The MMC and Secure digital cards are not the same but are interchangeable. The difference has to do with copy protections of the disk volume on the SD card. This extra feature makes the SD attractive for people who use them in MP3 players. No other cards are interchangeable. The Canon Power shot A510 you described comes with only 16MB, so it would be best to invest in more memory capacity. What I would recommend is getting one memory card that you will be able to use, even as your need for the amount of pictures you want to take changes.
For this use I would recommend the SanDisk 1 GB Secure Digital Memory Card. Usually running around 90 this card will allow you transfer large files, take hundreds of photos, handle large movie files, and take pictures on the highest resolution setting. If you are looking for something with less storage space, but with an equally reduced cost. I would recommend the Kingston 512 MB SD Memory Card running from around 44. This card holds a significantly less amount of pictures, but still performs well.
Actually the Kodak cards are probably made by SanDisk anyway as Kodak manufacturers very little these days and subs most everything out. I use both Compact Flash and Secure Disc memory cards and I'd be hard pressed to see any difference between the quality of the files stored on different types of cards or brands. And I have never heard of a problem of loss of quality because of a memory card.
What I have experienced is the corruption of the files on a memory card. I have several digital cameras of different brands and one day loaded a CF card from one camera into another. I am not sure but I think that the second camera tried to overwrite the first's directory and caused the loss of some information and a few files to be corrupted. I would suggest that you get yourself a program like RescuPro. It is a program that both finds and recovers lost and corrupted files and it wipes and deletes images files from a memory card.
Besides the price and fancy name, the difference between each generation of SanDisk cards is speed. A lot of people aren't aware of this, but the speed at which you can take pictures and speed of transferring them to you your computer really depends on the type of memory card you have. Overall, SanDisk has a great reputation for making fast cards. The Sony A-100 has a burst rate of three frames per second, which is similar to my camera.
With a slower card you only may be able to write five or six frames before the card has to stop the camera. If you're into sports I suggest the III or IV, especially since you have 10.2 megapixels which will eat up write time.
Another thing is the speed you can transfer your pictures to your computer. The best setup is a card reader and a 2.0 USB port. It also makes a huge difference what type of card your pictures are stored on. If you're transferring 200 10.2MP RAW images the difference between the original and IV can be minutes. The type of card is really important. Personally, since you'll be saving large files like 10.2MP, I'd go for the III or IV, but it is completely up to you.
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