SanDisk today has announced it is launching an 8GB SanDisk Ultra II SD High Capacity (SDHC) card to meet what it says is the growing demand for more photo and video storage.

The new cards can store over 4000 high-resolution pictures or up to 15 hours of MPEG4 video.

The announcement was made at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Show in Las Vegas.

The SanDisk Ultra II SDHC card features write speeds of 9 megabytes (MB) per second and read speeds of 10MB/sec. The cards are targeted at digital photography enthusiasts with 5 megapixel or higher resolution cameras or videographers with camcorders that require significantly faster flash storage cards. The card carries a Class 44 speed rating.

The SanDisk MicroMate USB2 reader, which normally retails for $19.99, will be included with the 8GB SanDisk Ultra II SDHC card at no extra charge.

SDHC cards require an SDHC-compatible reader to transfer images from card to computer, and the MicroMate readers work with both SDHC and SD cards.

The cards will cost $239.99 in the US. We are awaiting prices and availability in the UK.

SanDisk also announced it is expanding its SanDisk Extreme III pro line with a 4-Gigabyte SDHC (SD High Capacity) Class 6 memory card and a 4-Gigabyte Memory Stick PRO Duo card.

We will keep you posted.