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*March 17, 2006 – *Sony introduced its 8GB Compact Vault drive, which can fit into CompactFlash type II slots. The Compact Vault series of memory cards is designed for professional or amateur use in digital single lens reflex cameras. This announcement comes just two months after industry leader SanDisk introduced its 8GB version of the CompactFlash card. The Sony 8GB Compact Vault will retail for $259 when it hits store shelves in June.
"The 8GB Compact Vault adds to our growing lineup of professional-based digital media for photographers on all experience levels," said Michael Lucas, marketing director for Sony Electronics’ Media and Application Solutions Division, in yesterday’s press release. "The drive is very competitive in today’s price-conscious, quality-driven market."
Indeed, the $259 price tag is conservative for the Compact Vault’s 8GB capacity. SanDisk’s CompactFlash Extreme III 8GB card will sell for $559 beginning this month. This card has faster reading and writing speeds than the Compact Vault though. The SanDisk card operates at 20MB per second, while the Sony 8GB Compact Vault has transfer speeds of 12MB per second. SanDisk has an 8GB Ultra II CF card that reads and writes 10MB per second, but it still costs more than the Sony version at $479.
Sony’s new 1.5 x 1.5-inch Compact Vault memory drive has a much larger storage capacity than the other cards in the series. The next step down in Sony’s line has 5GB. The new 8GB version can hold up to 2,560 three-megabyte images or 320 minutes of MPEG4 video.