Over the last year, I have purchased two Canon digital cameras. Both are excellent, and I would recommend them to anyone. But each came with a worthless 32 MB SD flash card. So did the (now broken) HP point-and-shoot I picked up last year. And the Nikon that preceded the Canon. In fact, it appears that just about every digital camera comes with a tiny, mostly-useless “starter” memory card.
I understand the reasoning of including a memory card – the camera won’t function without one, and people like to be able to play with their new electronics right out of the box.
But who thought it was a good idea to include such a tiny card? We’ve been stick at 32 MB for at least five years! Because of the megapixel wars, what was once a small-but-usable card is now little more than e-waste. Out of the box, my 8 megapixel Canons would fill up the included card with just 14 shots. And who makes these things? Are the 256 Mbit flash chips they use even still in production?
I’m sure the rationalization is that adding a reasonably-sized card would ratchet up the price of the camera. But big cards are cheap! They’re down to $10 or less per GB, and that’s retail pricing. I’m sure Canon could include a 2 GB card instead of the four printed manuals they put in the box and come out ahead.
But the camera makers don’t deserve all the blame. While picking up my new SD1100 IS at J&R in New York, every customer bought a 2 or 4 GB memory card to go with their new camera. It’s an easy upsell for the store, along with their ill-fitting and laughably expensive cases and unnecessary extra batteries. I doubt accessory-happy camera stores would be too happy to have a reasonably-sized card included with every camera!
So I guess we’re stuck with piles of worthless memory cards.