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Sony and xD: Thanks for the Memories

Sony and xD: Thanks for the Memories

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The new Sony and Olympus models announced at CES take SD memory, meaning xD and Memory Stick formats are on the way out. And that's a good thing. But what to do with those old cards?

By Jack Howard

January 13, 2010

One of the more interesting photocentric bits to come out of the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas was the news that Sony's new consumer-level compacts are now dual-format for memory, accepting both Sony's proprietary Memory Stick and the near-universal SD card, and that Olympus has now migrated its compact line to the SD platform as well, a move that began with the E-P1 and E-P2. This is great news for consumers. It really is.


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Olympus and Sony customers now have a much wider choice of brand options for different feature sets in terms of speed, capacity, and value-add goodies, from brands such as Lexar, Sandisk, Eye-Fi, and a whole host of others. Shooting with a new Sony digicam on a Caribbean holiday and fill up that quirky little Memory Stick? Don't delete photos! Just pop on down to the hotel's Sundry shop and they'll probably have more options for SD cards than film!  But if you were to ask for a Type M xD card for your older Olympus or Fujifilm camera at that same little shop in the islands, you'd almost definitely be out of luck!

We're glad to see xD and Memory Sticks fade away, because in this case more standardization means better deals and more choices for the end users. But there is a problem. What to do with all the on-the-way-to-obsolescence  xD and Memory Stick cards (as well as tiny capacity CF, SD and MMC cards) you've got hanging out in your drawers?

So here as a public service from Jack and Mason are some suggestions on what to do with those obselete or undersized memory cards you've got lying around:


Replacement markers for all your favorite board games. Lost the shoe for Monopoly? No worries if you've still got an xD or Memory Stick card in your junk drawer when game night rolls around!  (JH)

Level a wobbly table leg. Many people use a matchbook for this, but I'd argue a book of matches is actually much more useful than that 16 Megabyte CompactFlash card that shipped with your first DSLR back in 2002 that's still in your spare camera card wallet. (JH)

Set-it-and-forget-it expanded memory for a preloaded digital picture frame. Throw a bunch of photos onto that 512MB Memory Stick and put it in a digital picture frame as a gift to your grandmother.  (JH)

Custom fishing lures. Drill or punch a hole through a few obsolete memory cards and tie 'em to a hook and line to see if you can't still catch some keepers with those old cards. (JH)

Make a necklace pendant. Drill a hole as in #4. Put a chain through the hole. Hang it on your neck. You'll look high tech on a low budget. Got two? Think earrings! (MR)

Make a digital pinhole camera. Use your smallest bit and drill a hole in that old 8MB xD card. Attach to side of a box that's been painted black inside using black Gaffer's Tape. Follow Rich Legg's instructions to complete the project and make an ironic artistic statement. (MR)

Got any other silly or serious ideas for what to do with old memory cards? Join the conversation!



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