Previous Back to Index
Managing your Camera’s Memory


Unlike film cameras digital cameras allow you to take photographs of varying resolution and compression. You have two controls over the image quality in respect to memory. Firstly, you can control the pixel dimensions. The more pixels in your image the higher the quality. The more pixels the more memory the image uses. Secondly, you can control the amount that the image is compressed. This ‘compression’ is described differently on different cameras. Compression can be described as Fine, Normal and Basic or it can be described with one star, two stars and three stars.


Think of memory as a 44 gallon drum into which you are placing basketballs. Each basketball represents an image of large dimensions eg 3 megapixels. We may be able to put 12 basketballs into the drum. However, if we choose tennis balls we may be able to fit 100 tennis balls. A tennis ball is like a small image – say 0.3 megapixels.


Following on with this analogy if we squash the basketballs down really hard we may be able to increase the number of basketballs in the drum from 12 to 25. Or we can increase the number of tennis balls in the drum from 100 to 200. When we take the squashed basketballs or tennis balls from the drum we are hoping that they will regain their original shape and look like they did before we squashed them. In most cases they look pretty much the same but they have lost a bit of quality.


In the same way, when we use compression techniques on digital images some information is lost in the quest for packing more images in.



Tips for managing your camera’s memory:


Card sizes --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Number of cards -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Back-ups ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Formatting/Deleting ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


JPEG or RAW ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Intended use --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------