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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Memory Card

I love photography. I haven't been too involved in doing anything since I broke my ankle, but now that I am walking, I hope to get back into it. I was thinking of posting tips and tricks, and other interesting photography tid-bits from now on. Might as well start here: I need a new memory card. But guess how much fun it is to find one that suits your camera? Your camera which is 5 years old. I have a Canon Digital Rebel 300D. I LOVE it. (But I think I am outgrowing it...a post for another day.)

I did photos for a friend's wedding in December, and thought I was very well organized. Brought the lap top along, and had my chargers and battery back-ups, and a CF (memory card) card back up too. Not enough. I took about 800 photos. This included getting ready, decorating, doing the flowers, the wedding, the reception, and their actual wedding photos. It was a TON of work. I was so exhausted, I barely ate at the reception. My problem was finding time to upload the photos to my computer. It took AGES with a full CF card. It was a day of stress and panic for me.

I should have done some CF card research first - I researched everything else! I have the same CF card from when I bought my camera. Lexar 516 Mb. It's served me well, never had a problem. But I love doing rapid fire shots, and also doing "animations" (see the video below). The photos don't load to the card quick enough, and there are always gaps. It seems lately, it's been taking even longer. (FYI - even if you have a point-and-shoot digital, and it takes a 'one-mississippi' before actually taking the shot, get a new memory card)

At the time, I bought the fastest I could afford. 5 years later, I am very outdated. But, after hours of reading online, I found out that my little old camera only has so much potential, so I didn't want to spend $160 on a 8Gb 300x card, which was complete overkill. I bought the best upgrade which suits me, and my camera - a Lexar 2Gb 80x (which is still overkill, but I couldn't find anything less). To find out what your camera can handle, I found two good resources, after dozens of pages of searching:

Here is a database
where you can pick out your camera (only DSLRs, I think) and check the performance of a number of CF cards. This was a great find. The problem was me finding what the maximum write speed was for my camera. At the time of purchase, that wasn't really an issue, but with how quickly technology surpasses, I had a hard time finding anyone who really knew the specs about my 'old' camera, since most who are serious about photography would have upgraded by now. This thread helped a lot too (for those who have a Canon).

My new CF card is in the mail, and I can't wait to try it out. If nothing else, at least I will have more storage, which has always been a problem for me anyhow.

If you're in Australia, I found this site which sells cards for pretty cheap. I've read that you need to be careful where you buy your cards from. There are a lot of counterfeit items out there, especially from China, and other countries from the East. They do nice looking replicas, but they are not quality. I thought it would be wise of me to buy within the country...So, I recommend not buying chips off ebay, unless you know the item is from a legit, western shop. There are plenty of places online in the US and Canada to buy from, just search google or ebay.