Flash memory cards are compact data storage devices that digital cameras and smartphones use. Though these memory cards are small, they often hold large amounts of data. Learn about the types and storage capacity of flash memory cards, and know how to choose the right type for your electronic device, to make an informed buying decision.
Types of Flash Memory Cards
You can choose from many types of flash memory cards. Digital cameras and smartphones usually need SD cards, or secure data cards. The largest ones are about the size of a postage stamp, and only 2.1 mm thick. Mini SD cards are about half that size, and micro SD cards are about a quarter the size of a postage stamp. The compact flash, or CF card, is slightly larger and heavier than an SD card, but has high processing speeds and is common in high-end digital cameras. Flash memory sticks are about the size of a stick of gum. Many Sony digital devices require this type of memory card. Finally, XD cards work with many Fuji and Olympus digital cameras.
Storage Capacity of Flash Memory Cards
Flash memory cards come with various amounts of storage space. A 500 MB card can hold between 250 and 500 digital pictures. However, some flash memory cards have up to 128 GB of storage space, and hold up to 9,000 pictures. Most smartphones feature a flash memory card with between 4 GB and 64 GB of storage memory.
Choosing the Right Flash Memory Card
When choosing a flash memory card, consider the size and shape of the card as well as its storage capacity. Most digital devices are only compatible with one type of flash memory card. Read the device's specifications to make sure you choose a card that fits inside of it. When deciding on a storage capacity, consider how much data you need to store on the device. Memory cards for digital cameras must have enough space to hold as many photos as you plan to take before moving them to a computer or an external hard drive.
Storing and Maintaining Flash Memory Cards
When you are not using them, store flash memory cards in a cool, dry place. It is a good idea to keep them in a case that protects them from dust as well. Flash memory cards are delicate, so handle them with care and avoid touching the metal connections.