1. Compact Flash (CF) memory cards are devices that use flash memory for mass storage. Not having any moving parts makes the flash memory great for use in digital cameras, as it is very dependable and stable. There are ample choices in CF cards. For those who have not seen or use digital memory cards this can be daunting, while for price conscious consumers such variety is good for comparison-shopping.
Large Capacity Cards
2. Memory sizes of CF cards comes in 512MB and all the way up to 64GB. CF cards’ memory capacity have increased so as the sizes of its images. This trend is expected to continue. “The CF specification capacities can support up to 137GB”, says the Compact Flash Association. The changes in camera technology no longer allow the older cameras to use this large capacity newer cards. Before buying CF high capacity card be sure to check the capabilities of the camera. Because CF large capacity cards can only be used by newer cameras.
Fast Read/Write Speed
3. The data transfer rate is determined by the speed rating of a CF card. Photographers can capture fast action shots and shoot in burst mode with high write speeds. However, “the real benefit is in the post-production work, where wait times are reduced significantly and speed transfers are accelerated greatly”, according to Lexar (one of CF cards leading manufacturer). Technically speaking, CF technology’s base rate of transfer is 150 kilobytes per second (150KB/s). If a card has a 40x rating, the rate of transfer would be 40 x 150 KB/s = 6 MB/s. The shopper can now calculate the transfer of data size per second with the use of this formula.
Professional CF Cards
4. High performance cards that downloads fast at about 600 times speed and have write speeds that are high are professional cards. The CF Professional cards of Lexar have a 600x (90MB/s) sustained write speed, when paired with their UDMA card reader To professionals this is important for image preparation on short time lines. You will never miss another shot with professional CF cards, due to waiting for the camera to record the image last taken. These are great cards for continuous shooting modes and for sports.
5. An array of cards from 512MB,1GB, 2GB and 4GB with slower download and write speeds are offered by most CF manufacturers. The image size of the average consumer is smaller than that of a professional, also the speed of download are not a critical. For the amateur photographer these cards does not only offer performance and reliability but affordability as well. These cards are great for portraits, small size images and landscape photographers.