Memory Cards
Might be a silly question, but I am still learning about this digital technology stuff!.

How much affect does the "quality" of the Memory (SD) card have on the quaility of pictures produced? Is there major differences between different SD cards?.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!..

Comments (13)

I think it's mostly speed and memory capacityp850, f700..

Comment #1

In many cases, it's not so much as the "quality" of the pictures, but rather the "reliability" of the card. Brand names often have better quality control, and thus save you some peace of mind..

Another thing to look at is the write speed. Some are faster than others..

From experience, picture quality is the same from card to card, the only difference I have seen is in the aforementioned..

Happy shooting!.


Doni. matters of grave importance, style not sincerity is the vital thing - Oscar Wilde..

Comment #2

There is no difference in quality of the images with different cards. Since these are digital images, the exact same data (digital image) gets written to the card, regardless of what card it is written to, so all cards will have the exact same image and quality..

The only thing to be concerned with is whether the card is reliable so that your picture does not get corrupted, in which case the image (file) will be not be usable..

The quality of cards affects only card reliability and write/read speed of the card - all cards will offer the exact same image quality..

And there are no silly questions ..

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Comment #3

I don't know, I hear Transcend cards can only record images in Black & White, and Kingston cards randomly insert images of homeless people on top of your actual image...

Comment #4

Thank you folks!! Now.... how do I determine "speed" on the card? it is a 1 MB but I thought that indicated the amount of pictures it would hold....

Far as corrupting... I have had the card for a year and a half, and have no homeless folks appearing.... The card appears to have produced the pictures I have taken... the camera is a Kodak Z700 and I am not overly thrilled with the indoor pictures, in spite of trying several different modes, including manual... I am looking at a Canon A720 thinking that upgrading from 4 mp to 8 mp will help... am I way off???.

Again.. thanks so much for your help!!..

Comment #5

Think of the memory card like your hard drive on your PC. Some hard drives are cheap, some are expensive, some are slow and some are fast. But one hard drive doesn't make the data stored on it higher quality data than another drive. It's simply a method for storage. Don't think of your memory card as film in terms of quality. It is like film only in the fact that it is a media to capture an image on..

Upgrading to a new cam can certainly help if your old camera took sub-par photos. Don't let megapixels be your deciding factor though. Some 3mp cameras can take better pictures than a 10mp camera. Picture quality is determined by the quality of the lens first, and the various exposure/aperture/speed/ISO settings of the camera body a distant second. If your prime lens is garbage, your photos will be garbage, whether it's mounted on the cheapest SLR or a $10,000 SLR..

Read the reviews here, go through the camera database, do lots of research on the forums, and you'll get a good feeling for the right camera and lens in your budget...

Comment #6

Thanks Kevin M... That helped!! Ok... so noww.... WHAT makes a good lens??? Has the A720 a decent lens?......

Comment #7

I can't say about that cam, but if it's in the review database that's your best starting point to find out..

And saying what I said about lenses before, it's getting harder these days to find a truly horrible lens. Not to say they don't exist, but standards have come up to the point where you can get a good lens for a reasonable price these days without having to research things for weeks on end..

Easiest thing to do is find what camera your interested in, then see what type of lenses it takes, and then ask around on the forums as to what people have to say about that particular lens...

Comment #8

Missmay wrote:.

Thank you folks!! Now.... how do I determine "speed" on the card?.

Usually, if the card isn't marketed as a fast card, it is a slow card. (It could be a fast card in slow card's clothing, but that's entirely luck of the draw.).

Card vendors have a couple of ways of indicating speed. Some advertise transfer rates. Some advertise how much faster their cards are than a 1x CD-ROM drive. (1x CD-ROM drives have transfer rates of about 150 KB per second, so "133x" translates to about 19.5 megabytes per second.).

Card speed matters only to the extent that your camera (or card reader) can take advantage of it. Then again, there are several generations of fast cards available. The older ones (e.g., SanDisk Ultra II) are now pretty cheap. Having experienced long shot-to-shot delays with an older point-and-shoot, I'd rather spend a little bit extra to make sure my memory is fast enough to keep up with my camera..

It is a 1 MB but I thought that indicated the amount of pictures itwould hold....

That is the capacity, but 1 MB is very small for photo storage. Are you sure that it didn't say 1 GB?.

The camera is a Kodak Z700 andI am not overly thrilled with the indoor pictures, in spite of tryingseveral different modes, including manual... I am looking at a CanonA720 thinking that upgrading from 4 mp to 8 mp will help... am I wayoff???.

What, specifically, is wrong with the pictures?..

Comment #9

**blushing*** yes, it is a 1GB... sorry..lets me take aboutt 770 pics....

The pictures I take indoors have a yellow cast, lots of red (or white) eye, blurry, just not "good"... I have used the scene effects for indoor, played with the ISO, and aperture, and still not overly impressed.... it takes good indoor pics if you are within five feet of the action... In gymnasiums... the yellowing is really prominent....

Thanks for your help!..

Comment #10

Again.. thank you for your help... the next camera I am investigating... the Canon Powershot A720. What type of lenses are "good"...? I realize that is a pretty generic question.... and how do I tell what kind of lens it is?.

(now I am going hunting!)..

Comment #11

Missmay wrote:.

The pictures I take indoors have a yellow cast.

That could be the lighting, and/or your camera's color balance setting. Standard incandesent lamps have a "warmer" (more orangish/yellowish) color than sunlight or flash. In the film days, people sometimes attached blue-ish filters to lenses to correct for that..

You can probably fix this in post-processing, or by telling your camera what white balance to use (instead of leaving the white balance set on Auto)..

If there is a lot of mixed indoor/outdoor lighting or worse, flourescent/tungsten lighting, you may have to experiment a bit..

Lots of red (or white) eye.

This is a problem with virtually all point-and-shoots. It results from firing the flash at such an angle that the light bounces directly off the back of the subject's eye and then back into the camera. You'll get "red eye" for humans, "green eye" for cats, and (according to a magazine article) "blue eye" for deer!.

DSLRs and a few advanced point-and-shoots allow you to use powerful, external tilt/bounce flash units. With those you can bounce light off a ceiling or wall, and avoid "red eye"..

Another way to avoid "red eye" is to turn off the flash as much as possible. (Go outdoors, or take pictures in rooms that have good lights.).


This might suggest insufficient light / shutter speed, or a camera that focuses on something other that what you think it's focusing on..

It takes good indoor pics if you are within five feet of the action.

Don't expect a point-and-shoot flash to be good for more than a few feet. Even the much more powerful flashes on SLRs & DSLRs have range limitations..

... In gymnasiums... the yellowing is really prominent....

That's probably the white balance again. Remember that while your flash has the temperature color of daylight, past a few feet it is not going to be very strong, and the color temperature of the gymnasium lighting (incandescent?) is what is going to prevail...

Comment #12

Missmay wrote:.

What type of lenses are "good"...?.

There are different types of 'goodness' for lenses ... and there is usually some tradeoff between them..

1. Optical quality. "How free is the picture from various types of distortions?" Generally best on non-zoom lenses, or on zooms with only limited (3x) range. Probably worst on kids' cameras that you see on racks in discount stores.  .

2. Maximum aperture. "How much light does it let in?" A lens that has, say, maximum aperture specs of f/2.8-3.1 (Canon S2 IS) is better in this regard than one with maximum aperture specs of f/5.6-6.3 (typical P&S)..

3. Zoom. A lens with a high zoom ratio (say, 9-18x) may be convenient, but it's also likely to suffer some in optical quality..

4. Focal length range. Does the lens cover the range of interest to you? E.g., two cameras might both have "3x zoom", but if one starts at 28mm-equivalent, and the other starts at 38mm-equivalent, the first is going to be more useful to you for landscape/building shots, even if you do sacrifice a bit of telephoto..

5. Size. Small sensor, small lens, large zoom possible in compact size but high ISO noise. Big sensor, low noise, but now the lenses must be big and heavy there's no cramming a DSLR into a shirt pocket...

Comment #13

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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