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memory card

  • Nikon D4 Includes Sony XQD 16GB Memory Card and Reader (for now)

    Nikon D4 Includes Sony XQD 16GB Memory Card and Reader

    A lot of customers have heard rumors that the new Nikon D4 is shipping with Sony XQD cards and readers included, and have been asking us if this is true. We can confirm that this is, indeed, true! Some have wondered if these freebies were only included with Nikon Professional Services (NPS) shipments of the Nikon D4. We can also confirm that we have already received both NPS and non-NPS shipments of the new Nikon D4, and they have all included the 16GB XQD cards and card readers. We aren't sure if--or how long--this will continue, but, for now, we'll take it!

  • Hoodman RAW STEEL SD Memory Cards: Why you need one (or two)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Most major camera equipment manufacturer's are now making almost all of their digital cameras with Secure Digital (SD) memory for the storage platform. The once popular compactflash card is slowly being pushed aside, and for very good reason--size. Using a smaller storage device allows equipment makers to either decrease the size of their cameras, or to pack more image-crunching electronics inside the same sized body.

    Another benefit of SD memory: less breakdowns. As often as once every week we see a customer walk through our doors with a very sour look on their face. The culprit for the poor mood is a bent pin in their camera's CF card reader. If you have a digital camera that takes CF memory, take a look inside the door where the memory card goes. Inside there you will see two rows of gold-colored pins. If a CF card does not align just right when being inserted into the card reader, you can very easily bend one or more of those pins. Once that happens, lights out, and time to send the camera in for a repair. SD cards have electrical contacts on the back side, and they do not require intrusive pins to transfer data--just other electrical contacts to press up against them.

    Hoodman has been making innovative products for a while now, and we like their products and them as a company. Recently they developed a more ruggedized version of the standard SD card. These cards cost a little more than the ordinary card, but for good reason. More care is put in to the manufacturing of these cards, and it means better results and longer life for your precious photographs.

    First, these cards meet class 10 specifications, so they are fast. Fast enough for the highest resolution, video-shooting DSLRs currently out there. Second, they are waterproof, so go ahead and forget them in your pants's pocket and throw them in the wash. If you do a lot of shooting, you most likely know what that is like. Third, the actually memory chip is physically smaller. Why would that matter? The plastic housing has more plastic in it because the memory chip and associated electronics are taking up less room, which makes it more rigid and stronger. Fourth, there is an actual steel plate affixed to the top of the card. Again, more rigidity to help the card from being cracked or ruined. Fifth, and the coolest part, there's no soldering. These cards have acid-etched circuitry right on board. Less solder means less additional conduits for the data to travel through where noise can be induced in your photographs (and you thought a photograph was just a photograph).

    The product manager from Hoodman was recently at our store, and he allowed us to take his sample RAW STEEL memory card apart to photograph the insides. He also had a very well loved traditional SD card already taken apart for us to photograph too.

    Here is the top view to showcase the steel plate of the Hoodman RAW STEEL card:

    Hoodman RAW STEEL SD Card Steel Plate ViewHere is the card taken apart. The part with the gold electrical contacts is the entire memory chip. The rest of the plastic housing where this chip does not sit is filled in with more plastic to be more rigid (32GB memory chip is larger, so this does not apply for that card).

    Hoodman RAW STEEL SD Memory Card Internal Components

    Here is a closer look at the memory component and associated electronics:

    Hoodman RAW STEEL SD Memory Card Memory ComponentCompare that to a traditional card where everything is laid out in the open and not as compact (probably not good if the card becomes water-born):

    Traditional SD Memory Card Internal ComponentsDue to the larger size of the internal structure the external plastic housing is thin and frail (and as you can see cracks and breaks easily):

    Plastic Housing of a Tradition SD Memory Card

    If you are serious about your photography and use your equipment hard, you should definitely consider the RAW STEEL cards available by Hoodman. We carry the full line of Hoodman Raw Steel SD memory cards, and they can be found for sale at our website here:

    Hoodman 4GB RAW STEEL SDHC Memory Card
    Hoodman 8GB RAW STEEL SDHC Memory Card
    Hoodman 16GB RAW STEEL SDHC Memory Card
    Hoodman 32GB RAW STEEL SDHC Memory Card

  • Memory Card Myths Demystefied

    The good people at SanDisk recently sent us some information about memory cards. There are a lot of myths surrounding memory cards, and certainly a lot of confusion when it comes to SD cards and differences in speeds, and those speeds when thinking of taking stills vs. video.

    We've copied the document SanDisk provided to us for you here. We hope it helps in demystifying any confusion you may currently have about memory cards.

    Memory Myths – Clear the Clutter
    The basic concept

    Think about a memory card as if it is a sponge. The data from your camera is a glass of water. Three basic principles govern the relationship between the sponge (card) and the water (data).

    Card capacity – how much water (data) can the sponge absorb
    Write speed of the card – how quickly can the sponge (card) absorb the water (data), expressed in MBS (MegaBytes per Second)
    Read speed of the card – how quickly can I wring out the sponge (card) once it’s full of water (data), also expressed in MBS (MegaBytes per Second)

    1. All cards are created equal
    False.

    SanDisk is one only of six prime manufacturers of flash memory wafers in the world, and we are the leader in flash memory cards. In addition to manufacturing our own flash, we also manufacture our own controllers (the “traffic cop” under the hood that determines where data gets written on the flash). Our controller technology reduces the likelihood that any one sector wears out prematurely, so the life of the card is maximized, and bottom line – you come home with your pictures and/ or video content.

    We also write the code that allows all the components to communicate and we do our own assembly and rigorous quality control testing. This is not the case with some other brands of flash cards on the market.

    2. Class is relevant to all performance in all types of memory cards – both for still and video.
    False.

    There are a few measurements of speed for flash cards, just like you can measure the speed of a car in both miles per hour and kilometers per hour.

    There are two measures of speed for CompactFlash cards – MBS (megabytes per second) and the “X” factor.

    Example: our Extreme CompactFlash cards are both 60MBS and 400X. These numbers represent the rate at which data can be transferred from/ to the card and host device (camera/ camcorder). If you know the MBS number (in this case 60MBS), you simply divide that number by .15, so in this case:
    60MBS/ .15 = 400X
    Conversely, if you know the “X factor, you can easily calculate the MBS:
    400X x .15 = 60MBS

    It’s a little more complicated with SDHC cards where there are three measures of speed. Let’s take an Extreme 30MBS, 200X, Class 6 card as an example. The same relationship between MBS (megabytes per second) and the “X” factor applies to SDHC as to CompactFlash:
    30MBS/ .15 = 200X

    In addition to the MBS and “X” factor, SDHC cards are also designated with a Class rating (typically Class 4, 6, or 10). The Class rating system is ONLY relevant when shooting full 1080P HD video onto SDHC cards. It is not applicable to CompactFlash cards and is NOT relevant to still photography when using SDHC cards. By definition, Class is the MINIMUM sustained read/ write speed of an SDHC card expressed in MegaBytes per Second (or MBS). The Class system was developed when flash based video came into vogue a few years ago, as a means to ensure the end result would be a drop-out free
    video when viewed on your television or PC. For example:
    -your camera manual specs a Class 6 card for shooting 1080P video
    This means you need a card with a minimum sustained write speed of 6MBS (megabytes per second) to ensure proper video quality from your camera/ camcorder.

    In addition, the Class rating is the MINIMUM video recording speed of the card, not the maximum performance (speed) of the card. SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards (ideal for video and still photography) run at a MINIMUM of 6MBS for video recording, and a MAXIMUM of 20MBS for burst shooting. Bottom line – not all Class 6 cards are created equal and the Class rating is only relevant to SDHC cards and only applicable to shooting 1080P HD video.

    3. The speed of a card is more important when shooting video vs. still photography.
    False.

    When recording video, you are shooting a small, but sustained stream of data onto a card (a garden hose). When you are shooting RAW files (still photography) at a burst rate of 5 or 6FPS, you are sending a 10 – 20 megabyte file (based on your particular camera brand/ model) onto a card 5 or 6 times per second (like aiming a fire hose at your memory card).

    4. CompactFlash cards are “professional” and more durable than SD cards.
    False.

    CompactFlash was the first form factor to the market and was the mainstay in digital
    photography for about 5 years. SD cards were developed to allow more compact camera designs, but they are actually more durable than CompactFlash cards because:
    -they are truly waterproof, shockproof, magnet and x-ray proof*

    5. SDXC cards are faster than SDHC cards.
    False.

    By definition:
    0 – 2 gigabytes = SD Card
    2+ - 32 gigabytes = SDHC Card
    32+ gigabytes = SDXC Card
    SDXC is simply a measure of a cards’s CAPACITY, not speed.

    *Up to 32GB capacity (refer to http://www.sandisk.com/about-sandisk/proof)

    If you are looking to purchase new memory, or upgrade the memory you have, please visit our website here:

    Green Mountain Camera : Photo Accessories : Memory Cards

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