Digital camera memory cards are used to store digital photos, much as film stored images from film cameras! Camera memory cards are removable, and quite a few different types are available. DSLRs mainly use Compact Flash, but other formats, such as SD cards, are becoming more popular. Compact cameras use a wider range of cards.
Here's a list of the most popular types of camera memory cards.
- Compact Flash (CF). This is one of the most reliable formats for storage cards, and CF is still used in most DSLR cameras. Compact Flash cards are physically larger than other commonly used camera memory card formats, but they also can store more data. There are two kinds of CF cards -- Type I and Type II. The only difference between the two types is that Type I is thinner.
- Secure Digital (SD). Gradually being introduced into some new DSLR models, this very popular format allows for fast transferal of data. The cards also allow for secure exchanges of data, as they have a write-protection switch on their side. SD cards are extremely popular for use with point and shoot cameras.
- Sony Memory Stick (MS). These were originally only manufactured by Sony for the company's own digital cameras, but other companies (such as Lexar Media) have also started producing them. They don't allow for storage of large amounts of data, as do Compact Flash cards, and MS cards are still only used on a relatively small number of cameras. However, more manufacturers are gradually starting to adopt this format.
- MultiMediaCard (MMC) / SecureMultiMediaCard (SecureMMC). MMC cards fit into the SD card slot, although they are marginally thinner and have two fewer pins. Many SD-compatible devices will accept MMC cards as well, but it's best to check your cameras' compatibility before buying.
- xD Picture Card. xD cards are extremely small storage cards, which are usually used in equally small and compact digital cameras. They were developed by Olympus, Fujifilm, and Toshiba, and many Olympus point and shoot cameras use xD camera memory cards.