SanDisk, which makes and sells more Flash memory cards for digital cameras than anybody else, on June 24 unveiled what it claims is the world's fastest 32GB card -- one that has both the capacity and I/O speed to handle HD video clips.
SanDisk's Extreme SDHC card features a sustained write speed -- up to 30 megabits-per-second -- fast enough to capture a storehouse of up to 160 minutes of full HD (1920x1080) video at a 24Mb/s data transfer rate, the company said.
The card also is compliant to the SD Association's new Class 10 specification, which exceeds requirements for today's high-definition (AVCHD) video recording, SanDisk said.
A memory card's write speed plays a crucial role in the overall system of the camera when taking pictures in rapid succession, SanDisk director of Retail Product Marketing Susan Park said.
"If a card cannot process data quickly enough, then the burst-mode shooting may pause unexpectedly as the card catches up to the camera," Park said.
Burst-mode bottlenecks can lead to missing an important shot, especially at sporting or other fast-motion events, Park said.
Naturally, the Extreme SDHC's capabilities are also a good fit for still photographers.
"The market for entry to mid-level DSLR cameras is growing," Park said. "This card's 32GB of storage and fast read/write speeds enable DSLR users to shoot without worrying about storage or speed limitations."
Recently-released DSLR camera models like the Nikon D90 and D5000 offer consumers the ability to record HD videos and produce large files that can fill lesser-capacity cards quickly. Conventional high-megapixel DSLRs also can generate massive still images like those produced in the RAW format used by professional photographers who want to take advantage of the enhanced picture quality and flexibility that RAW allows during post production.
RAW images demand up to 10 times as much storage space as compressed JPEG images, and when taken in rapid succession during burst mode can quickly fill smaller storage cards. The 32GB SanDisk Extreme SDHC card can store up to 2,500 RAW images, Park said.
The SanDisk Extreme SDHC 32GB cards will begin shipping worldwide to major retailers in August.