If you own a digital photographic camera — be information technology a compact, mirrorless or DSLR camera — you lot demand to pair it with an SD in social club for it to save your photos and videos. Nigh digital cameras actually don’t come up with an SD card so information technology’southward kind of upward to you, the lensman, to purchase i that fits your digital photographic camera and your shooting needs.
When searching for an SD carte du jour for your digital camera, at that place are a lot of different options out there and it can go complicated fast. Hither are the basics yous demand to know.
What is an SD card?
An SD (Secure Digital) card is a pocket-sized removable memory card that can be inserted in a number of different consumer electronics — including digital cameras, printers, laptops, smartphones and video game consoles (like the Nintendo Switch) — to save, store and transfer data. A lot of smartphones accept transitioned to using Micro SD cards, which is a smaller (in size and capacity) version of an SD card.
The cards: SD, SDHC or SDCX?
There are a few unlike types of SD cards —SD, SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) and SDXC (Secure Digital Xtra Chapters) — but they all effectively practice the aforementioned job: add storage to your digital camera. SD cards are older and generally accept lower capacities and slower transfer speeds. SDHC and SDXC cards are newer (and better) types of SD cards that take higher storage capacities and faster transfer speeds. And yep, they’re more than expensive.
Information technology’s of import to check which type of memory card your digital photographic camera is compatible earlier buying 1. Almost new digital cameras should support three types of SD cards. If the digital camera is more than 10 years old, there’s a decent chance it won’t support support SDHC cards and SDXC cards considering they weren’t around, but that’s a problem that should be pretty uncommon.
Why is speed important?
The speed of the SD card refers to two different speeds: there’south the “write speed” and the “read speed.” The write speed is how quickly the SD carte du jour is able to record all the information while you’re taking photo or video with your camera, while the read speed is how fast you lot tin can transfer data off of the SD bill of fare. The write speed and the read speed are typically the same on almost SD cards.
The speed of an SD card is important every bit a quality-of-life feature, simply it’s crucial for people shooting with higher-stop digital cameras. Higher-resolution photos and videos crave an SD carte to be fast so that it can tape all the data as fast as possible. Most SD cards with a high-capacities generally likewise tend to have high speeds, so you don’t have to worry as much nigh a high capacity card with a depression speed.
If you don’t run into the speed of the SD card advertised, the other matter yous desire to look out for is its class rating. The SD Clan (the governing body of SD cards) created a grade system to aid standardize SD menu speed ratings, and each SD card is given a course rating. The higher the class rating, the faster the write speeds of the SD card
Here are the various classes and their minimum write speeds: Form 2 (2MB/due south), Form 4 (4MB/s), Class six (6MB/southward) or Course 10 (up to 10MB/s).
Why is capacity important?
SD carte capacities are typically measured in gigabytes (GB) and range from just a handful of gigs upwardly to 512GB. When deciding what SD carte capacity you should become, you need to accept a knowledge of what size photos or videos you’re taking.
If you lot take a fairly modern mirrorless or DSLR camera, uncompressed RAW photos will take up in the neighborhood of 7 megabytes (MB) apiece. With this knowledge, you can fit virtually 325 photos on an SD bill of fare with a chapters of 16GB, or 650 photos on a 32GB card.
Videos have upwardly more than space than photos and complicate things in an additional direction; in addition to resolution and bitrate, you also need to factor in things like video length and attribute ratio. If you’re shooting a 4K video at 60fps (which is pretty standard these days for action cameras, meaty shooters and fifty-fifty smartphones), a 16GB menu can store about ten 4K 60fps videos.
Some buying advice
• If you can, buy the most avant-garde card that your camera is capable of accepting.
• Buy from a well-known SD carte du jour maker, such as SanDisk or Lexar.
• Before ownership an SD card, check to run into if there are higher-chapters models available — you might exist able to become better deal on ane.
All that said, hither are some dandy picks.
Lexar Professional Class SDXC (64GB)
The Lexar Professional person line of SDXC cards is one of the best you can buy. Its avowal Class 10 speeds and a relatively high chapters, and information technology’s fully capable of handing your camera’s 4K photos and videos. And it’due south nonetheless really affordable. This line ranges in capacities from 32GB to 1TB.
SanDisk Extreme SD (16GB)
The SanDisk Extreme SD line is a great affordable option. Despite its price, information technology yet delivers relatively Form ten speeds (up to 90MB/s) that are only a slight drop off from the Lexar Professional SDXC line (above). It’due south available in a range of capacities, from 16GB to 256GB.
SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II (64GB)
The SanDisk Farthermost Pro is a beast of SDXC card. Its extreme fast read and write speeds — Class 10 — have fabricated it a become-to option for professional person photographers and videographers who shoot in the highest resolution. It’s bachelor in capacities up to 128GB.