If Only Memory Cards Were Like Film

Remember film? When you wanted a different level of quality of different characteristics in your images, you went and bought a different kind of film.

Imagine if memory cards worked the same way … you want better quality, get a different memory card. More saturation, lower grain? Swap the card.

Well … it doesn’t work like that. At all. And, in all likeliness, it never will.

So, does your memory card matter? According to Scott Bourne over at PhotoFocus, no. They’re pretty much all the same.

I’ve been shooting digital images since 1994 now. In a quick look through my card holder, I see Lexar, Sandisk, Kingston, Rydata, Fuji and … this one unmarked card … and none of them have ever failed me. Have I been lucky? Yes. But if, after some of these cards have been in use for nearly a decade, one were to fail I’d more likely chalk it up to age than a manufacturing problem.

What Bourne has heard, so have I:

Everything eventually breaks. What happens is that when Joe Photographer has a problem with ______ brand memory card, Joe emails me and swears on a stack of Bibles that he’ll never use ______ brand again. Less than 15 minutes later, I’ll typically get an email from Sue Photographer that exclaims the same brand that Joe hates, saved her life and she’ll never use any other brand again!

So, please don’t ask me what brand of card to buy … just buy one and go tell stories on it.

Mark E. Johnson

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