CompactFlash Card

Compact Flash, sometimes shortened to CF, is a type of mass memory storage used in portable electronic devices. The CompactFlash card technology was developed by SanDisk in 1994 and has grown in popularity throughout the years so that it is now used in a variety of electronic devices.

CompactFlash cards generally use flash memory within a standardized enclosure to store information. Over the years, CompactFlash cards have become increasingly popular as a memory storage device in digital cameras. Though CompactFlash cards have recently started being replaced by smaller cards (such as the SD memory card, also made by SanDisk), they still remain in popular usage for one of the most common types of digital cameras – the SLR (or single lens reflex camera.) Essentially, CompactFlash has historically been one of the most successful mass memory storage devices and has maintained control of its niche, professional digital camera users. One reason for this maintained control is that CompactFlash cards are considered more durable and rugged for the harsh conditions in which photographers sometimes find themselves.

CompactFlash cards are generally a little bigger than what we have lately come to associate with memory cards. And in fact, there are actually two types of CompactFlash cards. The type 1 is 3.3 mm thick, and the type 2 is 5 mm thick. While the CompactFlash card type 1 is in general usage, the CompactFlash card type 2 is commonly used in devices such as microdrives (a miniature, 1-inch hard disk.) Further, There are four main speeds of cards including the original Compact Flash, CompactFlash High Speed (using CF+/CF2.0), a faster CompactFlash 3.0 standard and an even faster CompactFlash 4.0. As a rule of thumb, the thickness of the CF card type is dictated by the preceding PC Card standard which was used for data storage in previous years.

Many computer users will tell you that CompactFlash memory is efficient and cost-effective. They generally have high storage capacity in relation to cost, and their sturdy manufacture means that they have a long usage life. CompactFlash cards can be used directly in a PC Card slot with a plug adapter, used as an ATA (IDE) or PCMCIA storage device with a passive adapter or with a reader, or attached various other types of ports, including the ubiquitous USB port. As the technology advances and some of the newer CompactFlash card types become smaller, some can be used directly in a CompactFlash card slot along with an adapter.

But be careful when you find a deal on CompactFlash card that seems too cheap or too good to be true. There has been a widespread rash of counterfeiting of memory cards, and that includes all memory cards, not just CompactFlash cards. Unscrupulous sellers may sell low-capacity cards formatted to indicate a higher capacity, or else use types of memory which are not intended for extensive rewriting. It is for this reason that you should do your homework before buying a CompactFlash card or other memory card on eBay or from a seller you have never heard of.

It is not uncommon for counterfeiter’s to even find ways to penetrate the supply chains of reputable electronic stores such as Best Buy or Radio Shack, so always consult a professional salesperson if you are unsure of the quality of a CompactFlash card you are considering purchasing. Some reputable CompactFlash card manufacturers include ATP, Canon, FujiFilm, Kodak, Lexar, Memorex, Olympus, Panasonic, San Disk, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and UMAX. Just because their names do not appear on this list does not make them a counterfeiter, but it is better to be safe than sorry before using an inferior product in your expensive electronic device.

This CompactFlash Card Review is Written/Updated on Jul 31st, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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