Compact Flash Cards and Digital Media
Great for back up and recording video and large files from high end DSLR's
Compact Flash Cards and Digital Media, SD and CFast Cards
If you own a digital camera, you probably received a very small and fairly useless compact flash memory card. Maybe a memory stick of around 16 or 32MB with it. I would suspect that the person selling you the camera also sold you another, larger media card?
One thing that is absolutely essential in photography, is back up Compact Flash Cards and Digital Media Storage. Whether it be film, Compact Flash, SD Cards, Memory Sticks or a portable hard drive.
If you are a keen amateur or beginner, there is nothing that will hinder your progress or frustrate you more than running out of digital media space. Or having a memory card that is too slow to cope with your camera. Obviously you have the capability of deleting images to make room. However, that is something I never do until I have checked them out on the computer first, just in case.
It is possible that:
Back up your images
Back up, back up and back up! Always have a back up of your most important files!
If you are shooting say, a wedding or portraits for money, you do not want any of the above to happen to you. It is sacrilege. I once lost over 50 images at a wedding due to card failure and my heart stopped! Luckily with a bit of skill and good data recovery software I was able to recover all of them.
I carry around 10-12 Compact Flash Cards and a bunch of SD Cards ranging from 32GB to 256GB and speeds of up to 1000X. All depending on the job so I have all angles covered. Larger, faster cards are for recording 4K video for example. I even use up to 1TB hard drives for recording video to an external video recorder like the Atomos range.
Think about what you need them for and buy within your budget getting as best you can for your money.
Of all the Compact Flash Cards and Digital Media, I would recommend either the Sandisk range for their incredible speed, capacity and reliability or the Lexar range for pretty much the same reason. Lexar have a "professional" range that is second to none.
Early days of Lexar cards
Even with some early firmware problems with the Lexar 2GB 80X compact flash card (when used with the Canon 1D MKII and now discontinued), I returned the card and the customer service was exceptional. Within a week of sending it to the UK I had received a brand new card with firmware upgrades. Also some bonus data recovery software installed, and it works extremely well.
Update 2012: 5 years later the card is still going strong!
Update January 2018: Lexar discontinued the manufacture of all removable storage in June 2017. However, you can still purchase the cards online and don't fear, they are super reliable.
For some of the best prices around and a fast and reliable service, we recommend Amazon Memory Cards for online shopping.
Follow the links above to their Compact Flash Media pages and have a browse around their store, they both have some great prices and their ordering service is quick, simple and reliable.