Flash Memory for Camcorders: Lightweight, Fast and Powerful…!

Flash memory for camcorders has revolutionized the camera industry by making it easy to have smaller more portable camcorders and digital cameras that give you more power and reliability than ever before...!

Here's what you need to know about this digital camera storage media…!

What Is Flash Memory…?

Flash memory is the most popular form of digital camera storage media today. It was first developed by Toshiba in the early 1980s from EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) technology.

What's in a Name…?

The name "Flash" was suggested because the data stored in the device is erased by using a sudden "flash" of electricity reminding the inventors of the flash of a camera.

So ... What exactly is it…? Flash memory is high-density electronic memory (in the form of memory cells) that are stored on solid-state devices such as:

*  Memory cards and sticks

*  USB flash drives

*  Solid-state drives (SSD)

Flash memory is non-volatile meaning: The data will not be lost when the device has no power. It can be erased and reprogrammed at will.

Camcorder flash memory is mainly used for storage and transfer of data and is very popular because of it's...

  • Fast read/write access times
  • Data compressibility (you can fit a lot of data in a little space)
  • Physical compactness (thin small cards or sticks) and...
  • Durability of its solid-state storage mediums.

What Are Some of the Advantages of Using Flash Memory…?

One of the many advantages of using flash memory for camcorders is that it involves no  moving parts...

Unlike other digital storage media such as:

 Hard drives :

Which use a mechanical arm that reads and writes to a rapidly revolving disc.

 DVDs or Mini DVDs  :

The DVD is a solid-state medium but the camcorder must use an intricate disc drive and a precise laser system to Read/Write  to it.

Some Other Advantages of Using this Type of Memory...

 * Flash memory is light, durable and quiet... Again... All electronic, no moving parts such as in a hard drive.

    * It uses much less power than hard drives and disc drives and is less likely to be affected by shocks, dust, temperature, high pressure, altitude, moisture, etc.

 * Another reason that flash memory for camcorders is so attractive to both consumers and camera makers is that the endurance cycle ratings (how many times that you can read/write to the media) is very good. It is somewhere around 100,000 cycles before the integrity of the storage unit begins to deteriorate

 * Data stored in flash memory will have about 10 years or more of shelf storage life.

 * It is also easy to have an extra supply of the small, lightweight flash memory cards or sticks... When you fill a memory card with video footage, you can always take out the full one, quickly pop an empty card into the camcorder and continue shooting!

Flash Memory for Camcorders… The Drawbacks…

Some of the only drawbacks with flash memory cards or sticks are:

  • The "cost per megabyte " ratio is still higher than hard drives.
  • Not all computers have memory card readers making it difficult to download directly from the card.
  • Read/Write protection isn't as secure as some other forms of digital storage media.
  • Due to their size... the flash memory cards or sticks are more easily left behind, lost, stolen or misplaced.
  • Large hard drives still have much more capacity at this point.
  • Flash memory is subject to "memory wear".

What is "Memory Wear" In Flash Memory Devices…?

Flash memory is subject to what is called "memory wear".

Flash memory is essentially a collection of tiny capacitors that are charged and discharged continuously as data is written or retrieved from memory.

The memory wear it comes from this ... To activate the capacitors...  a relatively higher voltage than normal is needed to push electrons across the insulating layer of the capacitor to charge it.

The insulating layer is extremely thin and the process of charging and discharging  (reading/writing/erasing) will eventually burn a hole in the material and this is called "memory wear".

The Golden Rule Is…

Always back-up your video footage to another digital media storage device or website and you will be okay!

Because of this memory wear the flash memory unit has a finite number of program/erase (P/E) cycles.

Most flash memory is guaranteed to withstand about 100,000 P/E cycles before the memory wear begins to affect the data integrity.

Actually... 100,000 P/E cycles is pretty good…!

But… you just have to make sure that you're aware that at some point the flash memory will deteriorate.

 So... Just remember that… At that point the memory stick or card will start to malfunction or fail.

Flash memory for camcorders has quickly become the most popular form of memory storage for digital devices... and for good reason!

It's easy to use, compact and lightweight, fast, powerful and affordable.

The continuing advent of smaller and smaller digital devices will ensure that flash memory will be around for a long time...!

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Have fun...!  Dan

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