To USB or Not to USB


Why my Video Cameras and Digital Cameras really need USB 3.0 – Part 2

Camera makers can make more money by embedding NAND Flash in their cameras.

How Camera Makers Limit Themselves

Why haven’t camera makers embedded NAND Flash?  Because of cost and profit margins.  They don’t include it because most camera makers and the decision makers a conservative bunch of chip makers.  More importantly, they value image quality and price point.

The engineers take the lowest risk path to make sure the product is delivered on-time.  Proven technologies help. Power and battery life are important.  Form factors and heat are also important.  Most important is the image quality and shutter response time must be flawless.

In a few cases, the purchasing managers take the lowest cost path and may NOT put in fast memory when it is embedded.

The marketing people

–          concentrate on the optics and picture quality more than the transfer speed.

–          And hitting price points near $100 and $300.

All these are fine, but they simply ignore the user experience of getting the data off the camera.


One solution that has emerged is the Canon WiFi camera that actually has WiFi built into the camera so you can wireless transmit pictures to the Internet.  After 5 years of iPhones and more years of phones with cameras, we finally see these dedicated cameras able to connect and upload pictures/videos without a PC.

Disclosure: I’ve purchased 7+ Canon cameras in the past 15 years and at least 5 Sony Cameras for personal and business use.  I am a fan of both companies products.  I do feel that both companies are late in joining the WiFi internet age.  I also feel there is a well-defined future where their products will thrive and grow.

The obvious problem here, with WiFi is battery life.  The battery will drain even more quickly with WiFi on and transmitting photos. You can solve this power drain from WiFi by simply plugging the camera into a charger (via USB) and transmitting via WiFi when charging.

What you can’t solve is the data transfer rate.  Again, the camera is rate limited by the WiFi. In this case, in the best case today, the camera will have WiFi-N supporting a theoretical 150Mbps.  This is still less the USB 2.0 effective speed of 320 Mbps and must slower than USB 3.0’s 3-4 Gbps.  Again, if you use an SD card (Class 10),  you are limited to a speed of 80 Mbps, so you can’ t really make it go faster.  You need faster memory.

I’ll try to get to the Economics Tomorrow


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Here’s our new DDR Guy.

Yes, that was my thought also.

You can read about DDR at The Eyes Have It by Navraj Nandra.

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