What to Look For When You Are Buying SD Card?

1. Class 10 Rating – The Class 10 rating of an SD card guarantees that the card has a minimum and sustained sequential Write speed of least 10 MB/s. This is the minimum Write Speed for shooting videos of 1080p. Therefore, photographers should look for SD cards with Class 10 rating if they wish to shoot videos, and not the SD cards with Speed classes of 2, 4, and 6.

2. U3 rating – U1 cards are suitable for recording videos of 1080p and have minimum Write Speed of 10 MB/s whereas U3 memory cards are suitable for 4K video. In addition, it designates a minimum Write speed of 30 MB/s making it suitable for shooting videos. Therefore, it is recommended to the photographers that they use U3 memory cards only. The other benefits that memory cards with U3 rating offer is that they are not too expensive and gives better performance.

3. UHS-I bus mode – The way SD cards of different generations work is defined by a standard called Bus mode. All the cameras of the point-and-shoot type that are suggested for use by photographers, support at least UHS-I bus cards. Additionally, the standard is backwards compatible. This means that one can use a faster UHS-II card with a UHS-I camera, or a UHS-I card with a UHS-II camera. However, the full speed of UHS-II will not be available unless both camera and card support each other. The reason being, it requires an additional row of physical pins to achieve high speed.

4. Video Speed classes – The V6, V10, V30, V60, and V90 Video Speed Class Ratings ensure minimum levels of performance for recording video on SD cards. Cards with Video Speed class ratings have become available as of early 2017, and there are more to come in the coming year. Thus, photographers should look for Video Speed classes before purchasing an SD card.

5. Storage Capacity – Photographers must always check the storage capacity of SD cards before buying. The more is the storage capacity, the more data can be stored on it. For instance, a 64 GB SD card has more storage space as compared to 32 GB SD cards. In addition, a 64 GB SD card is cheaper than memory cards with 32 GB storage space. Memory cards with 128 GB capacity are also available and are priced at almost the same cost as 64 GB SD cards. Also, they should check the device before purchasing to ensure that it supports SDXC (XC denotes extended capacity) cards.

6. Reliability – SD cards hold only one copy of a photo between the time it is captured and is copied to a system for editing. Therefore, it is exceedingly important for photographers to buy memory cards from a reputable manufacturer such as SanDisk, Transcend, Lexar, Integral, Toshiba, Delkin, Sony etc. This is to ensure reliability and minimise the chances of error. Many SD cards come with a warranty of lifetime or 10 years, and the SD Card Association says that most of the SD cards have a lifespan of about 10 years with ‘normal usage.’

In this way, after looking into these aspects, photographers can buy the best SD cards that would serve their purpose of professional and quality photography.

Leave a comment