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Remarkable drop in cost of memory cards

Cost of 1GB SD cards falls by £270 in five years

San Disk 1GB SD memory card

San Disk 1GB SD memory card

The first 1GB SD card was launched five years ago by San Disk. The cost of the SD card was around £275, but a card with the same capacity can today be bought from Amazon for as little as £3.20.

SD cards have played an integral role in the rapid uptake of portable devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and digital cameras. Their increased storage capacities have also made HD camcorders a more viable option due to the size of files that HD camcorders create.

Shipping of the world’s first 1GB SD card began in January 2004, and the card was reported as costing $499.99 (£276) on Digital Photography Review’s website.

San Disk now make SD (secure digital) memory cards as large as 8GB, which retail for less than £10.

Memory card storage capacity

SDHC (secure digital high capacity) cards are now available with capacities reaching 32GB. Such cards are able to store upwards of 5,000 digital photographs taken at full resolution on a 10Mp digital camera. Alternatively, if used with a compatible MP3 player, you would be able to store in the region of 6,000 MP3 tracks.

Ben Stevens, Which? researcher, said: ‘It can be interesting to track the cost of technology over the years. Many devices that are currently out of many people’s price ranges, such as OLED TVs and Blu-ray disc players, are likely to become more affordable as the cost of production comes down – as long as the new technology is a success.

‘The success of the SD card is down to its versatility and portability. Many users are favouring the format over the popular CDs and DVDs, due to the SD card’s capacity potential and the fact that it doesn’t need to move in order to be read.’

Which? product reviews

Which? has reports on a wide range of reports on products that use SD cards – including mobile phone reviews, digital camera reviews, digital SLR reviews, MP3 player reviews, camcorder reviews and high definition camcorder reviews. Many printers also feature slots for SD cards, which allow you to print your photos directly.

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