Back in 1991 when I was considering buying my first house, I used a spreadsheet to help me find the "sweet-point" in mortgage payments. I wanted the smallest monthly mortgage payments combined wiht the lowest interest paid to the bank. The spreadsheet told me that the sweet point was 13 years (for the size of loan I needed and interest rate at the time).
There is a similar sweet point for the compact-flash memory cards used by digital cameras. Here's the trade-offs:
* Small capacity cards cost less, but cost more per megabyte.
* Large capacity cards cost more, but cost less per megabyte.
Right now, where is the sweet point? I want to know the best/capacity performance. I am working with the prices from TigerDirect.ca, just because they have the largest supply of cards and prices on their Web site. (I've never bought anything from them.)
Here are the prices from Jan 10 for Lexar 80x (high-speed) memory cards in Canadian dollars:
8GB - $1,890 - $236.25/GB
4GB - $608 - $152.00/GB
2GB - $270 - $135/GB
1GB - $135 - $135/GB
512MB - $81 - $162/GB
256MB - $52 - $208/GB
128MB - $41 - $328/GB (12x card)
64MB (no longer available)
You can see that the sweetspot for high-end cards is currently the 1GB card: lowest cost combined with lowest/GB price.
I repeaat the exercise with a cheapest (ie slower) card in each category:
4GB - $419 - $105/GB (SanDisk)
2GB - $216 - $108/GB (Kingston)
1GB - $94 - $94/GB (Lexar)
512MB - $50 - $100/GB (Viking)
256MB - $21 - $84/GB (Viking)
128MB - $17 - $136/GB (Viking)
Here the pricing graph isn't linear, but the low-cost sweetpoint is 256MB.
These prices will continue to change, but the trend is clear. On a per-GB basis:
* Larger capacity cards continue to become cheaper
* Smaller capacity cards continue to get more expensive
The chart above (click for larger version) summarizes the per-GB pricing.