A new type of ultra-compact memory media developed jointly by Olympus and Fuji has again upped the "size v capacity" stakes in the burgeoning digital photography marketplace. Known as the xD-Picture Card, the high-performance storage media holds more images at a higher-resolution and enables recording of full frame movies despite being not much larger than a mobile phone SIM card.
The xD cards has been incorporated into Fujifilm digital cameras in Australia since September and according to Hanimex Product Manager for Digital Cameras, Louise Cummins, it's the smallest type of digital memory card available. "The xD-Picture Card will also use minimal power resulting in a longer battery life, and have a faster image capture time," Ms Cummins said.
Currently avaiable in 16MB, 32MB, 64MB and128 MB formats, the capacity of the the xD-Picture Cards is expected to steadily increase - a 256MB version will be available in December with 1GB and 2GB cards by 2003, eventually expanding this to a massive 8GB format.
And of course as the recording media shrink, so too will the cameras, although SmartMedia users will continue to be supported by the emerging hardware. A CompactFlash adaptor is also being developed that will allow the use of xD-Picture Cards in cameras designed for CompactFlash
The new xD-Picture Card is expected to retail at an equivalent price to that of SmartMedia cards. PC Card adaptors and USB card readers compatible with the xD Picture Cards are also available.