Digital Camera Memory Cards Types & Differences

List of most frequently used memory cards are given below.

1. Secure Digital (SD) & Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
2. Multi Media Card (MMC) & MMC Plus Card
3. Compact Flash I & II (CF)
4. xD-Picture Card (xD)
5. Memory Stick (MS)
6. Smart Media (SM).

1. Secure Digital (SD) & Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)

SD & SDHC Famous memory card types used in many devices like PDA’s, Mobile Phones, GPS ets are the SD cards which capacities ranges from 8 MB to 2 GB. SD cards are not available above 2GB however any SD card that is above 2GB limit will be the SDHC (secure digital high capacity) Card that is from 4 GB to 32 GB. This is the only difference between the SD and SDHC memory card. Before taking a digital camera we need to check whether it supports for SDHC memory card or not other wise it will not bear any memory card above 2GB.
Note: These Memory cards are called secured because it has built-in security functions to helps a secure exchange of content including copyright (music) protection.

2. Multi Media Card (MMC) & MMC Plus Card

These Memory cards are much Thiner (& Somewhat smaller) than the SD cards with two pins less. If we consider the visible size of these memory cards it fits into SD card slots however not all so we need to be careful while purchasing these memory cards and read its specification first that whether they will fit into the space of camera or not.
Note: SDHC and MMC’s are the most smaller memory cards available in market and are most widely used however there is only one difference between SDHC & MMC that is Secure Digital cards have a write-protect switch for data security

3. Compact Flash I & II(CF):

In term of storage capacity compact flash memory cards are most reliable. This format is used with many devices and is available above 2.2 GB so our camera needs to support FAT32. Compact Flash is available in two types, type I & Type II. The only difference between these two types is thickness (3.3mm and 5.0mm). Among these two flash memories Type I is the most popular and commonly used memory.

4. xD Picture Card:

This memory card format is focused on very small digital cameras and is very tiny. Introduced by Olympus & Fuji digital cameras so Mostly these cameras supports it However any camera which supports compact flash memory card will support xD picture card as well. currently available with 512MB capacity.

5. Memory Stick (MS)

Memory Stick is compatible with only Sony Cybershot digital cameras & other Sony devices (Exceptions can be there). Memory Stick was developed by Sony and if we are using it with a Sony digital camera we must know that if we will change our digital camera this memory stick will be of no use However if we use some other Sony devices like MP3 players, Selected Vios or PDA’s etc. there are chances that we can use it later on.
Memory Stick up to 256 MB capacity is available & Sony New memory Stick Pro is available in capacities up to 1GB.

6. Smart Media:

Smart Media memory card is much bigger in size however thinner than the compact flash memory. As these memory cards are most Fragile thats why their reliability is lesser. Due to the reason this memory format is not easily available in market and even the digital cameras does not announce its compatibility with their digital cameras in specifications. Available upto 128MB capacities.


Before purchasing any memory card we need to make sure that our camera supports that memory card format. Most preferable memory cards available and widely used are SDHC & MMC due to their reliability & larger capacities.