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A Detailed Look At The XD-Picture Card

Aug 18, 2007
If you are trying to buy a digital camera, but are clueless about what the different memory card types mean, it can get quite confusing. In this article, we'll cover one particular type of memory card - it's features, advantages, and disadvantages. Armed with this information, it will be much easier for you to choose which memory card type to use.

The xD-Picture Card is a specialized form of flash memory card that is primarily used in digital cameras. Introduced to the market by Fujifilm and Olympus in 2002, the name of the card was intended to stand for "extreme digital" and is now marketed under a variety of different brand names. Other companies that now sell their own versions of the xD-Picture Card include SanDisk, Kodak, and Lexar.

The xD-Picture Card is meant for use in digital cameras made by Fujifilm and Olympus. It is also compatible with Fujifilm MP3 players and Olympus digital voice recorders. The cards are available in a variety of different capacities, including 2GiB, 1 GiB, 512 MiB, 256 MiB, 128 MiB, 64 MiB, 32 MiB, and 16 MiB. Regardless of the capacity, each card is the same size and weighs the same amount, with dimensions of 20 mm x 25 mm x 1.78 mm and weighing in at 2.8 grams.

The first xD-Picture Cards to be developed were only capable of holding anywhere from 16 MiB to 512 MiB of information. With the introduction of the Type M card, which was released in 2005, the new design was technically capable of holding up to 8 GiB of memory with the help of its Multi Level Cell architecture. The cards are actually only available in 256 MiB to 2 GiB of space, however, and have a slower read-write speed than the original design.

The Type H card was also released in 2005 and is capable of providing a higher date rate then what is provided by the Type M card. These cards are available in just 256 MiB, 512 MiB, 1 GiB, and 2 GiB storage capacities. Newer models of Olympus cameras require the type H cards in order to capture video at a higher rate of 640x480x30.

As the Type M and Type H cards have evolved, changes have been made to their storage architecture. As such, some older cameras may have difficulty with properly using the newer Type M and Type H cards. This is particularly true when utilizing the video recording feature. The newer design is also incompatible with some cardreaders. In order to make sure the card is compatible with the camera, compatibility lists are available through the companies.

Despite this inconvenience, the xD-Picture Card does have many advantages. For example, they are faster when compared with older formats such as the MemoryStick, SmartMedia, and MultiMediaCard. They are also quite small, though it is possible to find smaller memory cards on the market today. In addition, they have a small power consumption.
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