Memory Card Formats Count When Transferring Pictures from the Camera's Card to the Digital Frame

Knowing what card formats your digital frame will accept will make transferring pictures easy. It is important that any digital frame chosen accepts the same type of card as your camera or that adapters are available.

It is more and more common for today's digital frames to come with a number of different slots that enable them to read most of the cards from the majority of cameras on the market today.

Common Memory Card Formats

    CF-Compact Flash
    MS or SMC-SmartMedia
    MS-Memory Stick
    MSD-Memory Stick Duo
    MMC-Multimedia Card
    RS-MMC-Reduced Size Multimedia Card
    SD-Secure Digital Card
    miniSD-miniSD Card
    SDHC-High Capacity Secure Digital Card
    xD-xD-Picture Card

CompactFlash (CF) was first produced in 1994 and became a common memory card format for digital cameras. Recently, the CF has been pretty much replaced by the smaller Secure Digital or SD cards. However, the CompactFlash memory card formats are still preferred by Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras because they are capable of holding a larger amount of data and have proven extremely reliable over a longer period of time.

How Many Photos do Specific Memory Card Formats Hold?

Since a digital frame can be used for storage as well as for viewing, I thought it might be interesting to list the number of photos that could be stored on memory cards with 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB storage cards, respectively. Take note of how many megapixels the camera has to use a specific memory card.

It is increasingly hard to find memory card formats with anything less than 1GB. 4GB and 8GB cards are available but make sure your camera can take them and that your digital frame can read them.

2 Megapixel Camera
256MB card=291 pictures
512MB card=582 pictures
1GB card=1164 pictures
2GB card=2328 pictures

3 Megapixel Camera
256MB card=225 pictures
512MB card=449 pictures
1GB card=898 pictures
2GB card=1796 pictures

4 Megapixel Camera
256MB card=136 pictures
512MB card=272 pictures
1GB card=545 pictures
2GB card=1090 pictures

5 Megapixel Camera
256MB card=100 pictures
512MB card=200 pictures
1GB card=400 pictures
2GB card=800 pictures

6 Megapixel Camera
256MB card=84 pictures
512MB card=165 pictures
1GB card=329 pictures
2GB card=658 pictures

Optimizing Your Pictures for Digital Frames

To optimize the pictures, especially to put more images on the memory card, look at a software program that can automate the process of matching the resolution and image size of your pictures to that of your individual frame. One such program is ACDSee Picture Frame Manager.

Matching your photos to the resolution and image size display capabilities of your frame will ultimately result in many more times the number of images that can normally be stored on a memory card and thus stored or displayed on the frame.

Frames are available that give the user the option of optimizing the images from a memory card right on the frame itself. The result is that the pictures look better on the frame and more pictures can be added to the memory card.

Class Ratings on Secure Digital Memory Card Formats

The class rating that can be found on an SD card refers to the minimum speed (in megabytes per second) at which a card can transfer data. This would be of more concern when using a camcorder or a camera that can take movie clips.

The actual number in the class rating, such as Class 2, 4, 6 or even 10, refers to the number of megabytes per second of data transfer.

Taking high-definition video with a card with a class rating of lower than 4 could result in problems such as error messages or dropped frames and playback that is uneven.

For more information on video formats, please click here...

Speed Ratings of Secure Digital Memory Card Formats

Speed ratings can be found on the packaging or the labeling on these cards. Again, these are measured in megabytes per second. The Write Speed is the rate at which data can be transferred onto the card from the camera. The Read Speed is the rate at which photos and videos can be transferred from the card to the computer.

Again, don't be concerned with the speed rating of an SD card if just taking normal snapshots. Using a card with a faster speed rating can help with cameras such as digital SLRs that can take high-resolution pictures in continuous bursts.

SD cards have different speeds to meet different needs. At the present time, there are 3 levels of speed, Class 2, 4 and 6. These guarantee a minimum data transfer speed of 2, 4 and 6 megabytes per second, respectively.

SDHC(High Capacity Secure Digital)-enabled products accommodate SDHC memory cards and are backward compatible with SD memory cards. Data on SDHC cards is protected even if inserted in an incompatible device. SDHC cards can also work in standard SD slots with a firmware upgrade. SDHC cards have a capacity range which starts at 4GB and goes up to 32 GB at three data-writing speeds of 2, 4 and 6.

How Do Memory Cards Work?

If you have ever "de-fragged" your computer to speed it up, you will have a better understanding of how memory cards work. The memory in a card is formatted into memory units. Data is written onto units where there is no data already stored.

Through usage, the available memory becomes divided into smaller and smaller units. This fragmentation can reduce writing speeds. Thus, a card with a higher speed class can help to make up for the loss of writing speed resulting from the fragmentation of the memory.

Make Sure You Note the Specific Type of Certain Memory Cards Formats!

Sometimes it is not enough to just check the general format of a card. It's important to also check for the specific type of card.

For example, CompactFlash cards come in Type I and also in Type II and there are many different types of SmartMedia cards.

You may find, as I did, that a particular card may fit into a frame, only to find out that you need tweezers or a small pliers to retrieve the card!

If an incorrect card has been inserted, even if the frame has the capability of reading it, that will be canceled out by the possible damage that could result when trying to remove the card from the frame!

Luckily, memory cards have a fingernail slot at their lower ends that can aid in retrieving them. Those slots can come in really handy for those who have large, frail or arthritic fingers.

Some frames do have built-in memory that can store images. Be aware, however, that internal memory may be a waste of time. The camera would have to be connected to the frame while moving pictures around, as opposed to simply placing a memory card into a frame.

Wireless Memory Card Formats!

There are now wireless memory cards available that actually have a Wi-Fi chip in them. If you have an SD or SDHC compatible camera, photos can be sent to your computer wirelessly! You even have the capability of choosing which photos to send.

At this time, this Wi-Fi card will store all types of photos and videos but can only upload JPEG photos wirelessly.

Toshiba's Wi-Fi Enabled Memory Card

This card is a step up from current Wi-Fi cards in that it integrates Wi-Fi with data storage.

This card can connect with another one like it to exchange files, just like Bluetooth sharing. Files can also be uploaded directly onto various servers.

The new card has an 8-GB capacity and can transfer both JPEG and RAW images. It also comes with user management of image transmission and reception features that help to minimize power consumption.

Toshiba Wi-Fi card

Bypass Memory Card Formats and Transfer Pictures Directly From The Computer

To transfer digital images directly from your computer to a frame, look for a frame with a USB 2.0 port. The 2.0 has generally faster transfer rates than a 1.1 port.

Some digital photo frames also have Bluetooth capabilities if the camera or cell phone is Bluetooth-enabled. Beware that Bluetooth may be the ONLY means of transferring photos to that frame.

Also beware of purchasing certain frames that can only retrieve photos from a website that requires a subscription. These may not make as welcome a gift as others!

Check also to see if the frame will work with Macs as well as Windows-based PCs. This may be an another important point to consider when gifting frames!

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