I’ve recently done a 180 degree turnaround regarding photo storage. I used to swear by CF cards feeling that they were somehow superior as the professionals choice. However I’m beginning to re-think the whole notion of “professional photography” altogether…
When I first got my D7000 I was annoyed by the fact that it only used SD cards. After using that camera exclusively for several months now I’ve gained some perspective that makes me appreciate a few unique advantages of SD cards:
1.) Smaller = better. I don’t know about you, but I’m hauling my camera gear around 200 days out of the year. After a while it begins to feel like a burden. The more I can consolidate and pare down, the better. For example, I can fit eight SD cards in the same pouch that only holds four CF cards. More importantly, manufacturers can take advantage of the smaller form factor, which brings me to my next point…
2.) They can fit two SD card slots in the same space as a single CF card slot. My D7000 has two SD slots which give me a few very nifty options for where and how the camera saves each image. For event photography I use it as Overflow so I never have to worry about missing a moment because my card is full. If I’m shooting some “must have” moments I’ll set it to Backup, and then I can rest easy knowing that the photos are already stored in two places. I didn’t realize it at first, but I’ve come to love that second card slot. (Yes, I know some cameras have dual CF slots. See #4 below.)
3.) Have you ever taken your laptop to a shoot only to realize that you left your card reader at home? Most laptops already have a built-in SD card reader. In fact, SD is the only direct-media port Apple included on it’s retina display laptops. Alternatively other laptops may have an expansion slot where you can install an integrated SD reader. I got this one by SanDisk and now I never have to think twice about packing a card reader. It’s one less thing to carry, and one less thing to remember.
4.) Eye-Fi cards only come in SD flavors. Personally I think the biggest shortcoming of DSLR cameras today is the lack of wireless connectivity. If I can take a picture and upload it to Instagram immediately on a cheap cell phone there’s no excuse for why I can’t do it on my DSLR camera. Nevertheless I digress for now. Eye-fi cards allow me to extend my images onto my tablet or phone by wirelessly transferring them from my camera. I can’t tell you how many clients are impressed by this.
Everyone should have their own reasons for what gear they use and why they do what they do. For me these advantages are significant enough to change the way I work. It gives me a little extra edge not to mention my clients benefit from it too.