Internal or Onboard Storage
Onboard storage is usually flash memory with built-in
RAM ranging from 2 to 8 MB. The onboard storage allows the camera
to hold from 10 images to over 100, depending on the resolution and
the compression setting selected for each image.
Removable File Storage
Removable media can hold a wider range of MB's (4
MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 192 MB, 320 MB, 448 MB, etc.) for increased storage
options. It may be best to purchase at least two storage cards so
work can continue as one card becomes fully loaded and is in use as
the images are downloaded to another storage device or a computer.
Generally, the camera will have one type of storage media use for
the image files however, some cameras can use multiple types of storage
devices. The most common are flash memory or magnetic media. Flash
memory stores data or images on semiconductor chips. Magnetic media
uses tapes or disks as a means of storing the recorded data or images.
When considering the type of storage desired, the most important factors
will be capacity, speed, and durability. Removable storage options
include the following:
- PC Cards: A PC card is about the size of a credit
card and can hold 5 MB to 1 GB. Different formats and thicknesses
are available as Type I, Type II, and Type III versions. To read
the stored files, a PC card reader will be needed. The cards are
hot swappable, so one card can be pulled out and another plugged
in without restarting.
- CompactFlash(CF): A storage device that is
available in type I and type II sizes. The type II CompactFlash
is larger than the type I. The storage capacity of CF cards ranges
from 16MB to 1GB.
- SmartMedia: A flash memory-based card designed
specifically for digital cameras. The cards are about the thickness
of a credit card, but are a much smaller size. Capacity ranges from
16MB to 128MB.
- Iomega Click!: Iomega Click!™ is a low-cost
alternative to CompactFlash™ and SmartMedia™, and provides
40 MB of memory and is about the size of a 35mm slide.
- IBM Microdrive: The IBM Microdrive is a mini hard
disk drive and is available in 340MB and 1GB capacities. They are
made to fit into a CompactFlash™ type II slot.
- Memory Stick: Slightly smaller than a stick of gum
and compatible only with Sony products, this storage device is available
from 4 MB to 128 MB capacities. It contains a locking device to
keep images from being erased.
- Secure Digital Card: About the size of a postage
stamp, the SD card is available in capacities ranging from 8MB to
512MB. SD cards were designed specifically to protect the flow of
copyright data through the use of the cryptographic technology built
into the card.
- xD Picture Card: Smaller than a postage stamp, the xD picture
card (Extreme Digital) is one of the most compact removable storage
devices available. It comes in capacities ranging from 64MB to 512MB.
- 3.5" Floppy Disk: 3.5" Floppy Disks are
inexpensive, easy to use, and compatible with almost every computer
system, however the capacity is limited to 1.44 MB.