're in travel mode, downloading late at night, this new efficiency counts.
My 4-GB card is about the size and shape of a postage stamp. It is wafer thin and looks fragile. Like all similar storage devices, it should be handled carefully--no jamming or forcing into place--but the card is designed to last. It carries a lifetime warranty from the folks at SanDisk.
Less than a year ago, I paid $39.95 for my 4-GB card at Circuit City. Now the same card can be found for a little as $20. Be sure to look for bargains. Cards with even more storage are now available, and that means the 4 GB card is likely to get cheaper still.
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