Best memory card deals

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#1
The Big Valley, California
2,372 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I continue to hear folks talk about memory cards like they're expensive. Hopefully, folks can post here when they find good deals. I just saw a 2Gb SD card on Buy.com for $14.95 after rebate.
http://www.buy.com/prod/Kingston_2GB...202743332.html
No excuses not to carry 10-20 Gb on next cruise.
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#2
Cary, NC
65 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
That's an excellent price, but I hate to tell you, I bought that same SD card last week at Buy.com (same place) for $9.95 after rebate. It was only a 2- or 3-day sale.

Originally posted by mountainhouse
I continue to hear folks talk about memory cards like they're expensive. Hopefully, folks can post here when they find good deals. I just saw a 2Gb SD card on Buy.com for $14.95 after rebate.
http://www.buy.com/prod/Kingston_2GB...202743332.html
No excuses not to carry 10-20 Gb on next cruise.
#3
The Big Valley, California
2,372 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I don't actually use SD cards (just xD and compact flash), but saw the deal and thought it might be helpful to others. If you see the $9.95 again, post it here!
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#4
47 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
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Originally posted by mountainhouse
I continue to hear folks talk about memory cards like they're expensive. Hopefully, folks can post here when they find good deals. I just saw a 2Gb SD card on Buy.com for $14.95 after rebate.
http://www.buy.com/prod/Kingston_2GB...202743332.html
No excuses not to carry 10-20 Gb on next cruise.
#5
The Big Valley, California
2,372 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I think some of the worst memory card prices are at BEST BUY. I sometimes look at the digital cameras there, and cringe when someone walks up to a sales person and says they need a card. Though it was a top brand, I saw a 2Gb compact flash card there for $119 the other day.
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#6
Southwest VA
550 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
I've consistently found buy.com to have great deals on SD cards, just keep your eyes open and be patient. 1G or 2G for $10 is likely to come around once a month or so. Make sure you sign up for their daily email. It's only one email a day and has some great deals. CF card deals are a little harder to find.

I have techbargains.com on the RSS feed but you could check the site daily. They have a special on the left side for memory deals. They also have a link to pricegrabber.com that I check before I buy anything tech.
#7
The Big Valley, California
2,372 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
You're ruined my day! I went in to sign-up with Buy.com for the emails, and my past order activity was there. It reminded me of how much I was paying for these cards 9 months ago.
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#8
Southwest VA
550 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by mountainhouse
You're ruined my day! I went in to sign-up with Buy.com for the emails, and my past order activity was there. It reminded me of how much I was paying for these cards 9 months ago.
You're not alone. Try this ... I bought a 1G MicroSD card from buy.com two weeks ago for $23 after rebate. It's now $18 with no rebate. Doh!

To keep up with the thread ... for those of you with older cameras (lower resolution) buy.com has a 512M SD free after $27 rebate today.
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#9
Lake Elsinore, CA
120 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Fry's 1Gb Sd Card regular price 17.99 on sale often 9.99. the brand is Patriot I have bought 3 of these and they all work just as well as the sandisk I paid like 50.00 for.
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#10
1,535 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by mountainhouse
I think some of the worst memory card prices are at BEST BUY. I sometimes look at the digital cameras there, and cringe when someone walks up to a sales person and says they need a card. Though it was a top brand, I saw a 2Gb compact flash card there for $119 the other day.
I like to browse on Slickdeals.net and DODtracker.com. I have come up with some great deals on both. I have gotten a 7.2 MP sony camera for $119. I have also gotten 526 MP memory stick x2 for $10. I have also gotten a pair of binoculars with a built in digital camera for $19, just to name a few of the camera deals they have had on there. There are deals on lots of other thing too, but I will stick to the topic on this board.
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#11
Southern California
7,747 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
The difference between a $29 2GB card and a $52 card is often more than the price. Most of the inexpensive cards are older, slower technology that, while perfectly good, can't keep up with new camera demands like 30 fps video and fast frame rates.

Another issue is simply quality. A flash memory chip is produced like any other solid-state device and the chance of 100% of the millions of little doo-dads coming out perfectly is small. Manufacturers test the chips for "acceptable" numbers of errors and reject anything below their customer's standards. Unless the error count is off the charts, the rejects aren't just thrown away. Let's just say that all customers don't have the same standards and leave it at that. A card with errors may still work very well until its controller tries to write to the bad sector causing a file to be lost, or worse, corrupting the whole card! (Image rescue software will usually recover most of the files on a corrupt card, but what a pain!) If you have a 2gb SD card in your camera and take 5 pictures a week, the controller may never even try to write to a sector that is iffy. Take that same card on a vacation and shoot 800 photos in a week without emptying the card and it's a different story!

Though it's not mentioned too often, flash memory has a limit (a large limit, so don't worry too much) on the number of reads and writes before it "wears out". This results in bad sectors and errors just like on an old hard drive. Even the best cards will eventually suffer from this, so if you begin with more errors on a lower-quality card the time until the card becomes unusable can be shortened considerably.

I'm not saying not to buy inexpensive memory, just be aware of why it might be inexpensive. To me spending $100s on camera equipment (or even $1000s), $1000s more on a wonderful trip and then waffing over a $20 difference in memory to record it seems silly. I remember a catch line that a race car parts manufacturer used to great effect: "Buy the best and only cry once!"

BTW, none of this applies to similar brands at different retailers. As I write this, Best Buy online has a fast 4gb Sandisk Extreme III CF card for $116 while Costco has the same card for $79. I somehow doubt that it's a quality issue...

Whatever you buy, for heaven's sake don't forget to take the pictures!

Happy shooting!

Dave
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#12
1,535 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by pierces
The difference between a $29 2GB card and a $52 card is often more than the price. Most of the inexpensive cards are older, slower technology that, while perfectly good, can't keep up with new camera demands like 30 fps video and fast frame rates.

Another issue is simply quality. A flash memory chip is produced like any other solid-state device and the chance of 100% of the millions of little doo-dads coming out perfectly is small. Manufacturers test the chips for "acceptable" numbers of errors and reject anything below their customer's standards. Unless the error count is off the charts, the rejects aren't just thrown away. Let's just say that all customers don't have the same standards and leave it at that. A card with errors may still work very well until its controller tries to write to the bad sector causing a file to be lost, or worse, corrupting the whole card! (Image rescue software will usually recover most of the files on a corrupt card, but what a pain!) If you have a 2gb SD card in your camera and take 5 pictures a week, the controller may never even try to write to a sector that is iffy. Take that same card on a vacation and shoot 800 photos in a week without emptying the card and it's a different story!

Though it's not mentioned too often, flash memory has a limit (a large limit, so don't worry too much) on the number of reads and writes before it "wears out". This results in bad sectors and errors just like on an old hard drive. Even the best cards will eventually suffer from this, so if you begin with more errors on a lower-quality card the time until the card becomes unusable can be shortened considerably.

I'm not saying not to buy inexpensive memory, just be aware of why it might be inexpensive. To me spending $100s on camera equipment (or even $1000s), $1000s more on a wonderful trip and then waffing over a $20 difference in memory to record it seems silly. I remember a catch line that a race car parts manufacturer used to great effect: "Buy the best and only cry once!"

BTW, none of this applies to similar brands at different retailers. As I write this, Best Buy online has a fast 4gb Sandisk Extreme III CF card for $116 while Costco has the same card for $79. I somehow doubt that it's a quality issue...

Whatever you buy, for heaven's sake don't forget to take the pictures!

Happy shooting!

Dave
SanDisk memory cards are cheaper, but I have not seen a difference between them and the ones by Sony, Olympus or others as far as quality.
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#13
Chicago
559 Posts
Joined May 2006
If only spending more money were sufficient protection. Regardless of price paid, I always first plug the card into the PC and fill the card with photos a few times to see if it will fail BEFORE I take the card anywhere important. By doing this right away I usually still have the receipt and can easily replace the bad card. WIT
#14
Southern California
7,747 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by dolfansam
SanDisk memory cards are cheaper, but I have not seen a difference between them and the ones by Sony, Olympus or others as far as quality.
Sony, Olympus,Sandisk, Lexar and the other major players are all considered first-tier vendors. They all have high quality standards and you should find little if any difference between them for similarly-rated cards. My caveat was about second-, third- and x-tier vendors that may be half the price, but offer older, slower tech and/or substandard quality in exchange.

Caveat emptor.

Dave
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#15
NJ
137 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Hello i have a question
can anyone tell me if i can put a bigger card in my camera?
i just got it ant it says it will take upto a 2gb sd card but i wanted to get a bigger card will it work?
the camera was made in 2006
thank you john
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#16
Southern California
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Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by njcruisefan
Hello i have a question
can anyone tell me if i can put a bigger card in my camera?
i just got it ant it says it will take upto a 2gb sd card but i wanted to get a bigger card will it work?
the camera was made in 2006
thank you john
Your camera make and model would be helpful in answering....

Easy guesstimated answers:

If it uses SD memory and it says 2GB max, then that's it. SD memory isn't available over 2GB. For 4GB and higher, you need a camera that supports SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity). The cards are visually identical, but while an SDHC-capable camera can use SD, it doesn't work the other way around. Many, but not all of the newer cameras support SDHC since it's only been around since mid-2006. Since I don't know which end of 2006 your camera was made in, I can only tell you with certainty that your camera will support two 2GB cards for a total of 4GB!

If it is a DSLR and takes CompactFlash memory, chances are that it will support up to the current limit of 16GB. There were a few models that don't support FAT32 (needed to see more than 2GB in a vloume), but I think a 2006 and later model would be a safe bet.

Easiest way to find out would be to go to the manufacturer's website and look up your model. There is usually a FAQ page that has answers to things like that.

Also, don't buy cheap memory. It cracks me up when someone coughs up big $$$ for a camera and then squeals over a $10 difference in the price of good memory!

Buying a 2GB no-name brand at the local supermarket for $14 instead of a Sandisk Ultra II at Costco for $39 may seem like the deal of the week, but getting a "CARD NOT READABLE" error in the middle of your $4,000 cruise eats up those savings in a hurry.

Dave
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#17
NJ
137 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Thank you for your help but you lost me a little my camers is a vivitar x30 10mp and it takes sd card to i guess i can only go up to 2gb.
thank you again john
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#18
Southern California
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Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by njcruisefan
Thank you for your help but you lost me a little my camers is a vivitar x30 10mp and it takes sd card to i guess i can only go up to 2gb.
thank you again john
According to the spec sheet on their site, the Vivitar x30 has 32MB of internal memory and uses SD cards for removeable storage. As I stated above, the SD format only supports up to 2 GB, but that still beats a 24 exposure roll of film by a huge factor! Just pick up a couple of Sandisk Ultra II 2GB cards at Costco ($28.99 online!) and shoot away!

I wrote a beginner-friendly article on resolution and memory that may be of help to you. Look here: http://www.pptphoto.com/ArticlePages...Resolution.htm

Dave
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#19
NJ
137 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Thank you again
now how many pics can i fit on a 2gb card for a 10 mp camera
thanks again john
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#20
Southern California
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Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by njcruisefan
Thank you again
now how many pics can i fit on a 2gb card for a 10 mp camera
thanks again john
No easy way to tell. I have no idea how much the camera's processor compresses the images. My 6MP DSLR produces an averave of a 4mb file while my 7.1mp Canon pocket camera produces an average 2.2mb file. For a 10mp compact, I'd gurss at about a 3.5mb file, so a 2GB chip might hold 600-700 images. Because every image compresses differently, this is at best a guess.

The easiest way is to plug whatever size empty chip you have into the camera and read how many shots the camera estimates are left. If you have a 256mb chip and the camera says you have room for 75 shots left, just multiply that by eight for 2GB. Since your camera has 32mb of internal memory, shoot until it fills up and multiply that number of shots by 64. Still, it's never going to be an exact number.

A safe bet is to buy more memory than you ever think you'll need...that way you'll usually have almost enough!

Dave
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