What is Used by a Digital Camera for Storage?

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Updated July 27, 2022

What is used by a digital camera for storage? The average stock camera may come with 64MB of internal storage. A memory card with a minimum of 1GB is sufficient to replace the stock camera memory. The most common storage option for digital cameras include CompactFlash cards (Type I and Type II), memory sticks, SmartMedia, MicroDrive, and xD Picture. As you learn about camera storage solutions, also learn more about the best digital camera that you can use, as well as why the white screen turns purple on your digital camera.


  • SD memory cards with Extended FAT as the digital default are commonly used in prosumer and high-end DSLRs.
  • Compact Flash memory cards are popular storage options in professional cameras.
  • A Memory stick is only available for Sony Cameras.

Different Types of Memory Cards for Digital Cameras

xD-Picture Cards

You can use an xD Flash memory card in a camera that supports Compact Flash cards storage, but you need to use a Compact Flash adapter. The xD Flash Memory Card is an old flash memory card popular with Fujifilm and Olympus in the 2000s. The earlier versions supporting Compact Flash had a storage capacity of anywhere from 16MB to 2GB. This storage standard was unavailable in the 21st century in favor of SD cards. Feel free to read about what is the smallest digital camera to understand how smaller devices operate and store data.

Insider Tip

Most DSLRs and professional-level gear use CF cards which are also known as Compact Flashcards.

Secure Digital Cards

The SD card standard capacity ranges from 128 MB to 2GB. The SD high capacity option that runs on SDA 2.0 stores up to 32GB with a default card format of FAT32. To get 64GB or 2TB to store RAW files, use the SD eXtended capacity that runs on SDA 3.0 and Extended FAT as the default file format. When you look at all types of memory cards, the SD card is the most popular. It is also important to read more about what is write protection on my digital camera.

Memory Sticks

Sony created memory sticks for their Cybershot cameras. Out of all the memory card brands, Sony is the only brand that used a memory stick. However, you can find a memory stick in other Sony products like the PSP. The original capacity was 128 MB, 32 GB for the PRO series, and 2TB for the XC series. That said, you’ll want high storage capacity, especially if you have a digital camera with HDR capabilities.

SmartMedia Cards

In 2001, SmartMedia cards were popular, representing 50% of the memory cards in the market. Developed by Toshiba, the storage device consists of a Flash-Memory chip with storage capacities of up to 256MB. However, two decades ago, they cost 300% of the current prices. This is good news, because you’ll want to have backup storage cards since the bad thing about digital cameras is that they frequently write SD cards, which can cause them to become corrupt.

The storage media for cameras is constantly improving and evolving in capacity and quality. Years ago, the max storage capacity was 256MB with a high price tag. Still, technology is extending memory card capacities to Terabytes.


Always carry a few backup memory cards because they tend to get corrupted.


What type of memory card storage does your camera have?

All digital cameras use some form of storage device, which in most cases is a flash memory card.

How is data stored in a digital camera?

Digital cameras collect data from an array of pixels, then convert them to electrical pulses coded with ones and zeroes (an equivalent of on and off) chained in groups.

What are the two ways of storing digital images?

You can store data on USB thumb drives, SD cards, Bly-ray disks, DVDs, NAS (Network Attached Storage), and cloud services.

What are the primary digital camera types?

The four primary types of digital cameras include the DSLR, compact, mirrorless cameras, and bridge cameras. Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs have interchangeable lenses.

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