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Always Remember Memory Cards!

Stephen Niebauer
March 18, 2011 by Stephen Niebauer Alum

Memory cards are the first place your video or photos are saved to when you use your cameras. Take a quick look around your local electronics store and you'll find that memory cards come in many different shapes, sizes, and speeds, but all do the same thing: hold your awesome footage.

Different types of memory cards used for video:

  • SD (Secure Digital) - This is the most common form of memory card for standard cameras these days. It is considered the industry standard. It is widely used in point & shoot cameras, and is even making its way into Digital SLR cameras. It comes in a variety of physical sizes and storage sizes. MiniSDs and MicroSDs are smaller versions made for mobile phones. There are few different types concerning storage size. SDSC (SD Standard Capacity) is the normal size and can hold up to 2GB. SDHC (SD High Capacity) can hold between 4GB and 32GB. SDXC (SD Extreme Capacity) is the newest and largest size, holding between 32GB and 2TBs of data!

  • CF (Compact Flash) - On the more professional end, Compact Flash cards are used most often in Digital SLR cameras. They can potentially come in sizes over 2TB! These also come in four different speeds, the normal CF, CF High Speed, CF 3.0, and CF 4.0.

  • P2 - P2 doesn't quite fit in this list because they only work with high-end Panasonic cameras. While these are bigger and more expensive, they certainly are what you need if you have a professional Panasonic camera.

Compact Flash Card and SD Card

Things to know about memory cards:
- Transfer your videos or photos. This can be done a few ways, all of them relatively simple. Most cameras will come with a USB cord that will connect your camera with your computer. If your memory card is in your camera and you connect the USB into your computer, a folder with all of the files on your memory card will open. You can also use a memory card reader (see photo below) that you would purchase separately, which has slots for different types of memory cards. Some computers and printers have built-in card readers, most typically for SD cards.

  • Formatting the card. This means to completely erase everything on the card. And I mean, everything. You can format the card with a computer program, but it is easier to do it right within the camera. Make sure you have all of those precious photos and videos saved before you format!

  • Protect the data. On SD cards, there is an optional small tab that you can flip to protect all of the videos or photos that you just took. When this tab is flipped, you can only view the photos on the card, and not delete them, or take new photos. You can also copy the data to the computer.

  • Be prepared. When shooting video, always bring extra memory cards! Even if you have a really large card that will hold a lot of video, it's a good idea to have a back-up card.

Memory Card Reader

*P***Pro tip:** When your card is connected to your computer, (either through card reader or cord), files you move into the Trash or Recycle Bin from the memory card, are still taking up space on the card. You will need to empty the Trash or Recycle Bin before removing the card to free up that space!

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