By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Flash memory manufacturers brought both premium product as well as cards designed to coax digital newcomers into digital photography to PMA, held here last month.
Delkin added new SD PRO cards to its eFilm flash memory card line. The cards will initially be available in capacities of 256MB (for a suggested $129) and 512MB ($299) with a 1GB card expected in the second quarter. Delkin said the cards achieve a transfer rate of up to 10MB per second.
Lexar Media introduced 60x speed-rated SD cards with a minimum sustained write speed of 9MB per second. The cards will be available later this month in 256MB and 512MB capacities with expected retails of $109.99 and $259.99, respectively.
The company also added an 8GB CompactFlash card to its Professional Series line of high-end memory cards. The new card delivers a minimum sustained write speed of 6MBps (40x rated). Lexar's 8GB cards will also include a free copy of the company's Image Rescue 2.0 image recovery software. Pricing was not available.
Finally, the company doubled the minimum sustained write speed of its total Professional Series Compact-Flash line to 12MB per second (80x), available in 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities. The new cards will ship in April with Image Rescue 2.0.
PNY Technologies introduced a new, high-speed Optima line of SD and CompactFlash cards that offer a sustained write speed of up to 5MBps and 6MBps, respectively. Both lines will ship in the second quarter. Optima SD cards will be available in 128MB and 256MB capacities for a suggested $89.99 and $119.99, respectively. The Compact-Flash cards will be offered in 128MB to 1GB, from $69.99 to $329.99.
SanDisk used PMA to announce that it is maneuvering portions of its flash memory lineup to a new distribution channel: food and drug stores. It announced a new brand "Shoot and Store" that will appear on lower-priced SD, Compact-Flash and Smart-Memory cards, in addition to the company's TV Photo-Viewer.
The SD and CompactFlash cards will come in 32MB ($14.99) and 64MB ($24.99) capacities, the SmartMedia only in 32MB. Rather than emphasizing MB, SanDisk will stress the number of pictures consumers can typically store on a card. As such, the 32MB capacity will be prominently labeled "50 Pictures" and 64MB as "100 Pictures."
The number of pictures cited is based on a 1-megapixel camera in high-resolution mode, SanDisk said. A chart on the rear of the package will convey how many images the card can hold for higher-resolution models.
SanDisk plans to ship 100-picture cards by the middle of the year, as well as bring Memory Stick PRO and xD memory cards to the Shoot and Store line.
The goal of the new line is to encourage consumers to archive images on the memory card, rather than deleting and reusing the cards. The logic, said a SanDisk spokesperson, is to integrate digital photography into the film workflow that consumers are familiar with. The company plans on introducing an optional accessory CD-sized jewel case to hold both photo prints and memory cards like a typical photo album.
After an 800-outlet test involving a number of grocery and drug store chains, SanDisk has landed Rite Aid as the first official distributor of the Shoot and Store line.
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