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SanDisk has introduced what it says is the highest capacity cards in the world for professional photographers – the 12 and 16 gigabyte Extreme III CompactFlash cards.

The company said the new cards can also be used with the Grass Valley Infinity Series Digital Media Camcorder, which is the first camcorder introduced in the broadcast industry that uses non-proprietary, removable, solid-state flash memory cards as recording and playback media.

The new cards will have minimum write and read speeds of 20 megabytes per second and will ship to photo retailers by the end of the year.

“The beauty of using large capacity cards like the 12- and 16GB SanDisk Extreme III cards is the freedom to shoot without worrying about filling up the card,” said Jonathan Torgovnik, contract photographer for Newsweek magazine and international freelance photographer. “I shoot in RAW mode almost exclusively and the large files can fill up a card very quickly.”

SanDisk also promises fast file transfers with the cards by means of the SanDisk-developed ESP (Enhanced Super-Parallel Processing) technology that combines advanced NAND flash memory chips and controller designs, 32-bit RISC processing and algorithms.

In keeping with their title, the SanDisk Extreme III cards claim to operate in extreme temperatures from a minus 25 degrees Celsius to plus 85 degrees Celsius. The cards also include RescuePRO software that allows photographers to easily recover accidentally deleted images, lost digital images or data.

SanDisk Extreme III cards carry a 10-year limited warranty in Europe, the Middle East and Africa but will have a lifetime limited warranty in the rest of the world.

Pricing will be announced closer to the release date.

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