Digital Focus: Punch Up Photos With the Histogram

Q&A: Can Memory Cards Affect Image Quality?

Has anyone compared various memory cards to see how they affect factors like resolution, color, sharpness, and so on? I have two Kodak digital cameras. One uses CompactFlash, while the other one takes an Secure Digital memory card. Both have about the same resolution (3.2 megapixels). But it seems to me that the camera with the CompactFlash card gives sharper photos. I realize the cameras themselves are different (one is a DX3900, and the other is a DX6340). What is the difference in the quality provided by the two cards?

--Stan K, Barstow, California

Actually, Stan, you answered your own question at the end of the letter. It's the difference in the two cameras--their optics and image processor--that result in differing levels of sharpness. The memory cards are not to blame.

The key here is the word digital. Unlike film cameras, which use an analog media that can affect the quality of the image, digital cameras store their images in digital files. Memory cards (no matter what type they are) store digital files, just like floppy disks, hard drives, and optical discs. A digital photo file will contain exactly the same information no matter which media it's stored on. As a result, the photos that file yields will all be of the same quality--and copies will be identical to the original. Your different memory cards will not affect that basic fact.

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