Sony has drastically improved the shooting capability of photographers using compact flash drives with the announcement that the company is to make an 8GB version of its Compact Vault range.

The new card, which will go on sale in the US in June will increase the current 5GB version by almost double the amount and mean that photographers should be able to store a whopping 2,560 JPEG images (at 3MB each) on a single card.

The Vault will also benefit digital camcorder users promising 320 minutes of MPEG4 footage.

Measuring just over 1 1/2 inches wide and less than 1 1/4 inches high, the hard disk drive is designed for photo enthusiasts and so-called prosumers.

"The 8GB Compact Vault adds to our growing lineup of professional-based digital media for photographers on all experience levels", said Michael Lucas, director of marketing for Sony Electronics' Media and Application Solutions Division. "The drive is very competitive in today's price-conscious, quality-driven market."

The 8GB Compact Vault will cost $259.99. No UK price or launch date has been set. We will keep you posted.