It didn’t take long for company to come knocking on Toshiba’s door after their Q4, 2007 announcement of a 32GB SDHC card. Released in January of 2008, Toshiba’s card will now have about 3-month head start on 32GB offerings announced at PMA from both SanDisk and Panasonic.
The SanDisk effort, a 32GB SDHC card with read and write speeds of 15MB/sec will carry a $349 MSRP. SanDisk also introduced a 16GB card as well with a $179 price tag. Both of these cards will be available in April.
Panasonic quickly countered with their own 32GB SDHC card with a Class 6 speed specification, claiming read/write speeds of 20MB/sec. The MSRP on this one is $699.
The push here certainly coincides nicely with all the HD-enabled DSCs and camcorders that were announced at CES and PMA. A 32GB SDHC card can hold approximately 5 hours of full resolution 1080i video and up to 6,800 images from the typical 12MP point-and-shoot digicam. Clearly the feasibility of a flash-based camcorder becomes more likely with these rising capacities and speeds and the pro market will undoubtedly love the ability to shoot in “raw” mode – Canon’s EOS-1Ds Mark III supports SDHC – and not worry about running out of room in a hour’s time. However, the idea that consumers can now leave libraries of images on 8, 16, or 32GB cards might not be overly appealing to imaging retailers as those images are often shared in-camera using a slideshow mode and may now be far less likely to ever get printed. Image sharing habits are constantly changing and retailers must stay a step ahead today to capitalize and encourage consumers to clear off those cards for prints and/or various photo gift items. Picture Business will be taking a closer look at the changing imaging habits of today’s consumer in an upcoming issue.