"How Much Should You Pay for a Memory Card?" - Digital Photography Podcast 172

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When comparing quality 16 GB cards, prices vary from $210 to $30. That's quite a spread. Which one is right for you?

In this podcast, I take a look at a variety of "pro" memory cards and try to determine which are the best value for my camera. Along the way, we consult the excellent CF/SD Performance Database run by Rob Galbraith. I think you'll enjoy this show.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Vibrancy is the April 2009 Photo Assignment. Here in North America, Spring is on the way. But nature isn't the only source of vibrant colors. See what you can create for this assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Submissions page. Deadline for entry is April 30, 2009.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "How Much Should You Pay for a Memory Card?" You can download the podcast here (28 minutes). You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

The Digital Story podcasts are available for direct download from Apple iPhones. I've created a special mobile download page here. Just load the page in Safari, browse the podcast line-up, and click on the one you want to listen to.

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our new Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!


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15 Comments

Make sure to keep alert for rebates from the big names (i.e. SanDisk/Lexar) as they run fairly hefty rebate specials. SanDisk ran a tiered rebate where you could buy up to three 8GB Ultra III cards, and got $40/$100/$160 back (those amounts might not be exact, but close enough). I bought three from Adorama for a grand total of $172 including shipping.
Net cost = $4 each

Then, just a month or two later, Lexar ran a special on their 8GB Professional cards. An $80 rebate on an $80 card. Limit 3 per customer. I bought 3, used Bill Me Later (no payments for 90 days), and when the rebate checks came in just paid off Bill Me Later with no interest and no cash out of my pocket.
Net cost = FREE

So now I've added six 8GB cards to my arsenal (that's 48GB of memory for anyone who's counting) for a grand total of $12.

I can't remember what the site is, but there are several rebate/sale/deal watching aggregator sites out there that you can find stuff like this on. And of course, watch twitter too!

A very informative podcast that will help me make sound decisions when purchasing my next memory cards. The Digital Story, minute by minute the most informative of all photography podcasts. I learn more in about 30 minutes than from other podcasts that are much longer. Keep teaching and guiding us. Thank You!

Thanks John for your kind comments, and to you Phillip for the hot tips.

We're working on some terrific new stuff for 2009, so stay tuned!

One thing that you didn't cover is transfer speed from card reader to pc/mac. The cheap cards that are just fast enough for the camera to operate may very slow to transfer to the computer. With the large video files you will feel the slow speed even more.

Further if you shoot in bursts faster cards will let the camera empty its buffer faster so you will be ready to get the next shot. Would be a shame to miss a shot because the camera was busy writing to a slow card!

I think your points are good Peter, and I agree... for the most part. I do think it's good to have one or two premium cards in your bag for those 'high speed" situations. But for a lot of my shooting and video recording, high capacity cards that aren't quite as fast seem to work well. Just depends on your needs and budget :)

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