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Dennis Hissink : May 25th 2004 - 01:56 CET

SanDisk sells Extreme in Australia and New Zeeland

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SanDiskSanDisk announced that it will sell its Extreme line of flash storage cards in Australia and New Zealand, giving professional photographers and photo enthusiasts fast read and write speeds and dependable operation in punishing conditions. The SanDisk Extreme cards are available in three formats: CompactFlash, SD and Memory Stick PRO. The CF version will be sold in capacities of 256 Megabytes, 512MB, 1 GB and 2GB. Extreme SD cards will be available in 256MB and 512MB, and Extreme Memory Stick PRO will come in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB. "With sales of nearly 1 million digital cameras in Australia last year, twice as many as in 2002, this is one of the world's fastest-growing markets for flash memory cards," said Tanya Chuang (SanDisk).
SanDisk sells Extreme in Australia and New ZeelandVME Systems of Melbourne, SanDisk's distributor of photographic products, said Extreme cards will be sold, starting this quarter, through retail specialty stores that cater to professionals and avid amateur photographers.

Among the companies recommending SanDisk Extreme cards is Maxwell Optical Industries, one of Australia's leading distributors of photographic equipment, including Nikon digital camera products. Maxwell intends to bundle the cards with new digital cameras it will sell. "Given the recent launch of Nikon's D70, the most rapid of all consumer digital SLRs, it was natural for us to select the performance leader in flash memory cards to further promote the photographic benefits of instantaneous capture and storage," said John Swainston, Maxwell's CEO.

"Our experience in the pro digital field has made it clear that a reliable, rapid writing capability of large RAW files is critical in securing the best work flow and getting the best pictures," he said. The D70 camera, which features interchangeable lenses and has a resolution of 6.1 Megapixels, is able to fire off 3 frames per second with a SanDisk fast-writing 256MB CompactFlash Extreme card, according to a recent Nikon announcement.

Press photographers who were covering the Australian Open tennis tournament in January experienced sweltering temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius on the courts and, in that shooting environment, "flash memory is the only reliable storage medium," said Swainston. Extreme cards are tested to function from a low of -25 degrees Celsius to a high of 85 degrees Celsius, well outside the normal operating temperature ranges of standard flash memory cards.

SanDisk Extreme cards deliver a sustained minimum write speed of 9MB per second and a sustained minimum read speed of 10MB/sec., making them the fastest flash memory storage cards at their specified wide temperature range. They also have other features not found on SanDisk's conventional cards, including RescuePRO, a data recovery software application that lets a user recover accidentally deleted and lost digital images, and a lifetime warranty instead of a five-year warranty.

Suggested retail prices for Extreme cards range from $129 for a 256MB CompactFlash card to $799 for a 2GB CF card, including GST. SD and Memory Stick Pro Extreme cards range from $149 for 256MB capacities to $699 for 1 Gigabyte.

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