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Genealogist's View -- More about memory cards

The names chosen by the manufacturers of memory cards are not helpful. They seldom give you any idea what the product is or can do. Since, in my experience, genealogists are consumers of flash memory and purchase digital cameras, it would be convenient to know what you are looking at when making a purchase without doing a search on the Internet. Unfortunately the memory card landscape is just about as complicated as buying a new car (although they cost a whole lot less than cars). I think this post on memory cards will turn out to be a series. My first post was called "Moving Data -- Genealogist's View of Memory Cards." This post picks up where that one left off.

Before you purchase a digital camera, it is very important to understand what type of memory card the camera uses. You should consider the availability, cost and maximum capacity of the cards. Frequently, a memory card is included in the initial purchase of the camera, but like OEM (original equipment manufacturer) tires on a car, the cards are not usually what you want in the long run. Each memory card has a specific amount of flash memory and will take a certain number of pictures. The number of pictures is determined by the settings on the camera. More expensive cameras have menu settings allowing the user to specify the resolution of the picture. The higher the resolution the larger the photo's file size, the lower the resolution the smaller the size. Each memory card is sort-of like having another roll of film for your camera. When a card fills up with photos, you either have to delete photos by transferring them to your computer or printing them off, or by putting in a new unused card.

Caution Number One: Don't leave photos on the memory card in your camera for an extended period of time without downloading them to your computer.

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