Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In defense of Memory Sticks

One of the things that caught my eye in yesterday's write-up by Adam Wilt on the forthcoming NXCAM is his defense of Memory Stick. For those who are so engrossed in video gear that they haven't yet encountered Memory Stick, it's Sony's own flash format that has got a lot of bad press from many sectors (and users.) Yeah, it's a drag to have multiple memory card formats, but it's not like there's only one other format. As Adam says:

I hear you: “Oh, no, not Memory Sticks! Why is Sony forcing me to buy their weird proprietary media?”


I dunno ‘bout you folks, but I’ve long since given up on being able to stock one card type exclusively. I have four still cameras, each of which uses a different type of card (CF, SD, Memory Stick, and MS Pro Duo; two of the cameras are Nikons, and there’s no prize for guessing who makes the other two).

He then goes on to point out that prices have come down now that Lexar and SanDisk are making them, (though they are still more expensive than SD cards) and asks how often anyone actually moves cards between cameras? [Even though I have cameras that share card formats, the cards pretty much stay with the camera they were bought for -Ed]

Perhaps just as interesting is his note about the price of SxS cards used in the Sony EX1R. Which got me thinking, because if you're like me and been salivating over the NXCAM, you may have also cast a glance at it's big brother, the EX1R. The EX1R is just over $6,000, and the NXCAM is thought to be about $4,000. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound; maybe it would be better to get the EX1R. But the EX1R's SxS cards will set you back abut $500 for 16GB (at todays prices.) Which means - in essence - that you have to add about $1,000 to the price of the EX1R to get it rolling, which means that the EX1R is really going to be about $3,000 more, not $2,000, than the NXCAM. An interesting thought.

Hopefully some of this will be cleared up in the next couple of days as I'm hoping Sony announces the price, model name and ship date of the NXCAM at CES....of course, Sony may be perverse and not do so, as it's a consumer show, and the NXCAM is currently being pitched as professional video, but lets hope...

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