The SD Association has announced a new Secure Digital memory card specification. The SDXC (eXtended Capacity) memory card will be able to store as much as 2 terabytes of data with read/write speeds of 104 MB per second and a target speed of 300 MB per second. That’s right – 2 TB of storage and 300 MB per second transfer on a tiny little SD memory card like the one you have in your point-and-shoot digital camera. For photographers, this could be the biggest announcement from the 2009 CES tradeshow.
The SDXC capacity jump is so huge that I was worried the announcement might be a joke. But it appears to be legit. It is important to note that this is a new spec – not an actual card you will be able to buy in the store in a few weeks. A 2 TB SDXC memory card will be able to store 4000 RAW files (assuming 5 MB RAW file size), 17,000 high quality JPEG images, and 1,800 hours of HD video capture. Even pros whose cameras use Compact Flash should be excited about the SDXC memory spec. Because if they can do it with SD cards, they can do it with CF cards, too. Plus, there’s already a trend towards using the SD card format in digital SLRs. The SDXC card might just make the SD form factor the universal standard for all digital cameras. With new DSLRs that can shoot HD video, faster, higher-capacity cards will quickly become a necessity. If you’ve shot any video with a Nikon D90 or Canon EOS 5D Mark II, you know what I’m talking about. Video eats up storage space a lot faster than shooting still photos. The high-capacity SDXC card will also make it possible for consumer camcorders to use a more convenient memory format than Mini DV tape, DVD, and built-in hard drives.
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