Professional travel photographer Jason Row has put together a great article on SD cards.
You’ll learn what you should pay attention to when buying a new memory card. What kind of photography are you into? If you’re mostly shooting flowers, you’re probably not going to need the fastest card available. On the other hand, if you love shooting motor sports, you’re going to need speed and power.
Which Type Of SD Card?
There are in fact three different types of SD cards.
- The ones called simply SD, SDHC or SDXC are the original full-size cards. These are commonly found on mainstream DSLR and compact cameras.
- Next is the miniSD card. These are gradually becoming obsolete and not often found in photographic equipment.
- Lastly, we have the microSD. These are gaining in popularity and are very common not only in smartphones but also the new generation of small action cameras such asGoPros and Drone cameras. Make sure you know what type of SD card your device requires.
The Need For Speed. So, How Fast Then?
You may have noticed that any SD card that you own, comes with a series of figures emblazoned on its front. Some of these relate to how fast the card will read and write data. This is important information because a slow card could cause issues.
Typically, SD as well as miniSD and microSD cards, are given a Class Rating. Slower cards have lower Class numbers, faster cards, higher Class numbers.
The Class number relates to the minimum transfer speed. A Class 6 card will transfer data at a minimum of 6 MB/s and so on. The highest Class is 10. There is also a new rating above 10, UHS-I.
The speed at which your card transfer is important. If you shoot RAW images in continuous shooting mode, your camera’s buffer will soon fill up.
This will cause the camera to lock up until it has space to continue shooting. The faster the card, the less likely you are to hit the buffer. SD card speeds are even more important when it comes to shooting video, particularly 4K video. Check your camera’s manual for recommended SD card speeds.
Let’s Load This Up! – Capacity
The capacity of a card is very important. You might be shooting away on a great scene and suddenly the dreaded “memory card full” warning flashes up.
It’s even more important to have a good size card when shooting video. This can eat SD card space like it’s going out of fashion. As a rule of thumb when deciding on how big your card should be:
“Think of the largest amount you are likely to shoot in a day, then double it”.
Source: Light Stalking