* Prices may differ from that shown
Memory cards are not, in all fairness, the most exciting products the world has to offer. However, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for CompactFlash cards. This may be seen by some as further evidence of my deteriorating state of sanity, but actually I think there's method in my madness when it comes to these things. Unlike the SD (SDHC. SDXC, etc) cards that most camera users are more familiar with these days, CF cards have a really nice chunky feel to them that I think gives them a friendlier, more robust feel. This 32 MB card from SanDisk is getting on a bit now, but it still does a job in certain conditions.
This is a small-capacity card even for older digital cameras, and I probably wouldn't have bought one myself even at a knock-down price. Mine came inside an old Canon camera that I picked up second-hand, and of course any unexpected freebie is welcome when that happens. It looks just like every other SanDisk CF card of its vintage, with bold red and blue areas of colour on the front and a plain back face. As with most old SanDisks, in the gap between them there's a rather attractive rainbow swirl; even so many years on, I don't think the company has come up with a colour-scheme as pleasant on the eyes as this one.
For the purposes of this review, the card was tested in my "old faithful" Canon PowerShot A75, one of the last cameras in that series to use CF memory before they switched over to SD. As it's a three-megapixel digicam, a 32 MB card is really a bit tight for practical use: at the highest resolution settings a file takes up about 1.6 MB, meaning that you can store a mere 18 on this card. Even if you switch down from "superfine" to "fine" mode, the storage capacity doesn't rise much above the 30 mark. Still, the camera recognised the card without problems and except for the small amount of space you wouldn't know you weren't using a more recent 1 GB card.
This isn't a blisteringly rapid card, and with a camera like the Canon, which has one or two tricks up its sleeve, it can occasionally become slightly limiting. If you're using a more basic model, then this isn't likely to be a problem, and let's face it: a 32 MB card is not a desperately good choice for continuous-shooting or movie modes in the first place! You can buy one of these for the usual pittance of a couple of pounds on eBay, though they're becoming quite scarce now and prices are just beginning to rise. Personally I'd strongly recommend getting a 256 MB card instead, which in pence per byte terms is much better value. This 32 MB card is a historical curio, really.
CompactFlash is the world's smallest removable mass storage device. CF cards are designed with flash technology, a non-volatile storage solution that does not require a battery to retain data indefinitely. CompactFlash storage products are solid state, meaning they contain no moving parts, and provide users with much greater protection of their data than conventional magnetic disk drives.