Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Standards

My first digital camera was a 1.3MP Mavica FD88 that I hung on to for a year or two after it was obsolete (I mean, cameras got obsoleted every three months back then) because memory stick/card standards were totally non-standardized but every computer would always have a 3.5" floppy for emergency booting, right? 


Memory card standards in DSLRs more or less shook out in the early Aughties. Compact Flash was the initial winner, although it gradually started getting supplanted by SD cards about ten years ago, starting in smaller consumer-level bodies.

In fact, many pro bodies, up until last week or so, still had CF slots simply because photojournalists had so much CF infrastructure. It's only been in the last year or so that I've had a hard time finding CF cards small enough for older cameras like my D1x and D200 to use. 

Interestingly, you can still get really big CF cards easily, and there are a lot of companies still selling the tiny sub-1MB CF cards that are needed by old CNC machinery on Amazon...but cards in the 2-8MB range that are usable by older cameras are getting scarcer by the year. If I walk into Roberts camera right now, I can buy film for my 80-y.o. Leica, but I might not be able to get a CF card small enough for my 18-y.o. Nikon D1x to recognize.