Storage of Photos and Videos on Digital Cameras

Some higher-end professional cameras use PCMCIA hard disk drives as their storage medium. Although they consume no power once images are recorded, and have much higher capacity than flash memory (a 170MB drive is capable of storing up to 3,200 images standard 640 by 480 images), the hard disk option has some disadvantages. An average PC Card hard disk consumes around 2.5W of power when spinning idle, more when reading/writing, and even more when spinning up. This means it’s impractical to spin up the drive, take a couple of shots and shut it down again; all shots have to be taken and stored in one go, and even then the camera’s battery will last a pitifully short length of time. Fragility and reliability are also a major concern. The moving parts and extremely tight mechanical tolerances to which hard drives are built make them inherently less reliable than solid-state media. With the resolution of still digital cameras increasing apace and the emergence of digital video cameras, the need for flexible, high-capacity image storage solutions has never been greater. In 1999 Iomega launched an innovative removable storage device intended for use in digital cameras as well as notebook and handheld devices. The battery-powered Clik! drive supports the PC Card interface and provides a capacity of 40MB on its 10g, 50x50mm media. It comes complete with an adapter, allowing the transfer of images from CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards to its significantly cheaper 40MB magnetic disk media. The following year Agfa’s ePhoto CL30 Clik! became the first digital camera to use Clik! disks as its primary mode of storage. Mid-1999 also saw...

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